Baron Ferdinand Rothschild’s sense of family origins and the Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum

Baron Ferdinand Rothschild’s sense of family origins and the Waddesdon Bequest in the British... Abstract Baron Ferdinand Rothschild (1839–1898) is usually remembered for Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire and for the Waddesdon Bequest, his splendid gift of Renaissance treasures to the British Museum, recently reinterpreted in a new gallery. The author analyses Baron Ferdinand’s unpublished reminiscences, revealing his interest in the history and mythology of the Rothschilds as a Frankfurt Jewish banking dynasty. The status and significance of Judaica in the Waddesdon Bequest and other family collections is also explored within the context of nineteenth-century collecting, the development of the art market and an emerging sense of a Jewish European history and identity. John Berger wrote of Mark Rothko that ‘his art is an emigrant art, seeking, as only emigrants do, the unfindable place of origin, the moment before everything began.’1 Allowing for disparities in wealth and status, there is a sense of similar searching for a home and for an historic identity among members of the Rothschild family, a new dynasty that arose to become – within the space of two generations in the 1800s – bankers to the world. The French Revolution and the British-Prussian-Austrian war against revolutionary France brought lucrative new business opportunities which transformed the family’s wealth and standing, as well as offering the possibility of emancipation and eventual escape from the confined world of the Frankfurt Judengasse.2 Following the defeat of the Austrian army by invading French forces in June 1796, much of the Judengasse was destroyed; improvements in the legal status of the city’s Jewish community followed, leading to a relaxation of residential restrictions.3 In 1811 the Frankfurt Jews were temporarily able to buy emancipation, and they continued to use financial leverage in their cause, which finally achieved success only in 1864.4 The Rothschild diaspora from Frankfurt – Nathan Mayer left for London in 1798 – saw them gaining a special status in their newly-adopted cities of Vienna, Paris, London and Naples. At the same time, their liberation from the restricted life they had known in their home city enabled them to develop a sentimentality about Frankfurt; their attachment to the Jewish quarter and to their family origins in the city grew over time, as revealed in letters, memoirs and benefactions.5 Baroness Salomon’s gift to the Städel Institute in its centenary year in 1887 of what has been described as ‘by far the most important portrait in the whole of Germany’, the Tischbein portrait of her fellow-citizen Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, encapsulates the Rothschild relationship with their home town.6 Frankfurt was the symbolic heart of the family to which later generations often returned to marry. In 1882 Baron Edmond Rothschild even named a colony in Palestine ‘in honour of Mayer Amschel’ (Kefar Meir Shefeya), the Frankfurt Rothschild ancestor with whom it all began.7 The Rothschild sense of ancestry and origins seeps through the writings of the exceptionally sensitive, childless Baron Ferdinand, who grew up in Frankfurt and Vienna (Fig. 1). He felt drawn – particularly after the death of his English Rothschild mother, Charlotte and his marriage to his English cousin, Evelina –towards England and all things British. He left what he wished to be known as ‘The Waddesdon Bequest’ to the British Museum, of which he was a trustee, at his death in 1898.8 We know Baron Ferdinand largely from his memoirs, written in 1897: Bric-à-Brac, which deals with art collecting and the role of his family in the development of the art market.9 His more personal and as yet unpublished Reminiscences concerning the family is revealing in a different way.10 Both are anecdotal, but are also self-reflective in the way they present him as a member of a famous dynasty that sprang from humble roots. Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the Baron’s Room at Waddesdon Manor, from The Red Book, 1897; Waddesdon (National Trust) Bequest of Dorothy de Rothschild, 1988; inv. no. 54. © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor. Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the Baron’s Room at Waddesdon Manor, from The Red Book, 1897; Waddesdon (National Trust) Bequest of Dorothy de Rothschild, 1988; inv. no. 54. © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor. Baron Ferdinand was named with a typical Rothschild flourish after the new Kaiser Ferdinand I of Austria and the steam railway system on the British model, the Kaiser-Ferdinand’s-Nordbahn, which was founded by his grandfather, Baron Salomon, and which was opened the year before his birth in 1838.11 He was, however, born in Paris, on 17 December 1839, as he proudly informs his readers: . . . at number 17 Rue Laffitte – my Grandfather’s house – and in the same room as that in which Napoleon III had first seen the light. After he had become Emperor, Napoleon came to inspect the former residence of Queen Hortense, and was received with much ceremony by my family.12 Ferdinand moved to England after his mother’s death, in 1860; in 1865 he married his English cousin, Evelina, and took up British citizenship. He served in Buckinghamshire as Justice of the Peace, was elected a member of the County Council; he served as High Sheriff in 1883, and was elected Liberal Member of Parliament for Aylesbury from 1885. This was in addition to his acknowledged role as a lay leader of the Jewish community of London, where he resided at 143 Piccadilly.13 Baron Ferdinand served on the General Committee for the Anglo-Jewish exhibition, held at the Royal Albert Hall in 1887, which affirmed the role of the Jewish community in English history both in the pre-Expulsion period and following the readmission under Cromwell in 1656.14 His living legacy, apart from the Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum, is the Evelina Hospital for Sick Children which he founded in Southwark in 1869 in memory of his wife and unborn son. In founding the hospital – which was remodelled in 1999 and is now the second largest provider of children’s services in London – Baron Ferdinand was true to his caste, as support for medical and nursing services in the community was a strong Rothschild trait, especially in the Frankfurt/Vienna branch.15 Baron Ferdinand is also remembered for his creation of Waddesdon Manor, the estate in the Vale of Aylesbury – one of seven Rothschild estates in the area by 1900 – which he bought at auction in 1874 from the Duke of Marlborough on coming into his inheritance.16 He accumulated a spectacular art collection there, which is now shown to the public with other Rothschild collections that arrived in the house with successive owners.17 In 2015 a new gallery in the British Museum, funded by the Rothschild Foundation, drew renewed attention to the Kunstkammer of medieval and Renaissance treasures which Baron Ferdinand left at his death in 1898 to the British Museum.18 Originally displayed in the New Smoking Room at Waddesdon, it was known as ‘The Waddesdon Bequest’ according to the terms of Ferdinand’s will, and was immediately acknowledged to be different and distinctive on its arrival at the British Museum, not least in being a separate legal entity with its own character and identity within the museum.19 Charles Hercules Read, who curated and catalogued the collection for the British Museum on its arrival, justified this somewhat defensively in the Preface to his catalogue, published in 1902: The separation of bequests or individual collections is . . . contrary to the principles that should govern all museums, and adds somewhat to the labours of the student. There are, however, some compensating advantages. Taste in collecting is very apt to be subject to the fashion of the time, and a collection made at a given period, if kept together, illustrates contemporary fashions better than if it were dispersed into its several classes.20 This collection, as Read acknowledged, is very much about fashion, something which Baron Ferdinand himself emphasized in an article on collecting and the art market: newly-formed collections are generally more accessible in their new homes than in their former secluded retreats. They contribute, not a little, to dignify their new residence; they attract the more enlightened and intelligent portions of society, who, in their turn, attract the fashionable throng. Thus brilliant gatherings are formed which have beneficent influence on the tone and conditions of society at large, and may lead to the social and political development of a future age . . . and when they become absorbed into some public institution, which then becomes their alma mater, they act as a safeguard against mediocrity by affording a standard of excellence; they serve as inspiring models to the rising geniuses of the day; kindle generous impulses of imitation and emulation, cultivate and refine the masses, besides giving them a gratuitous lesson in history.21 Like all Rothschilds, Baron Ferdinand had an innate understanding of the importance of family culture. In the unpublished Reminiscences, written in 1887, he reflected on his family’s beginnings in Frankfurt. The free imperial city within the Holy Roman Empire had, since 1462, established a Jewish quarter under ‘protection’ in exchange for cash. The population grew with Frankfurt’s role as a centre for money-changing and trade fairs, which drew Jews to manage credit transactions, along with other traders including the first Rothschild.22 The Jews in the Judengasse lived highly restricted lives: Frankfurt advertised its inherent antisemitism with an obscene bit of graffiti, the Judensau, on the Old Bridge Tower which was, as Goethe noted, ‘not the product of private