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Colorful terracotta figure group of a Jewish family dressed for Sabbath

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.612

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    Colorful terracotta figure group of a Jewish family dressed for Sabbath

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    Brief Narrative
    Colorful terracotta figure group based upon a watercolor, A Feast Day, created by Hieronymous Hess in 1838. The sculpture was modelled by Anton Sohn in early 19th century Germany. It is a tableaux of a Jewish family, one man, three women, and a young boy, conversing and dressed in what are probably their best clothes, although they are shabby and patched. Sohn (1769-1841), trained as a church painter, established a workshop in Zizenhausen, Germany, that was celebrated for its exceptionally detailed and elaborate terracotta figurines. His subject matter ranged widely and included genre and satirical groups on popular, topical themes, and religious figurines which were favorites for Christmas displays in homes, as well as businesses. This figure group is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Artwork Title
    Yom Hakodesh: Rüstung auf den Schabis
    Alternate Title
    Yom Hakodesh: Prepared for the Sabbath
    manufacture:  1828-1842
    manufacture: Zizenhausen (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Artisan: Anton Sohn
    The Katz Ehrenthal Collection is a collection of more than 900 objects depicting Jews and antisemitic and anti-Jewish propaganda from the medieval to the modern era, in Europe, Russia, and the United States. The collection was amassed by Peter Ehrenthal, a Romanian Holocaust survivor, to document the pervasive history of anti-Jewish hatred in Western art, politics and popular culture. It includes crude folk art as well as pieces created by Europe's finest craftsmen, prints and periodical illustrations, posters, paintings, decorative art, and toys and everyday household items decorated with depictions of stereotypical Jewish figures.

    Physical Details

    Hebrew German
    Decorative Arts
    Physical Description
    Molded, polychrome painted terracotta figure group of 5 closely posed Jewish people. On the left is a fat, middle aged man in a black cap and long coat, standing in right profile, talking to the group, as the 3 on the left smile and look attentively at him. Next to him stands an old woman, looking right toward the others. She wears a white ruffled cap, and ruffled brown and blue jacket over a long ragged brown dress, both hands clasped on a walking stick. She stands next to a tall, middle aged woman in a white ruffled cap, white lace collar and red shawl. Her hands rests on the boy's right shoulder; her left on the basket hanging on her arm. The boy wears a red cap, white jacket, and patched green pants. On the right sits an old woman, her hand grasping the head of a red beaked, white goose standing at her knee. She is less formally dressed, with a kerchief and red shawl. The figures have Caucasian complexions, with large noses and hooded eyes. They are on a green, elongated oval base with a label. The sculpture has an open, flat sliced, halfback with a concave interior, unpainted with furrowed lines and a shiny varnishlike coating. For other versions, see 2016.184.49 and .595. Some Sohn molds were used into the 20th century and this may be a later version of the piece originally made ca. 1828.
    overall: Height: 6.875 inches (17.463 cm) | Width: 8.000 inches (20.32 cm) | Depth: 2.000 inches (5.08 cm)
    overall : terracotta, paint, glaze
    front, base, paper label, black ink : [Hebrew text] Rüstung auf den Schabis [Yom Hakodesh [Holy Days] Preparing for the Sabbath]

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Sohn, Anton, 1769-1841.

    Administrative Notes

    The figure group was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by the Katz Family.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Special Collection
    Katz Ehrenthal Collection
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:11:15
    This page:

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