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Bronze figurine in the shape of a Jewish man's head

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.623

Cast bronze figurine in the shape of a small bust, depicting a comical, wicked caricature of a Jewish man's face. The face has a large hooked nose, large ears, and hooded eyes; all stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men. The face has a wicked smile, likely meant to portray Jews as depraved and evil. The conical shape of the man’s head may be a mocking reference to the Phyrygian (also called a pileus cornutus), a cone-shaped hat that Jews were forced to wear to identify themselves as Jewish in the Holy Roman Empire. Since the fourth century, Jews have been persecuted and demonized. They have been associated with and called "children of the devil," accused of deicide, treacherous conspiracies, and treasonous acts by influential figures and archaic Christian beliefs. These defamations are often visually depicted through antisemitic or malevolent features and characteristics, such as horns and cloven feet. They have also been depicted with distorted facial features, including bulging eyes and large or hooked noses. The figurine resembles the design of a porcelain match holder produced by the Schafer and Vater Porcelain Factory in Volkstedt Rudolstadt, Thuringia, Germany. The company was established in 1890, and by 1910, their goods were distributed in the United States by Sears Roebuck Company. This bronze figurine is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic visual materials.

Decorative Arts
Object Type
Figurines (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:13:49
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