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Terracotta with a satirical portrayal of a Jewish peddler with an underfed cow

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.633

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    Terracotta with a satirical portrayal of a Jewish peddler with an underfed cow

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    Brief Narrative
    Colorful terracotta figure group, Sie isch no fail, modelled by Anton Sohn in early 19th century Germany. It is a satirical depiction of a Jewish stereotype of the peddler who always tries to cheat. It depicts a man wth a long curved nose leaning against a worn looking cow with visible ribs. 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 figurine is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Artwork Title
    Sie isch no fail
    Alternate Title
    She is not lazy
    creation:  approximately 1820-1830
    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

    Decorative Arts
    Physical Description
    Molded, polychrome, painted terracotta figurine depicting a Jewish peddler leaning on a bony, underfed, brown cow, both in right profile. He is casually showing off the cow, standing with his slightly bent left leg is forward and his left elbow resting on its back. In his left hand, he holds the cow’s lead, a light brown piece of string, and in the other, he holds a dark brown walking stick with a hooked bottom. He wears a brown top hat, a dark green tailcoat with matching breeches, a red neck cloth, and blue striped, offwhite spats over his shoes. A patterned blue and black scarf wraps under his chin and up beneath his hat. He has thick eyebrows, hooded eyes a large, curved nose, and fleshy red lips pressed together. The figures are flat and unpainted on the back, with oval shaped indentations at the center. They stand on a light green, oval shaped base with a paper label on the front. For a different version with less detail, see object 2016.184.53.
    overall: Height: 7.125 inches (18.097 cm) | Width: 6.875 inches (17.463 cm) | Depth: 2.125 inches (5.398 cm)
    overall : terracotta, paint, glaze
    front base, paper label, black ink : Sie isch no fail [She is not lazy]

    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 figurine 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
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