hostility, but erected as a public monument.’23 It was destroyed in the wake of the French revolutionary bombardment of Frankfurt of 1796 in which many houses in the Judengasse were damaged; residence restrictions on Jews began to loosen thereafter and their legal status improved under Napoleon. This is the context for Baron Ferdinand’s musings: Much has been written about the early history of our house, but most of the tales which have obtained general credence are either garbled or altogether fictitious. It has been asserted, for instance, that our surname only dates from the Napoleonic invasion of Germany, when the Jewish inhabitants of Frankfort were obliged by the Emperor (in 1808) to assume a surname, a custom they had not hitherto followed. On passing through Frankfort recently, however, my attention was drawn to a sale of rare books, and I was shown some catalogues of old coins dated 1754–5 and signed ‘A. M.Rothshild’. This disposes of one popular fallacy.24 Baron Ferdinand was right that his family name predated the Napoleonic invasion, but the mail order antiquities business founded by his great-grandfather Mayer Amschel (1744–1812) in the Frankfurt Judengasse was established only in 1764. In 1765 Crown Prince Wilhelm, the future Landgrave of Hesse recorded in his accounts a payment of ‘38 gulden 30 kreuzer to Jew Mayer for medals’, which must refer to Mayer Amschel, four years before he was appointed Court Factor in 1769.25 This was the beginning of the family’s astonishing rise to prosperity. The first recorded volume of a series of annual mail order catalogues dates from 1770, and in the 1778 Commercial Register Mayer is the only Jewish coin dealer listed in Frankfurt.26 On 29 August 1770 he married Gutle, daughter of Wolf Salomon Schnapper, the wealthy Court Factor to the Prince of Saxe-Meiningen.27 The marriage brought a dowry of 2,400 gulden and connections: in his own words, he was now ready to ‘make his fortune in Frankfurt’.28 His catalogue of 1783 trumpets him as ‘Court Factor to the Lofty Prince of Hesse-Hanau’ and advertises not only ‘beautiful coins’ but ‘Ancient Rarities and Antiques’.29 Profits from the mail order business financed Mayer’s move into banking in the early 1790s. He also sold his share in the house in which the family had lived from 1634 and acquired an apartment in one of the largest houses in the Judengasse, ‘zum grünen Schild’, the Green Shield, in 1787.30 Baron Ferdinand’s great-grandmother, Gutle, continued to live there to the end of her long life. Her tenacity and fierce spirit was the butt of cartoons and anecdotes in the European press, though there was also a degree of admiration for her asceticism as expressed by Ludwig Börne: ‘Look, there she lives, in that little house . . . and has no wish, despite the world-wide sovereignty exercised by her royal sons, to leave her hereditary little castle in the Jewish quarter.’31 Baron Ferdinand recalled visiting her there as a child in much the same terms: My great-grandmother died in it (the Green Shield House), a centenarian, in 1849, and though she long survived her husband, and her sons and daughters were living amid luxurious surroundings, she abided all her life in the small, dingy dwelling in fulfilment of a promise to her husband that she would never leave the home of their youth. I can still see her, resting on a couch in her dark little sitting-room, folded in a thick white shawl, her deeply-furrowed face enclosed in a full and heavily-ribboned white cap, and a genial smile beaming from her bright eyes as she bade me partake of some favourite small aniseed cakes.32 The house opened as a family museum in the 1860s; C. E. Mylius made painted copies of the famous photograph of it in 1869, which circulated among the family into the 1880s.33 In 1884 the house was dismant led, rebuilt and extended when the eastern end of the Judengasse was condemned. The street in which it stood was then renamed the Börnestraße in 1885. The carefully-restored building behind its new façade was a monument to Rothschild history and legend, a parallel to the restored Goethe House in Frankfurt as part of the city’s identity.34 Baron Ferdinand explained: The first street to be doomed by the present mania for sanitation and improvement was the old ‘Jew’s Street’; which, in former times was closed at night with heavy chains, no Jew being permitted to leave it after dark. This house of my ancestors, alone, has been respected, but as it stood in the way when the street was being pulled down to be widened, it was carefully taken to pieces to be re-erected farther back. It now looks strangely incongruous beside its new and gaudy neighbours . . . Though outwardly one house, it is really divided into two, only one half having been inhabited by my ancestors.35 His account matches the tone of a letter of 14 March 1889 written by Louise, Baroness Mayer Carl, to her niece, Blanche Lindsay: The Jews’ Street, where it (the house) stood has, I am glad to say, been pulled down, for it was a horrid narrow dirty place, but the Rothschilds’ house has been built up as it used to be. My grandmother never would leave it, and said it was good enough for her husband and therefore good enough for her.36 Mayer Amschel’s spartan spirit is demonstrated by his tombstone of 1812, which survives in the south-western corner of the Jewish cemetery in Battonstraße in Frankfurt. Baron Ferdinand mentions ‘the tombstones in the local cemetery’ – that is Battonstraße – in his Reminiscences of 1897, and clearly knew them.37 Mayer Amschel’s gravestone was moved to the Rat-Beil Straße cemetery to escape destruction by the Nazis in 1938, before being moved back again after 1945.38 It was restored for the 250th anniversary of Mayer Amschel’s birth in 1994.39 It stood next to that of his ancestor Isaak Elchanan Rothschild (died 1585) with its emblem of a red shield denoting his house, known as ‘zum roten Schild’, built in 1567 at the southern end of the Judengasse. Mayer Amschel’s gravestone lacks a house sign, recording only his name, date of death and burial and the name of his father in Hebrew.40 Tombstones prompted Baron Ferdinand to think about family origins: From what I have been told by a trustworthy authority who has studied the tombstones in the local cemetery, I have warrant for assuming that my family had already settled at Frankfurt in the beginning of the sixteenth century; but how long they had then been settled there, or whether, and when, they had hailed from Roskilde, or whether, as I am half inclined to believe, they were descended from a tribe of Slavs from the south of Russia, who as stated by Gibbon, embraced Judaism long before the conversion of Russia to Christianity and afterwards migrated north and west, are hypotheses which will probably never be proved.41 He also wondered when the family surname stuck and why: Then again, it has been said that we took our surname from the town of Roskilde in Denmark, where my family is supposed to have originally lived. For my part, I should say that my ancestors derived their name from the red shield – in German, Rothschild – which hung over the door of their house in Frankfort. This shield served the office of a sign at a time when houses were not yet numbered, and when Jews, as a rule, had no surnames, and they adopted it as their crest in 1819 [sic] when they were ennobled by the Emperor of Austria.42 The red shield does indeed feature at the centre of the family arms in the patent of nobility granted in 1822, when the Rothschilds became barons of the Austrian empire.43 It is at this point in his narrative that Baron Ferdinand launches into an account of Mayer Amschel’s relationship with the Elector of Hesse, and how Nathan heard of the victory at Waterloo before the British government. Ferdinand was quietly proud of Mayer Amschel, ‘the virtual founder of our house’; of the reputation of his grandfather, Salomon, as ‘the Vienna Rothschild’; and of his mother’s descent from Nathan, ‘the head of our London house’ who was ‘already called “a pillar of the Exchange” before the Battle of Waterloo.’44 It was Baron Ferdinand’s grandfather, Baron Salomon von Rothschild (1774–1855) who founded the Viennese branch of the Rothschild bank, and, in 1844, a family archive. Carefully catalogued as ‘e.1’ was the document appointing Mayer Amschel Court Agent to the Elector of Hesse.45 Salomon inscribed a leather-bound index to the archive: the records in this register, together with the register itself, are, for all time, to be held in the safekeeping of my dear son, Baron Anselm Salomon von Rothschild, and thereafter in the archives of the entailed estate of his successors, in perpetual remembrance by these descendants of their ancestors. This is the firm and certain intent of the undersigned Baron Salomon Mayer von Rothschild, 20 October 1844. 