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Print from a play theater kit of characters from a comic opera

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.654

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    Print from a play theater kit of characters from a comic opera


    Brief Narrative
    Colored print of paper theater characters from Lumpazivagabundus, a comic opera, printed in the late 1800s by J.F. Schreiber, a large publishing house in Esslingen, Germany. The story, written by Johann Nestroy in 1833, revolves around the actions of fairy royalty, good and evil spirits, and 3 human artisans. During the 1800s, paper theaters were popular toys for children and collector’s pieces for adults. Publishers produced simplified performance scripts based on particular plays and printed sheets bearing multiple characters in a variety of costumes and a range of scenery for use in a toy theater. The individual characters, each identified by name, and the set-pieces were spaced far enough apart to be cut out and mounted on stiff paperboard so that they would stand freely during the reenactment of a play.
    publication:  after 1885
    publication: Esslingen (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, top center, title, black ink : Lumpazivagabundus.
    front, top row, beneath characters, black ink : Stellarius, Feenkönig; Fortuna, Glücksgöttin.; Diligentius, guter Geist.; Lumpazivagabundus, böser Geist.; Leim, Tischlergeselle.; Zwirn, Schneidergeselle. [Stellarius, Fairy King.; Fortuna, Lady Luck.; Diligentius, good Spirit.; Lumpazivagabundus, evil Spirit.; Glue, Journeyman Carpenter.; Twine, Journeyman Tailor.]
    front, bottom row, beneath characters, black ink : Knieriem, Schustergeselle.; Lotterieloshändler.; Lenchen Leim.; Lumpazivagabundus, als handwerksbursche.; Diligentius, als handwerksbursche.; Zwirn, im Schlafrock. [Knieriem, Journeyman Cobbler.; Lottery Ticket Dealer.; Lenchen Glue.; Lumpazivagabundus, as Itinerant Journeyman.; Diligentius, as Itinerant Journeyman.; Twine, in Dressing Gown.]
    front, bottom right corner, black ink : J. F. S. LE. Nro. 523.
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Publisher: J. F. Schreiber
    Illustrator: Paul H. Wagner
    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

    Object Type
    Toy theaters (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Handcolored lithograph in black ink on paper with the title in German in Fraktur font at the top center, with 12 captioned, costumed characters from a play standing on faint brown bars arranged in 2 rows of 6. In the top row, from the left, a crowned king and a woman holding a cornucopia are draped with gold-trimmed red cloth, a female, good spirit holding a flower wears a pink dress, a male, bad spirt wears a red cap and gold-trimmed cape, a man holds a carpenter’s square, and a gentleman tailor holds a cane. In the bottom row, from the left, a man wears a bag and small pouch, a bearded Jewish man with a stereotypically big nose sells a ticket, a young woman wears a yellow dress, the bad spirt wears colorful checkered pants, a male, good spirit wears a pack, and the tailor wears a red-trimmed dressing gown. Publication information is printed in the bottom right corner.
    overall: Height: 14.125 inches (35.878 cm) | Width: 17.000 inches (43.18 cm)
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Administrative Notes

    The toy theater characters were 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:
    2022-07-28 18:30:39
    This page:

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