One of the most infamous anti-Semitic medals is the Korn Jude medal
Made in silver, the design by Christian Wermuth hypes stereotypes
and plays to fear during tough economic times in Germany.
An example of this medal is offered in William Rosenblum’s auction
No. 46A, which closes July 11.
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Anti-Semitic medals are “probably the most common and most notorious
medals for spreading religious hatred,” according to collector Ben
Weiss, who chronicles the wide array of such medals at HistoricalArtMedals.com.
What is anti-semitic
about this medal?
In 1694 heavy rains and a grasshopper plague swept Germany. As food
prices increased, speculation rose and starving people blamed the Jews.
Korn Jude medals in the late 17th century were designed to
perpetuate the myth that the Jews were to blame for these hardships
and to portray Jews as diabolic speculators, particularly in grain
crops. Medals of this type continued to be issued as late as 1773,
according to Weiss.
The obverse of the 1694 medal in Rosenblum’s auction depicts a
Jewish grain peddler walking toward the right with grain sack on which
sits a devil opening the mouth of the sack to allow the grain to fall
out and be wasted. Below the image and above the date the inscription
translates to “expensive time.”
The reverse depicts an empty grain sifter on which is inscribed the
biblical quote from Proverbs 11:26, translating to “He that withholds
corn, the people shall curse him. But blessing shall be upon the head
of him that sells it.”
For those interested
The medal measures 35 millimeters and weighs 13.04 grams.
Rosenblum said the medal is Fine to Very Fine and, unlike most
examples offered, does not appear to have been mounted.
The medal has an estimate of $400 or more. There is no buyer’s fee
in the Rosenblum sale.
For more information about the auction, visit Rosenblum’s website.