46 Baron Salomon or his son Baron Anselm, Ferdinand’s father, is thought to have commissioned a pair of paintings from Moritz Oppenheim in 1859, which serve as a visual parallel to the family archive.47 The pictures illustrate two important episodes in the family mythology, to which Baron Ferdinand referred in his family Reminiscences: [Mayer Amschel] was as trustworthy as he was able, and at the time of the French invasion of Germany, the Elector placed all his valuables and securities in his keeping. Mayer died, as has been said, in 1812, before the termination of the war, and when peace had been concluded, his sons, who were carrying on the affairs of the firm, were called upon by the Elector for the return of his fortune. To his delight they restored it, not merely in its entirety, but with accumulated interest.48 Oppenheim’s first painting shows the visit of the Elector Wilhelm I of Hesse to Mayer Amschel in the Judengasse in Frankfurt to deposit his treasure, after Wilhelm’s lands were annexed by Napoleon and he was forced into exile in 1806. The second painting shows the Elector reclaiming his wealth, with the widowed Gutle and her five sons, including Salomon, handing it all back from trunks.49 Both paintings were copied and distributed to advertise the probity of the Rothschilds as bankers. A pair was given to Queen Mary by Leopold de Rothschild in 1910.50 Baron Salomon founded the family archive the year after he was awarded honorary citizenship of Vienna in 1843 and the right to acquire real estate. He was the first Jew to receive this honour in a famously snobbish and anti-Semitic city where, as the prejudiced visitor Frances Trollope put it in the 1830s, bankers were ‘unadmitted and inadmissible in the higher circles’.51 Salomon’s original archive includes business papers of Mayer Amschel, family and property documents, awards and titles, gifts and foundations with letters of thanks, all of which are listed in the same hand.52 Seen in the context of Rothschild concern about their social status in a post-Napoleonic world order, certain letters preserved in the Rothschild Archive take on great significance, such as Amschel Mayer’s letter written on 11 March 1817 to his brother James in Paris on how he has bought a garden in Frankfurt on the Boeckenheimer Landstraße: ‘as soon as one Jew has a garden, all the Jews will have a garden and when one becomes a Baron, they will all become Barons.’53 Baron Ferdinand’s letter recalled how Count Metternich, a friend of his grandfather, had entertained his parents at dinner by reading them passages from his memoirs, demonstrating the family’s acceptance into Viennese high society and politics.54 Baron Anselm carefully documented their new status in the set of wedding plates in Bonn porcelain which he commissioned for his son, Baron Ferdinand’s, wedding in Vienna to his English cousin, Evelina in 1865. One plate is painted with the arms of Prince Wittgenstein, another bears the arms of E. Prinz Radziwill, with their names and titles inscribed on the reverses.55 In settling into his mother’s country, England, Baron Ferdinand brought with him his quiet sense of pride in his family’s standing. His sense of dynastic status was puzzling to English observers, with their xenophobia and strong sense of caste. One of these was Edward Hamilton (1847–1908), senior Treasury official and former Secretary to Gladstone. Hamilton confided in his diary shortly after Ferdinand’s death, after a sharp analysis of his friend’s virtues, failings and foibles: ‘He was proud of his race and of his family and liked talking about his predecessors as if he had an illustrious ancestry of the bluest of bloods.’56 Hamilton implied that Baron Ferdinand was mistaken in regarding the Rothschilds as equals to the British royal family; as what his mother-in-law dubbed in 1871 ‘the Caucasian Royal Family’.57 The entry of the English Rothschilds into aristocratic and royal society, with Queen Victoria’s visit to Waddesdon and her visit to Alice Rothschild at Grasse, did not involve losing their Jewish identity.58 In the words of the Daily Telegraph, by making his bequest to the nation, as ‘a Jew by birth and religion, an alien by origin . . . he (Baron Ferdinand) identified himself with the interests and welfare of England’.59 Given Ferdinand’s proud but fairly private sense of his Jewish inheritance, it is intriguing that there should be so few objects within the Waddesdon Bequest (let alone at Waddesdon Manor) which document it in any direct way. An exception is the silver vase set with enamel plaques now shown at Waddesdon, which was presented by the Frankfurt bank to Amschel Mayer and his wife as a 50th wedding anniversary present in 1846 (Fig. 2). Apparently made after a design by Oppenheimer, two of the enamel plaques contrast the Green Shield house in the Jewish quarter, where the couple had married in 1796, with the splendid villa and English garden on his estate on the Boeckenheimer Landstraße, of which Mayer Amschel was so proud.60 The vase exemplifies the sense of Jewish emancipation and the role of the Rothschilds within it – as individuals, and as a banking dynasty. Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide Unknown goldsmith, Commemoration Vase, 1846; silver, enamel and hardstones; 34.5 x 15.5 cm; Private Collection; inv. no. 57.1995. Photograph Richard Valencia © National Trust, Waddesdon Manor. Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide Unknown goldsmith, Commemoration Vase, 1846; silver, enamel and hardstones; 34.5 x 15.5 cm; Private Collection; inv. no. 57.1995. Photograph Richard Valencia © National Trust, Waddesdon Manor. The Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum is strongly historicist in character, in that it links the Rothschilds through largely Renaissance court objects with European and British history and identity. The Judaica establishes a European Jewish identity in fascinating ways.61 The most important piece of Judaica is the Pressburg Cup of c.1600, which, according to a Hebrew inscription on its lip, was used by the Burial Society of Pressburg (Poszony in Hungarian and now Bratislava, capital of Slovakia) in the eighteenth century (Fig. 3). Finding the intellectual and historical context for this cup has proved difficult, since there are so few pieces with which it can be compared. It was more usual for burial societies to commission cups in silver with the names of their members engraved on the sides, but the earliest surviving examples are dated 1711 and 1722. The Pressburg Cup, by contrast, may have belonged to a Jewish family for some time before it was put to use by the Society, or may have been acquired specially for the purpose as an impressively heavy cup, and engraved in 1739–40. Either way, the Rothschilds, as observant Jews, could interpret the Hebrew inscription and understand the importance of the cup as a document for European Jewish identity. How they acquired it is still unknown – perhaps as bullion through the banking trade. Among the contents of Baron Salomon’s family archive are letters of thanks from Jewish communities throughout the Austrian empire – Brunn (Brno), Pressburg (Bratislava), Ofen and Pest (Budapest) and Rechnitz – in thanks for Salomon’s philanthropy in the field of social welfare between 1842 and 1844. Salomon’s benefactions aimed to allay envy and animosity at the family’s rise and to secure civil rights for Jews (a concession that was finally made in 1864) as well as fulfilling the central Jewish tenet of Zedekah (benefaction).62 One wonders if some of the objects in the Bequest – the Pressburg Cup and the Deblín Cup for instance, both of which were listed in Baron Anselm’s collection by 1866 – might have derived from Salomon’s contacts with and visits to these grateful communities in the 1840s.63 Fig. 3. View largeDownload slide The Pressburg Cup, silver-gilt, marked for Hans Petzolt, Nuremberg c.1600; inscribed in Hebrew for the Burial Society of Pressburg [Bratislava] in 1740, height: 56.5 cm. The Waddesdon Bequest, inv. no. wb.104. © British Museum. Fig. 3. View largeDownload slide The Pressburg Cup, silver-gilt, marked for Hans Petzolt, Nuremberg c.1600; inscribed in Hebrew for the Burial Society of Pressburg [Bratislava] in 1740, height: 56.5 cm. The Waddesdon Bequest, inv. no. wb.104. © British Museum. There was an established tradition by which Jewish communities or Court Jews gave suitably historic pieces to princely rulers for their Kunstkammern, a tradition that went back to the late sixteenth century.64 They recognized these pieces as having a worth that was separate from their bullion value. Silver was of course useful to communities on the move: it is portable and small in scale, and it can easily be converted into cash. Beyond these intensely practical concerns, various surviving objects and their recorded provenances suggest that old German plate had high status among German Jewry from the eighteenth century. Whether this was part of a general historicist sentiment about old silver and giving it a ritual use shared by the wider Christian community is not clear, but what is certain is that Jews were intensely involved in the buying and trading of silver, as recorded by Nuremberg goldsmiths in 1706.65 A silver ewer and basin marked for Jeremias Wild in Augsburg in the 1590s has a coat of arms engraved on each piece, but the set appears to have been acquired for the Jewish community in Prague as ritual vessels for use as a Levite service, possibly in the seventeenth century.66 A silver beaker marked for Georgius Renner, who was made a master goldsmith in Hermannstadt in 1626, was later engraved with a Hebrew inscription recording that it belonged to the Jewish Burial Society in Alt-Ofen (Obuda) in 1764–5. Another inscription records that it was later sold to raise funds ‘and immediately donated to be given to the above-named (burial society) on the day of his death for burial fees, and that it was given by his heirs on the 7th of Adar [5]563 (1803)’.67 When, around 1711–12, the members of the Worms burial society donated a wine cup to their synagogue, they chose an old silver cup, made in Nuremberg around 1650, rather than a new one. In 1732, they added a plaque which was prominently set on to the lid proclaiming that they had restored the piece so as to make ‘a new flask from the old’ with funds ‘from their own pockets’.68 Two important silver-gilt cups from around 1600–40 are prominently engraved with Hebrew initials for later owners – possibly in the eighteenth century, judging by the script; one of them was later recorded in the collection of Baron Ferdinand’s brother, Nathaniel, in Vienna in 1885.69 The tradition of giving old silver plate a new significance within the Jewish community continued into the nineteenth century. A silver beaker with busts of Roman emperors in relief, probably made in Halle in the late seventeenth century, was inscribed around the lip in Hebrew in 1804 with a presentation inscription, perhaps within a burial society, which suggests that the society was adapting the