Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online

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Porcelain Monkeys
(1,378 words)

From 1769 to 1788 a decree was enforced for Jews in Prussia that connected the award of Schutzbriefen (letters of protection) as well as property acquisition concessions to the purchase and export of Berlin porcelain. This “forced export of porcelain” was one of the many rulings by means of which the Prussian state regulated Jewish residence, marriage, and acquisition of property. A legend about “porcelain monkeys” that originated in the 19th century links Moses Mendelssohn to this restrictive practice.

In her memoir published in 1861, Jewish author Fanny Lewald (Salon) describes …

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Schenk, Tobias, “Porcelain Monkeys”, in: Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online, Original German Language Edition: Enzyklopädie Jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur. Im Auftrag der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig herausgegeben von Dan Diner. © J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart/Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland 2011–2017. Consulted online on 29 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2468-8894_ejhc_COM_0644>
First published online: 2017
First print edition: 20221116



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