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Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. KG > Auction 334Auction date: 17 March 2020
Lot number: 2535

Lot description:

Tin medal, undated, the medal must be minted before 1714, unsigned (in the style of the medallion maker Christoph Wermuth [1661-1739]). On the edge of a water a protestant priest clothed in his vestment holds an opened book in his left hand and pours water over the head of a Jew to be baptized with his right hand. The Jew is tied to a millstone. Behind the Jew an executioner or his assistant is about to push the baptized Jew into the water; around the scornful inscription: SO BLEIBT ER AM BESTÆNDIGSTEN („By this means he will remain the most faithful possible")//SELTEN / WIRD EIN IUD / EIN CHRIST , / ER HAB DENN WAS / BEGANGEN , / AUCH THUT ERS MEIST / UMBS GELDT , / DASS ER NICHT / HÄNGEN DARFF , / DENN WANN ERS / ANDERS STIEHL , / SO STRAFFT MANN / IHN ZU / SCHARFF („A Jew will rarely become a Christian, unless he has committed a crime. In most cases also money is involved. His objective is not to be hanged. If he had stolen it under other circumstances [= without having converted], he would have been punished all too severely") in 14 lines, beneath the inscription 3 stars. On the medal's rim remains of the inscription: SO WAHR DIE MAUS DIE KATZ NIT FRISST , WIRD DER IUD KEIN WAHRER CHRIST ("As true as the mouse does not devour the cat, the Jew will never become a true Christian"). 43,75 mm; 25,53 g. Coll. Fieweger 76; Friedenberg S. 14; Kirschner 2; Wohlfahrt 55 089.

Very rare. Very fine

In history again and again Jews were forced to convert to Christianity, but it also happened that some of them voluntarily became Christians. In either case many Christians mistrusted the converts and suggested other motives than religious ones for their conversion. Christian suspicions against converted Jews are reflected by this medallion. The scene on its obverse traces back to Martin Luther's advice to a certain Menius who was a preacher at Eisenach: "Si denuo Judaeus baptizandus sibi offeratur, eum se in pontem Albis ducturum, et suspenso de colle lapide in aquis praecipitaturum, ne mutata animi sententia, baptismum convitiis insectur." (If once more a Jew offers himself for being baptized, he should be led to a bridge over the river Elbe and with a millstone around his neck pushed into the waters, in order to avoid that he after having changed his mind blasphemes baptism). Cf. O.A. Wolf, Zwei auf Judentaufen bezügliche Medaillen, Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judenthums 44, 1900, 539-541 who bases himself on J.J. Schudt, Jüdische Merkwürdigkeiten: vorstellend, was sich Denkwürdiges in den neuen Zeiten bey einigen Jahrhunderten mit den in alle 4 Theile der Welt, sonderlich durch Teutschland zerstreuten Juden zugetragen; sammt einer vollständigen Franckfurter Juden-Chronik; mit Kupfern und Figuren, Leipzig 1718, 303. The verdict SO WAHR DIE MAUS DIE KATZ NIT FRISST , WIRD DER IUD KEIN WAHRER CHRIST ("As true as the mouse does not devour the cat, the Jew will never become a true Christian") over converted Jews is medieval and was once inscribed in a wall of Freising cathedral.

Estimate: 200 EUR