iconography of the Caesars for its own purposes: ‘From the council of seven called ones [probably the Gaboim of the city] wine and life to the mouth of the Admor [master]’.70 Were these pieces that had long been in the hands of Jewish families and passed down the generations, or were they pieces recently acquired as bullion through banking or pawn and then donated to burial societies, other Jewish groups or synagogues?71 Paintings from the early nineteenth century take this involvement with historic German plate further. Two paintings, one by Ferdinand’s mother Baroness Charlotte von Rothschild, and the other by her art teacher and the Rothschild court painter Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, demonstrate the status of old German plate within Frankfurt Jewry in the 1830s. The first is Baroness Charlotte’s portrait of herself with Anselm and their first two children and their nanny in the year before Ferdinand’s birth, 1838. In a cupboard at the right is the nucleus of the silver that was to become the Waddesdon Bequest, with recognizable representations of one of the Tucher cups and of the Bacchus seated on a barrel.72 This painting gives a firm place within Rothschild family history to specific pieces of silver now in the Waddesdon Bequest. The second painting is Oppenheim’s picture, The Return of the Volunteer from the Wars of Liberation to his Family still Living in Accordance with Old Customs (Die Heimkehr des Freiwilligen aus den Befreiungskriegen zu den nach alter Sitte lebenden Seinen), which dates from 1833–4 (Fig. 4). The painting presents a Jewish volunteer in around 1815 who has fought to defend Germany from Napoleon’s armies – and wears the Iron Cross. The Sabbath meal takes place in a highly-detailed interior in which contemporary Biedermeier furniture mingles with Jewish silver ritual objects in the style of the seventeenth or eighteenth century on the walls and ceiling. The painting represents something new and different as a depiction of a Jewish subject by a Jewish artist, suggesting a shift in mood within the Jewish community.73 Beneath the silver Sabbath lamp, at the centre of the picture and isolated on a white linen cloth, is a silver-gilt standing cup. Its form and proportions as well as its ornamentation suggest that it is taken from a German sixteenth- or early seventeenth-century German cup, and it resembles in its form and proportions one of the Tucher cups in the Waddesdon Bequest, which were made in Nuremberg in 1568.74 In 1842 Ferdinand’s mother, Charlotte, illuminated a Haggadah manuscript under Oppenheim’s instruction as a gift for her uncle Amschel Mayer von Rothschild of Frankfurt. Oppenheim recorded: I designed the subjects for it, which she carried out in the style of old missals. To this end she obtained from Paris, not without considerable expense, manuscripts illuminated with miniatures. [Eliezer Sussman von] Meseritsch, at that time the best Jewish calligrapher, inscribed the text, and this manuscript certainly cost the Baroness several thousand gulden.75 Fig. 4. View largeDownload slide Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (1800–1882), Return of the Volunteer from the Wars of Liberation to his Family still Living in Accordance with Old Customs, 1833–1834. New York, The Jewish Museum. Oil on canvas, 34 x 37 in (86.2 x 94.0 cm). Gift of Richard and Beatrice Levy, 1984-61. Photograph John Parnell, 2017. © Photo The Jewish Museum/Art Resource/Scala, Florence. Fig. 4. View largeDownload slide Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (1800–1882), Return of the Volunteer from the Wars of Liberation to his Family still Living in Accordance with Old Customs, 1833–1834. New York, The Jewish Museum. Oil on canvas, 34 x 37 in (86.2 x 94.0 cm). Gift of Richard and Beatrice Levy, 1984-61. Photograph John Parnell, 2017. © Photo The Jewish Museum/Art Resource/Scala, Florence. Charlotte herself says in the preamble to the manuscript that she herself ‘found and drew’ the pictures. The style is that of the High Renaissance around 1500, with bold colours and classical architectural borders with moresques and fictive jewels. Charlotte’s model has recently been identified as the Book of Hours of Frederick III of Aragon of 1501–4, which had been acquired by the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris in 1828.76 At the heart of the Haggadah is a romanticized Seder scene, with women and men in vaguely sixteenth-century dress, which is signed with Charlotte’s initials (Fig. 5). On the table are shown distinctively seventeenth-century silver-gilt beakers on ball feet, and more generalized standing cups typical of a Rothschild collection in the 1840s. Both Charlotte and her teacher were eager to promote a similar historicist view of Jewish history and tradition; a symbiosis of Jewish and German cultural identity. The Crémieux Cup, which was commissioned from Oppenheim by Charlotte Rothschild (wife of Lionel) in 1840 after the ‘Damascus Affair’ in Frankfurt, represents a similar fusion of influences and ideals, and identifies the Rothschilds with German history, progress and the cause of Jewish emancipation.77 Fig. 5. View largeDownload slide Seder scene in Passover Haggadah, with German translation [Frankfurt?], copied on parchment by Eliezer Sussman von Mezeritsch, decorated by Charlotte von Rothschild, 1842, p. 42. © Braginsky Collection, Zurich. bcb_314_042.,.20. 20.8 x 19.0 cm. Photography Ardon Bar-Hama, Ra’anana, Israel. Fig. 5. View largeDownload slide Seder scene in Passover Haggadah, with German translation [Frankfurt?], copied on parchment by Eliezer Sussman von Mezeritsch, decorated by Charlotte von Rothschild, 1842, p. 42. © Braginsky Collection, Zurich. bcb_314_042.,.20. 20.8 x 19.0 cm. Photography Ardon Bar-Hama, Ra’anana, Israel. Oppenheim was well-acquainted with old silver: as Baron Ferdinand recounted, he was his father, Baron Anselm’s, agent and preferred dealer in forming his collection in his Frankfurt years. As Baron Ferdinand recalled: In those days there were no curiosity dealers in Frankfurt worthy of the name, but his work took the Professor into many private houses, where he occasionally discovered and picked up a fine old German cup, which he then brought to my father. I cannot describe the joy I felt when he unpacked some quaint Nuremberg or Augsburg tankard, or the figure of a man, a lion or a stag, which was weighed and bought by the weight. Oh! For those good old days when the artistic merit of a cup was of no account to its possessor, and he merely valued it according to the number of ounces it contained!78 Baron Ferdinand’s pride in recalling ‘a fine old German cup’ indicates the kind of idealized patriotism as well as the aesthetic appreciation which this type of silver evoked for a Rothschild sensitive to history. Similar sentiments are expressed in Oppenheim’s painting with its proto-nationalist message about German and German-Jewish identity. The French invasion had allowed the Rothschilds to develop a sentimentality about their origins in Frankfurt, much as the same invasion had allowed Germans to develop a stronger sense of patriotism: the two sentiments developed in parallel.79 What might be called Judaica in the collections of Baron Ferdinand’s branch of the family had its fate decided under the terms of Baron Anselm Rothschild’s will at his death in 1874. Anselm divided the bulk of his art collections between his two sons, Baron Ferdinand and his elder brother, Baron Nathaniel, in Vienna. Baron Ferdinand wrote to his uncle, Lionel, on 15 August about the division: ‘a few curiosities are left to Salbert [a third brother, Salomon Albert], but the greater part are to be divided between Natty and myself in two lots.’80 Little is known about Nathaniel’s collection and his post-mortem inventory from 1905 does not appear to have survived. We have, however, his Notes on some of my Works of Art which he published in Vienna in 1903: These pages contain explanatory information about those of my works of art for which it was possible for me to ascertain the name of the artist or the work’s provenance. I do not deal here with objects for which I have no information or which do not yield their secrets with visual examination.81 Among the 239 pieces are two important items of family Judaica. The most important is the last, the Rothschild Talmud Bava Kamma, concerned with monetary laws, written by Amschel Mayer Rothschild in the Frankfurt Jewish quarter in 1721–2 and handed down within the family. Baron Nathaniel transcribes the inscriptions recording five generations of ownership with an explanatory family tree: his and Baron Ferdinand’s father, Baron Anselm, had received it at his bar mitzvah in 1816.82 Nathaniel mentioned among other works in gold and silver a Jewish ring of a kind long considered (without documentary evidence from the rabbinic discourse) to be a wedding ring: A gold ring with decoration in the form of a gable, decorated with enamelled ornament, inside the construction are two Hebrew letters which are abbreviations for Good Luck. With this ring my great-grandmother Gudula Rothschild was married in 1770, a fact which in order to avoid confusion with two other similar rings in my collection I have had marked on the inside.83 The combination of the gable architectonic form, the enamelling and the inscription mazal tov identifies Nathaniel’s ring as belonging to a well-known type of which many examples survive in public and private collections. They used to be considered Renaissance and Venetian, which evoked romance for generations of collectors. They can still be the focus of family memory in the twenty-first century, which makes them even harder to place. One, in a private collection in New York, is at the heart of a novel written by the owner.84 Another was given in 2003 to the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaisme in Paris in honour of Baroness Élie de Rothschild.85 The ring in Nathaniel’s