[Ukraine, late 19th c.]. 44х34,5 cm. Steel engraving. Very good, a few tears. Text in simplified Ukrainian.
An example of antisemitic anecdote printed for the folk in the form of lubok.
The text tells the story of the Jewish seller who came to the nobleman to sell some silver jewelry, and stole from him the silver cup in the process. Upon being caught, the seller gets the sentence of 50 rods, but then the seller starts to negotiate with the policeman regarding the number of rods, offering to sell him the silver watch in exchange of reduction of rods. After the negotiation it seems that the watch was given to the policeman for free upon lifting the punishment completely.
This text could have been performed on stage or as a puppet comedy as it features three characters: nobleman, the seller and the policeman, each of them have lines to perform.
Lubok is a Russian popular print, characterized by simple graphics and narratives derived from literature, religious stories, and popular tales. Lubki prints were used as decoration in houses and inns. The tradition goes back to the early 18th century and they have been popular until the beginning of the Soviet rule.
Luboks are representative of the views and problems of the folk in different parts of the Russian empire - in this case the lubok is interesting because it shows the attitude towards Jewish population of Ukraine - judging by the image, we could definitely see the strong caricature element in it, but the text shows the more volumetric picture.