JEWISH-AMERICAN HALL OF FAME • JEWISH MUSEUM IN CYBERSPACE
ANTI-SEMITIC BIGOTRY AS CHRONICLED BY HISTORICAL MEDALS


 

Still another “Cuckold Medal” with the “Feather Jew” motif is shown in figure 11. The obverse of this one depicts a two antlered Jew riding a large cock, with four smaller roosters in the background; the German legend rim reads (“Where No One Can Become Someone"). The reverse shows an ornately decorated open chest a with pair of antlers, the legend reading, "DIE LADE FVHRT DIE GROSTE ZVNFFT AVF ERDEN" and below in smaller letters "VM MANCHEN IST ES EWIG SCHADE" (The Clouds Drove the Guild off the Ground, to Some it Is a Shame Forever); the German legend on box reads DAS ER KOMT/ IN DIE/ HAHNREY / LADE (That He May Land in the Drawer of Cuckolds).

This piece closely resembles the previously described anti-Semitic, satirical "Feather Jew" medals, all of which played on the alleged sexual activities and financial prowess Jews used to achieve power and money.

 
Figure 11. Cuckold or Feather Jew Medal

Christian Wermuth, Germany, ca 1700, struck pewter medal, 39mm. Ref: similar to Feill, 3431. (Image courtesy of Alex Ben-Arieh)

The feathers shown in these Feder Jude medals substitute for horns depicted on Jews in other works of “art,” both of them imply cuckolding and likely serve as a double entendre for the horns of lechery and horns of the devil.

Daniel Friedenberg describes another medal, made by Christian Wermuth around 1700, titled “False Integrity of Jews, Bad Priests and Tricky Lawyers,” which seemed to be designed to provide a general insult to Jews as well as to Catholics. This type of medal shows a wolf and a fox in open country, with sheep in the background. The reverse has a German inscription translated as, “He Who Trusts a Wolf in the Woodland, a Jew by His Oath and a Bad Priest and Tricky Lawyer by Their Consciences, Will Be Bitten by All Four.”

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