collection was thought to be a Rothschild relic. Its present location – if it survives at all – is unknown. Baron Ferdinand inherited one Jewish ‘marriage ring’ of a different type from his father, Baron Anselm, in 1874, which had been catalogued in his collection in Vienna in 1866. It takes the form of a plain band with raised edges and applied ornament with the Creation of Adam and Eve, the Expulsion and the Fall, and is almost certainly nineteenth-century in date.86 Baron Ferdinand added to the collection a ring with a gabled building amid bosses of filigree with enamelled flowers (Fig. 6). There are three further examples of this type in the British Museum, all part of a comprehensive collection of Jewish ‘marriage rings’ bequeathed by Augustus Wollaston Franks in 1897, the year before the Bequest arrived in the Museum.87 Rings of this type are now thought to be modern, made after 1700 and probably in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century.88 They fall into two broad groups: those with an architectural construction on the bezel, with filigree and enamel; and those with bands of applied ornament, and both groups are usually given a broad date range of ‘sixteenth to seventeenth century’.89 Attributions vary widely: some are attributed to Italy, especially Venice, which is surprising given the Hebrew inscriptions inside them which would seem to belong to Ashkenazi rather than to Sephardic tradition. Attributions have also been made to southern Germany or Central and Eastern Europe into the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.90 The filigree technique can be compared with goldsmiths’ work from Transylvania and Hungary, as first suggested by Beatriz Chadour in 1994.91 A fascinating reference to a certain ‘Baron Rothschild’ in the 1850s as being interested in Transylvanian goldsmiths’ work mentions his employing a Hermannstadt goldsmith and jeweller, Hugo Lüdecke, as his agent in supplying pieces. Could a rare treasure like the Transylvanian bowl in the Waddesdon Bequest have been acquired through similar networks?92 Fig. 6. View largeDownload slide A group of gold, enamelled and gem-set rings from the Waddesdon Bequest: clockwise from left: gabled enamelled gold Jewish ‘wedding ring’, memento mori fede ring, Garden of Eden Jewish ‘wedding ring’, ring with cameo of a black African, pierced heart fede ring and foiled signet ring, sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. Waddesdon Bequest, wb.195,199,196,200, 197,198. © British Museum. Fig. 6. View largeDownload slide A group of gold, enamelled and gem-set rings from the Waddesdon Bequest: clockwise from left: gabled enamelled gold Jewish ‘wedding ring’, memento mori fede ring, Garden of Eden Jewish ‘wedding ring’, ring with cameo of a black African, pierced heart fede ring and foiled signet ring, sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. Waddesdon Bequest, wb.195,199,196,200, 197,198. © British Museum. All rings of this type seem to be later, more highly decorated versions of the few Jewish rings that are recorded from medieval treasure hoards, though we know nothing about the original role and function – if any – that architectural rings may have had in Jewish marriage ritual. Medieval marriage ceremonies incorporated two stages, betrothal (erusin) followed a year later by marriage (nissuin). A betrothal ring was a key gift as part of the ritual that marked the marriage, and the traditional Hebrew words spoken at Ashkenazi weddings, mazal tov, were engraved on the ring.93 One ring from the medieval hoard at Erfurt takes the form of a temple, hexagonal in plan, with Hebrew characters engraved on the pyramidal roof, engraved with mazal tov.94 The hexagonal form suggests that the inspiration might be the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, which was regarded as the Temple by the fourteenth century.95 A pyramidal ring from the Colmar treasure, deposited before 1348, is similarly inscribed.96 A third gabled ring with Hebrew inscription from the Weissenfels treasure, which was deposited after 1310 and probably dates from before 1348–9, was found in 1826.97 All three rings date to the early fourteenth century. A further ring of this type was inventoried in the Munich Kunstkammer in 1598 as part of the earlier collection of Albrecht V – evidence of the humanist interest in Judaism.98 We do not know when the later, gabled form of ring like Baron Nathaniel’s and Baron Ferdinand’s was produced, or where. Octavius Morgan questioned their status in 1871: There are certain large rings which are broad and much ornamented in the hoop, and have, by way of a bezel, a small house, temple or tabernacle projecting from them. They are generally called Jewish marriage rings and usually have a Hebrew inscription upon them meaning, I am told, God be with us. I have been very credibly informed that no such rings are used in the Jewish marriage ceremony; and I should esteem it a favour if anyone can inform me whether they are really Jewish marriage rings or not, and whether they are, or were, ever used in the Jewish marriage ceremony. If they were used in former times, when that usage ceased? And if they are not used at such marriage, what is their use and meaning? The universal Hebrew inscription seems to favour such an idea.99 Morgan may have been wrongly-informed about the Hebrew inscription, but he was justly concerned about the status and significance of this type of ring. Nine examples lacking provenances are in in the Jewish Museum in London, displayed with a wedding belt decorated with cast metal plaques showing gable rings.100 Seven more were acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1871 from Edmund Waterton (1830–1881), a Catholic antiquary.101 He wrote about this type in the 1862 South Kensington Loan Exhibition: some are curiously ornamented with filigree and enamel; and they all have the inscription, in Hebrew, maul toub, God be with you. These rings are made for the use of the synagogue, where they serve in the celebration of the marriage ceremony, being placed on the finger of the couple at a certain part of the rite.102 Jewish ‘marriage rings’ were exhibited with other Judaica at the Trocadéro in Paris in 1878 as part of the collection of Isaac Strauss (1806–1888).103 Nineteen rings were acquired as part of the Strauss collection and given to the Musée de Cluny in 1890 by Baron Ferdinand’s aunt, Charlotte, Baroness Nathaniel de Rothschild (1825–1899).104 This was the first Jewish collection to be given to a national institution in France, just four years before the outbreak of the Dreyfus Affair, and it represented a foundation gift to which other Rothschilds added similar Jewish goldsmiths’ work from 1893 to 2003.105 There is little doubt that Jewish ‘marriage rings’ suddenly seem to have appeared in quantity on the art market in the nineteenth century just at the moment when serious collectors – including Jews – started to show an interest in Judaica in the 1880s and 1890s.106 A sense of their perceived value appears in a letter of 22 October 1896 from the collector Max Rosenheim to Franks at the British Museum, asking for a valuation for a Jewish ‘wedding ring’ which he had previously shown Franks but which had been stolen from his house. Rosenheim valued it for insurance at £20: . . . but the Co[mpany] want proof as regards cost or value. The ring having been in our own family for I don’t know how long I could not give them any proof as regards cost or value, but as I had shewn it to you, Sir Wollaston, and Mr Griffith some time last year I thought you might perhaps remember it and write me a note stating that you considered my valuation of £;20 correct – or not –.107 Rosenheim continued with a description of the ring, which had a turret (drawn in the letter) studded with lions’ heads holding small rings in their mouths; the turret opened to reveal ‘some Hebrew inscription’. The letter shows the importance of these rings to Jewish collectors as objects that carried an ancient tradition with them but which also had a value on the contemporary art market. A particularly highly-decorated enamelled ring from the Pierpont Morgan collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a fascinating provenance documenting this new taste in the second half of the nineteenth century. The ring belonged to Johannes Paul in Cologne, and appeared in the sale of his collection on 20 October 1882 (no. 788); it was then acquired in 1904 by Baron Albert von Oppenheim, a Protestant convert from a powerful Jewish merchant family in Cologne; then acquired by M. J. Seligmann, in 1906; and finally sold to Morgan, who retained it until it was given to the Metropolitan Museum in 1917.108 The fashion for these rings probably derived from the interest shown in Jewish women – especially brides in wedding costume – by Orientalist artists from the 1830s to 1850s. Eugène Delacroix, recorded in his diary for 21 February 1832 how he had been introduced by his Jewish interpreter in Tangiers to the latter’s daughter, and had painted her in her bridal finery.109 Chassériau witnessed a wedding in Constantine, Algeria in 1846, and painted it in 1851.110 Both paintings emphasise dress, rings, bracelets and necklaces. The Frankfurt Jewish painter Moritz Daniel Oppenheim’s painting of a Jewish wedding, painted in 1861, celebrates an idealized view of life in the Frankfurt Judengasse: the wedding is shown taking place outside the synagogue there. Again, the ring takes centre stage, and both bride and groom wear heavy belts ornamented with gold.111 The ring in Oppenheim’s painting is of plain gold. That accords with the exhaustive account of Frankfurt Ashkenazi wedding customs given by Johann Jacob Schudt in 1714.112 It is clear from a close reading of the text – which is extremely detailed concerning the series of rituals surrounding Jewish betrothals and marriages – that only a plain gold ring, without enamelling or gems, was used, and that checking on the quality and suitability of the ring was an integral part of the marriage service. No mention is made in the text of rings with gables, enamel and filigree, though the inscription mazal tov is mentioned in connection with rings. One of the few documented Jewish wedding rings from this period is a completely plain gold band which was used at a Sephardic ceremony on 13 April 1699 at the Bevis Marks synagogue in London. The inscription in Hebrew on the inside records that Joshua and Judith Sarfaty were married in 1699. ‘Good luck. Joshua and Judith Tsarfathi. May their Rock and Redeemer guard them. 1699.’113 We have no documentary evidence that the so-called Jewish ‘marriage rings’ with enamelled gables were ever used as such. What no-one has noticed until now concerning the Waddesdon Bequest ring is that there are small loops on the hoop which indicate that this ring was adapted as a pendant, like one formerly in the Benjamin Zucker collection and now in another private collection in New York114 (Fig. 7). The formerly Zucker example is quite possibly seventeenth- or eighteenth-century but was later adapted: two stages of work can be detected in its making. The presence of an Austrian tax mark which was in use between 1806 and 1824 provides a terminus ante quem for this type of ring.115 Another example, also with the tell-tale loops, which was bequeathed by Franks in 1897, is in the British Museum.116 A clue to the dating of these rings worn as pendants – or at least the vogue for them in Jewish circles – is provided by the very similar pendant shown being worn by the Frankfurt socialist and feminist Bertha Pappenheim (1859–1936), in a late nineteenth-century portrait by Leopold Pilichowski (1869–1933). The portrait has apparently been destroyed, and is now known only from photographs.117 In the portrait Pappenheim, who was the ‘Anna O’ in Sigmund Freud’s and Marcel Breuer’s Studies in Hysteria of 1895, is shown dressed as the Jewish businesswoman and diarist, Glückel of Hameln (1646–1724), whose Yiddish diaries Pappenheim had published in Vienna in 1910.118 Pappenheim identified with Glückel, whom she described in her introduction to the diary as a woman who ‘stood out because of her unusual mental gifts, [who] was true to her faith, to her people, to her family, and to herself.’119 Pappenheim’s concept of seventeenth-century Jewish dress, complete with a pendant made like a ring, gives a fascinating historical and intellectual context for this category of historicist ring in Germany in the late nineteenth century. But might the sense of family origins and family fortunes, as expressed by Baron Ferdinand in his writings, be documented in other ways by other, non-Jewish objects in the Bequest? Did the Gnadenpfennig, or ‘medal of honour’, of Moritz ‘The Learned’ of Hesse-Kassel recall Mayer Amschel’s appointment as Court Agent to Wilhelm of Kassel in 1769, as an object which documented their debt to one of the great ruling dynasties of Europe?120 Moritz became Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel in 1592 and was married to his second wife, Juliana, in 1603. The Gnadenpfennig featuring portraits of them both can, therefore, be dated to their joint reign between 1603 and 1627.121 Moritz was the one who established the stable wing of the palace in Kassel as a museum in 1593, calling it the Kunsthaus.122 The inspiration for Rothschild Kunstkammer collecting has often been traced to the family’s relations to their patrons in Hesse-Kassel, and they can be shown to have collected in all the areas covered by the great court collections of Europe. Within Renaissance and Baroque courts these embellished portrait medals were given and received as tokens of kinship, trust and allegiance and were worn on heavy gold chains by both men and women. Moritz was free in giving out ‘innumerable numbers of golden chains, sometimes with his and his wife’s portrait’,123 including what seems to have been a Gnadenpfennig with his own portrait, like the example in the Bequest, as a favour to the English painter at his court, Francis Segar.124 Fig. 7. View largeDownload slide Jewish wedding ring with container and pendant, Central on Eastern Europe, eighteenth century. Height overall 80.03 mm; height of ring 47.61 mm; height of pendant 30.89 mm. Private collection, USA.©Les Enluminures/R.Goodbody. Fig. 7. View largeDownload slide Jewish wedding ring with container and pendant, Central on Eastern Europe, eighteenth century. Height overall 80.03 mm; height of ring 47.61 mm; height of pendant 30.89 mm. Private collection, USA.©Les Enluminures/R.Goodbody. The piece points to the origin of all Rothschild collecting in Mayer Amschel’s dealing in coins and medals from the Frankfurt Judengasse.125 Christopher de Hamel has observed how some manuscripts collected by Mayer Amschel’s grandchildren echoed his numismatic tastes in that they included illuminated borders with realistic depictions of gold and silver coins. But there are other resonances with family history and identity which may have mattered just as much. Two of these manuscripts, such as a Strozzi wedding poem of c.1503 and a Josephus History of the Jews illuminated by Attavanti Attavante for the Medici, were both commissioned by great merchant banking dynasties of Renaissance Europe. As de Hamel points out: ‘It must have been natural for Rothschilds to recognise a cultural kinship and to delight in manuscripts commissioned by their professional predecessors.’126 The same has been said of many of the finest objects in the Waddesdon Bequest – that they link the family with the merchant banking dynasties of the past as they also do with the great princely collectors of Europe, such as the Habsburgs who had ruled half of the known world in the sixteenth century. Baron Ferdinand was keenly aware, for example, that the Meit busts in his collection had belonged to Rudolf II of Prague, and that his boxwood tabernacle had the arms of Charles V incised on its leather case.127 In a Neo-Kunstkammer, in which provenance mattered, these were surely connections that conferred layers of subtlety and sophistication upon the family; what the politician Adolphe Thiers described as another way of ‘doing history’.128 When Goethe mused over the rise of the House of Rothschild in 1828, he considered it to be a matter of culture as much as wealth: in order to do something you must be something. We think Dante great, but he had a civilisation of centuries behind him; the House of Rothschild is rich but it has required more than one generation to attain such wealth. Such things all lie deeper than one thinks.129 The Gnadenpfennig of Moritz ‘The Learned’ is shown in the new British Museum gallery for the Waddesdon Bequest in connection with the role of the Kassel Kunstkammer in shaping the collecting interests of the Rothschild family. The Judaica analysed here is presented so as to demonstrate the way in which the demand for Judaica stimulated faking in the nineteenth century. The pieces point at one and the same time to the family’s Judaism, its wish to integrate with European high culture of the Renaissance, and its close links to the development of the art market in nineteenth-century Europe. The point is made discreetly, visually and almost subliminally in the gallery, in a way that is intended to match Baron Ferdinand’s sophisticated and inward-looking account of the origins of his family, its faith, and its role in the making of modern Europe. Acknowledgements I am grateful to Melanie Aspey, Beatriz Chadour-Sampson, Evelyn Cohen, Gabriel Goldstein, Judy Kelly, Sharon Liebermann Mintz, Peter Mandler, Tessa Murdoch, Beverley Nenk, Diana Scarisbrick, Birgit Schüebel, Jeremy Warren, Ulrike Weinhold, and Benjamin Zucker for commenting on aspects of this paper and providing illustrations. A private collector in New York, who wishes to remain anonymous, has also been of great assistance. Any mistakes and misinterpretations which may remain are my own. Notes and references 1 J. Berger, Portraits; John Berger on artists, ed. Tom Overton (London and New York, 2015), pp. 330–31. 2 A. Elon, Founder, Mayer Amschel Rothschild and his Time (London, 1996), pp. 89–92. 3 N. Ferguson, The World’s Banker (London, 1998), pp. 50–51. 4 Ibid, pp.170–90. 5 M. Aspey, ‘The Rothschilds and the Judengasse; new documents from the Rothschild Archive’, in The Frankfurt Judengasse. Jewish life in an early modern city, ed. F. Backhaus, G. Engel, R. Liberles and M. Schlüter (London and Portland, or, 2010), pp. 155–64, at p. 157. 6 N. MacGregor, Germany, Memories of a Nation (London, 2005), pp. 130, 519. 7 E. Antébi, Edmond de Rothschild, L’homme qui racheta la Terre Sainte (Paris, 2003), p. 39. Other colonies were named after his parents, his uncle Salomon, Ferdinand’s father, and his mother-in-law, Ferdinand’s sister, Hannah Mathilde. 8 D. Thornton, A Rothschild Renaissance; Treasures from the Waddesdon Bequest (London, 2015); Pippa Shirley and Dora Thornton, A Rothschild Renaissance: A new look, British Museum Research Publication 212 (London, 2017). 9 M. Hall, ‘Bric-à-Brac, a Rothschild’s memoir of collecting’, Apollo 166 no. 545 (2007), pp. 50–77, and D. Thornton, ‘From Waddesdon to the British Museum. Baron Ferdinand Rothschild and his cabinet collection’, Journal of the History of Collections 13 (2001), pp. 191–213. 10 Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, Reminiscences, July 1887, Windmill Hill Archive, Waddesdon Manor, inv. no. 177.1997 (hereafter Reminiscences). With thanks to the Head Archivist, Catherine Taylor. 11 V. Gray and M. Aspey (eds), The Life and Times of N. M. Rothschild (London, 1998), p. 112. 12 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), p. 1. 13 For these aspects of Baron Ferdinand’s biography see Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), pp. 746, 778, 849–50. 14 Unlike his father-in-law and uncle, Baron Lionel, he was not, however, a lender to the exhibition. Jewish wedding rings like those in the Waddesdon Bequest, discussed here, were displayed in this exhibition: Catalogue of the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition 1887, Royal Albert Hall, (London, 1887), cat. nos 1822–31 for Jewish wedding rings lent by the Rothschild dealer, E. Joseph among others. 15 For Paris see C. A. Soulié, ‘De la solidarité communitaire à l’action sociale’, in Les Rothschilds, ed. C. Collard and M. Aspey (Paris, 2012), pp. 149–62; for Frankfurt, see H.-O.Schembs, ‘“For the care of the sick, the good of the community, the embellishment of their home town’’’, in The Rothschilds, Essays on the history of a European family, ed. G. Heuberger (Frankfurt am Main, 1994), pp. 205–19. 16 N. Pickering, ‘The English Rothschild family in the Vale of Aylesbury: their houses, collections and collecting activity 1830–1900’, Ph.D. dissertation, King’s College (London, 2013). 17 M. Hall, Waddesdon Manor (New York, 2002). 18 Thornton, op. cit. (note 9). 19 Ibid. 20 H. Read, The Waddesdon Bequest, Catalogue of the works of art bequeathed to the British Museum by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild, MP, 1898 (London, 1903), p. xv. 21 Thornton, op. cit. (note 8) p. 202. 22 F. Backhaus, ‘The population explosion in the Frankfurt Judengasse in the 16th century’, in Backhaus et al. op. cit. (note 5), pp. 23–40, at p. 38. 23 British Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings, inv. no. 1876,0510.518 for a print of 1618 recording the ugly iconography of the painting. Isaiah Shachar, ‘The “Judensau”: A medieval anti-Jewish motif and its history’, Warburg Institute Surveys 5 (1974). For Goethe, see Ferguson op. cit. (note 3), p. 37. 24 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), p. 2. 25 Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 46; F. Backhaus, ‘The last of the Court Jews, Mayer Amschel Rothschild and sons’, in From Court Jews to the Rothschilds 1600–1800, Art, Patronage and Power, ed. V. B. Mann and R. I. Cohen (Munich and New York, 1996), pp. 79–95, p. 81. 26 Thirteen catalogues, mostly undated, are in the Frankfurt Stadt-und Universitätsbibliothek: see Mann and Cohen, op. cit. (note 25) p. 82 and cat. no. 58. The 1788 sale catalogue of David Samuel von Madai’s collection of thalers, heavily annotated by Mayer Amschel with prices raised, survives in the Rothschild Archive in London as a testimony to the way the latter used Madai’s coin catalogues as numismatic manuals: see Gray and Aspey, op. cit. (note 11), p. 85. 27 For Gutle, see Mann and Cohen, op. cit. (note 25), cat. no. 162; Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 46; Gray and Aspey, op. cit.(note 11), p. 84. 28 Backhaus, op. cit. (note 25), p. 81. 29 Elon, op. cit. (note 2), p. 68. One of ten volumes published in Frankfurt between 1783 and 1787: Mann and Cohen, op. cit. (note 25), cat. no. 58. 30 Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 47. 31 Ibid, pp. 508–9. 32 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), p. 10. 33 See painting by Carl Goebel in the collection of the Earl of Rosebery, which probably came into that family through the marriage of Hannah Rothschild in 1878 to the 5th Earl of Rosebery: Gray and Aspey, op. cit. (note 11), p. 83. 34 It was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1944. D. Bartetzko, ‘Fairy tales and castles: on Rothschild family buildings in Frankfurt on Main’, in Heuberger, op. cit. (note 15), pp. 221–43, at pp. 238–42. 35 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), p. 10. 36 Aspey, op. cit. (note 5), p. 157. 37 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), p. 2. 38 Gray and Aspey, op. cit. (note 11), p. 87. For a photograph of the tomb see Elon, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 175–6. 39 Lord Rothschild, preface to Heuberger, op. cit. (note 15), p. 12 and photographs on p. 14. 40 Elon, op. cit. (note 2), p. 175. 41 Reminiscences, op. cit.(note 10), pp. 2–3. 42 Ibid., p. 2. 43 Ibid., pp. 214, 186–7; Gray and Aspey, op. cit. (note 11), p. 111. 44 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), pp. 3–5. 45 Aspey in Backhaus et al., op. cit. (note 5), p. 155. Mayer Amschel’s sons treasured his 1769 grant of title as Court Agent by Wilhelm of Hesse and two volumes of his early accounts, ibid., pp. 161–2. 46 The Rothschild Archive, London. This archive has an extraordinary history, having been confiscated by the Nazis in 1938, warehoused in Poland, then taken by the Soviets (there is a Russian receipt dated 1948), and finally returned to the Rothschilds and given to the Rothschild Archive in 2001. 47 G. Heuberger (ed.), The Rothschilds, A European Family (Frankfurt am Main, 1994), pp. 112–14. On the relationship between Oppenheim as a portraitist with the Rothschilds see A. Weber, ‘Moritz Oppenheim und die Familie Rothschild’, in Moritz Daniel Oppenheim – Die Entdeckung des Jüdischen Selbstbewußtseins in der Kunst, ed. G. Heuberger and A. Merk, exh. cat., Jewish Museum, Frankfurt (Frankfurt am Main, 1999), pp. 187–200. 48 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), p. 4. Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), pp. 68–76; Heuberger and Merk, op. cit. (note 47). 49 Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), caption to illustrations on p. 232. 50 Royal Collection, inv. nos. rcin 421460 and 421110. 51 Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 206. 52 M. Aspey, ‘Salamon’s archive’, The Rothschild Archive Review of the Year 2001–2, pp. 27–31. 53 The Rothschild Archive London xi/109/6/2/27, quoted by Aspey in Backhaus et al., op. cit. (note 5), p. 159. 54 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), pp. 57–8. 55 Judaica Acquisitions 1992–93, The Jewish Museum, New York (New York, 1995), p. 31; Mann and Cohen, op. cit. (note 25), cat. no. 175 and pl. 65. 56 Sir Edward Hamilton’s diary, 15 December 1898, British Library, Additional ms 48674. Part quoted in A. Allfrey, Edward VII and his Jewish Court (London, 1991), p. 189; Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 751; Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), p. 41. 57 Charlotte Rothschild, letter to Leo Rothschild, 4 September 1871, Rothschild Archive, London (hereafter ral), rf am c/21; Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 771. 58 T. M. Endelman, ‘Commmunal solidarity among the Jewish elite of Victorian London’, Victorian Studies 28 no. 3 (1985), pp. 491–526. 59 22 December 1898, quoted in E. Donnelly, ‘Securing a new national treasure; Baron Ferdinand and the British Museum’, in Shirley and Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), pp. 40–51, at p. 41. 60 Waddesdon Manor, inv. no. 57.1995_57.1995; Gray and Aspey, op. cit. (note 11), p. 84; Heuberger and Merk, op. cit. (note 47), p. 405, cat. no. xiv.6. I am grateful to Mia Jackson for photographs and information. 61 For the group, including the Pressburg Cup and the two rings discussed here as well as a fake circumcision knife attributed to Rheinhold Vasters, see Thornton op. cit. (note 8), p. 289. 62 Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 466; Schembs, op. cit. (note 15), p. 207 for Mayer Amschel and Zedekah. 63 Waddesdon Bequest 104, see Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), pp. 284–9 and Waddesdon Bequest 57, ibid., pp. 126–31. See also Aspey, op. cit. (note 52), pp. 27–31, esp. p. 31, h2, described as ‘Letter of thanks for the goblet and dedicatory address from Pressburg’. Could this have been the Pressburg Cup? 64 Prag um 1600, Kunst und Kultur am Hofe Rudolfs II, exh. cat., Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (Vienna, 1998), vol. i, cat. no. 505 for the Hoshen amulet given to Rudolf II by the Jewish community in Prague, which was recorded in the Vienna Kunstkammer in 1750. 65 I am grateful to Birgit Schübel, pers. com., 27 June 2017, for her comments. A Christian example of a secular piece becoming a sacred object is the silver ewer and basin made in Nuremberg to commemorate the birth of Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen around 1610, given by him in 1665 to the Reformed Church in Cleve for use at baptism: Waddesdon Bequest 91 and 92, H. Tait, Catalogue of the Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum, vol. ii: The silver plate (London, 1988), cat. no. 46. 66 Prag um 1600, op. cit. (note 64), vol. i, cat. no. 506. 67 N. M. Kleeblatt and V. Mann, Treasures of the Jewish Museum (New York, 1986), pp. 58–9. 68 Jewish Museum, New York, gift of Michael Oppenheim, inv. no. f 3589. S. L. Braunstein, Le-Hayyim – To Life! Cups of sanctification and celebration (New York, 1984), cat. no. 46. 69 A silver-gilt beaker, marked for Bamberg, with Hebrew initials from the Ullman collection in Frankfurt, and a cup marked for Wolff Straub, Nuremberg 1618–44, with Hebrew initials, both sold at Sotheby’s sale, Important Judaica, Sotheby’s, Tel Aviv, 8 October 1996, lots 205 and 219. 70 Ibid., lot 208. Four similar beakers with busts of emperors after the Lives of the Emperors by Suetonius in relief, made by different makers in Augsburg around 1680–85, are in the Kassel Kunstkammer; three were first recorded in the Museum Fridericianum in 1779; the fourth was given in 1816: B. de Boysson, E. Schmidberger and H. Ottomeyer, Orfèvrerie d’apparat, Allemagnexv-xviie siècle, (Bordeaux, 2001), cat. nos 22–4; R-A. Schütte, Die Silberkammer der Landgrafen von Hessen-Kassel (Kassel, 2003), cat. nos 69–71. 71 A silver secular beaker, made in Nuremberg between 1669 and 1774 was later engraved with two Hebrew inscriptions within the Jewish community in Copenhagen. The bosses on the cup itself are engraved: ‘A memorial present from the fraternal society ‘Ohave Hesed’ [Lovers of Charity] which was established in the 5492 [ad 1732] here in Copenhagen in commemoration of the centenary of the Society in 5592 [ad 1832].’ Victoria and Albert Museum, inv. no. m.40. 1,2-1959. 72 Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), pp. 290–95. 73 The Jewish Museum, New York, gift of Richard and Beatrice Levy, inv. no. 1984-61. Heuberger and Merk, op. cit. (note 47), no. vi.1, pp. 112, 373. Moritz Oppenheim: The first Jewish painter, exh. cat., Israel Museum, Jerusalem (Jerusalem, 1983), no. iii.9, pp. 24, 54. 74 British Museum, Waddesdon Bequest 101a-b; Tait, op. cit. (note 65), cat. no. 15. 75 Quoted in A. Werner, Pictures of Jewish Family Life by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (New York, 1976), p. 14. Charlotte von Rothschild’s Haggadah, Frankfurt am Main, 1843, is in the Braginsky collection 314, fol. 42. E. M. Cohen, ‘Charlotte (‘Chilly’) von Rothschild: mother, connoisseur, and artist’, The Rothschild Archive, Review of the Year 2012–2013, pp. 29–36. 76 E. M. Cohen, ‘A surprising model for Charlotte Rothschild’s Haggadah of 1842’, Ars Judaica 10 (2014), pp. 37–48. 77 R. Erb, ‘The “Damascus Affair”, 1840; the role of the Rothschilds in mobilizing public opinion’, in Heuberger, op. cit. (note 15), pp. 99–112. For the cup, which survives in a private collection in the USA, see Heuberger and Merk, op. cit. (note 47), pp. 175, 177, fig. 6, and cat. no. xiv.5. 78 Quoted in Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), p. 22. 79 I owe this observation to Peter Mandler. 80 Letter from Baron Ferdinand Rothschild to Baron Lionel Rothschild, 15 August 1872, ral 000/26; Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), p. 327 n. 38. For Nathaniel’s collection in Vienna, A. Nierhaus, ‘Vorbild Frankreich. Der Paläste der Familie Rothschild im Wiener-Belvedere-Viertel’, Östereichische Zeitschrift für Kunst und Denkmalpflege 72 (2008), pp. 74–86. 81 N. Rothschild, Notizen über einige meiner Kunstgegenstände (Vienna, 1903), Introduction. 82 Ibid, pp. 100–101, cat. no. 239. The manuscript is now in the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research in New York: see Mann and Cohen, op. cit. (note 25), cat. no. 87; I. Winter, Ingathering: Ceremony and tradition in New York public collections (New York, 1968), cat. no. 142; Gray and Aspey, op. cit. (note 11), p. 84; S. Lieberman Mintz and G. Goldstein (eds), Printing the Talmud; From Bomberg to Schottenstein Yeshiva University Museum (New York, 2006), cat. no. 52, pp. 270–72. 83 Rothschild, op. cit. (note 81), p. 82, cat. no. I89. ‘Ring aus Gold, mit dachförmigem Aufsatz und emaillierten Ornamenten verziert. Innerhalb des Aufsatzes zwei hebraïischen Buchstaben, welche in ihrer Abkürzung “Viel Gluck” bedeuten. Mit diesem Ringe wurde meine Urgrossmutter Gudula Rothschild im Jahre 1770 getraut: was ich, um eine Verwechslung mit zwei ähnlichen Ringen meiner Sammlung zu vermeiden, an der Innenseiten habe anmerken lassen.’ 84 B. Zucker, Blue (New York, 2000), p. 65, The boy Isaac is enjoined by an older relative to look closely at a gable ring with its enamel and inscription, ‘Not with your eyes but with your memory, with the eyes of the family memory.’ There is an echo in the phrase of Baron Nathaniel’s feeling about his great-grandmother’s ring. 85 P. Prévost-Marcilhacy (ed.), Les Rotschild. Une Dynastie de Mécènes en France 1873–2016 (Paris, 2016), vol. i, pp. 208–10, vol. iii, p. 402, fig. 7. 86 British Museum, Waddesdon Bequest 196. F. Schestag, Katalog der Kuntsammlung des Freiherrn Anselm von Rothschild in Wein (Vienna, 1866), no. 296; C. H. Read, The Waddesdon Bequest: Catalogue of the works of art bequeathed to the British Museum by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild, M.P., 1898, (London, 1902), no. 196; O. M. Dalton, Catalogue of the Finger-Rings, Early Christian, Byzantine, Teutonic, Mediæval and Later in the British Museum (London, 1912), no. 1332; O. M. Dalton, The Waddesdon Bequest, 2nd (rev.) edn, British Museum (London, 1927), no. 196; B. Chadour, Ringe, Die Alice Koch Sammlung, Vierzig Jahrhunderte durch vier Generationen gesehen / Rings, The Alice and Louis Koch Collection, Forty Centuries seen by Four Generations (Leeds, 1994), vol. ii, cat. no. 1073; Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), p. 289. There are three further examples of this type in the Franks Bequest in the British Museum, see Dalton 1912, cat. nos 1331, 1333–4. 87 Dalton, op. cit. [1912] (note 86), cat. nos 1355–7. Of these, 1355 may represent a sixteenth- or seventeenth-century example of the gabled type of ring: compare Chadour, op. cit. (note 86), vol. ii, cat. no. 1069. For a good comparison to this ring in copper-gilt see Important Judaica, op. cit. (note 69), lot 301. There are also in the British Museum collection seven rings with applied filigree ornament, Dalton, op. cit. [1912] (note 86), cat. nos 1339–46, and seven with applied letters and ornaments, cat. nos 1347–50, 1352–4. 88 S. Hindman, B. Chadour-Sampson, R. Hadjadj, J. Ogden and D. Scarisbrick, Cycles of Life. Rings from the Benjamin Zucker family collection (Paris, Chicago and New York, 2014), p. 91. 89 V. Klagsbald, Catalogue raisonnée de la collection juive du musée de Cluny (Paris, 1981), cat. nos 36–53. 90 Hindman et al., op. cit. (note 88), cat. nos 10–12. 91 Chadour, op. cit. (note 86), nos. 1069–97. 92 H. Klusch, Siebenbürgische Goldschmiedekunst (Bucharest, 1988), p. 22. I am grateful to Beatriz Chadour for this reference. The gold bowl is British Museum Waddesdon Bequest 66: see H. Tait, Catalogue of the Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum, vol. i: The jewels (London, 1986), cat. no. 53. 93 C. Descatoire (ed.), Treasures of the Black Death, exh. cat., Wallace Collection (London, 2009), p. 60. 94 Ibid., p. 60, cat. no. 1. 95 V. Mann, in Jerusalem 1000–1400. Every people under Heaven, exh. cat., Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 2016), p. 146. 96 Klagsbald, op. cit. (note 89), cat. no. 35; Descatoire, op. cit.(note 93), pp. 63-3, cat. no.2. 97 Descatoire, op. cit. (note 93), p. 63, cat. no. 3. 98 B. Stuadinger, Munich in The Jewish World and the Wittelsbach Dynasty (Munich, 2007), p. 34. Rings of architectural form made of plain gold continued to be made. One example in the British Museum, Dalton, op. cit. [1912] (note 86), cat. no. 1355, was bequeathed by Franks but came from the collection of the Welsh antiquary Octavius Morgan (1803–1888). It could possibly be a sixteenth- or seventeenth-century interpretation of the medieval form but might be more modern, like two cruder rings in the Victoria and Albert Museum which were acquired in 1871, inv. nos 863–1871 and 864–1871. 99 Notes and Queries, 10 June 1871, p. 495. Dalton, op. cit. [1912] (note 86), cat. no. 1355, derived from his collection. 100 G. Seidmann, ‘Jewish marriage rings’, Jewellery Studies 1 (1983–4), pp. 41–4. 101 S. Bury, Jewellery Gallery Summary Catalogue, Victoria and Albert Museum (London, 1982), p. 238. 102 Catalogue of the Special Exhibition of Works of Art of the Medieval, Renaissance and more recent periods, on loan to the South Kensington Museum, June 1862 (London, 1863), p. 623. 103 Esposition universelle de 1878 illustrée (Paris, 1878), no. 153, p. 788: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k5825437f/f2.image.r=Strauss; A. Erlande-Brandenbourg, Catalogue raisonnéee de la collection juive de musée de Cluny (Paris, 1981), pp. 7–9. 104 That gift formed the basis for the current Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaisme, established in 1986 by then Parisian mayor, Jacques Chirac: Hindman et al., op. cit. (note 88), p. 91. On Strauss and his collection see M. Schwab, Collection M. Strauss. Description des objets d’art réligieux hébraïques exposés dans les galeries du Trocadéro à l’Exposition universelle de 1878 (Paris, 1878); M. Schwab, ‘La collection Strauss au musée de Cluny’, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 3rd ser. 5 (1891), pp. 237–45; D. Jurasse, Existe-t-il un art juif? (Paris, 2006), pp. 42–7. 105 Prévost-Marcilhacy, op. cit. (note 85), vol. i, pp. 208–10. 106 In Schwab, op. cit. [1891] (note 104), two engraved drawings of Jewish wedding rings appear at beginning and end. 107 Letter from Max Rosenheim to A. W. Franks, 22 October 1896. British Museum, Archive of the Department of Britain, Europe and Prehistory, bep Correspondence Archives (Box 1896–1898, r-sm). I am grateful to Eloise Donnelly for discussing this reference with me as part of her doctoral research. 108 Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. no. 1917.190.996. For Rothschild reactions to the conversion to Christianity of members of the Oppenheim banking family in Hamburg in 1818, see Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 177. 109 L. Johnson,‘Delacroix’s Jewish bride’, Burlington Magazine 137 (1997), pp. 755–9. Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. no. 1972,118.210 for the painting. 110 Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. no. 996,285. 111 The Jewish Museum, New York, inv. no. 1999-87; Schwab, op. cit. [1891] (note 104), p. 245, mentions belt and ring being worn together by a bride. 112 J. J. Schudt, Jüdische merckwürdigkeiten (Leipzig and Frankfurt, 1714), vol. ii, chapter xxv, pp. 3–4. 113 British Museum, inv. no. af 1410. Their names are listed among the Ketubot at Bevis Marks: Bevis Marks Records, part 2, p. 65 no 69. Their deaths are recorded in the ‘Burial Register of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, London 1657–1735’, transcribed by R. D. Barnett, in Miscellanies of the Jewish Historical Society of England 6 (1962), pp. 20, 32, 70. Joshua died on 31 December 1722 and Judith on 23 February 1747. I am grateful to Beverley Nenk for this information. 114 See Hindman et al., op. cit. (note 88) p. 91 no. 14 in the same catalogue illustrates Waddesdon Bequest 95 and says it is Venetian or German, sixteenth to nineteenth century. It does not note the small loops on the hoop which indicate that this too was probably a pendant like the Zucker one with its rock crystal container, for which see also D. Scarisbrick, Rings (London, 2007), p. 117, figs 157–8. 115 An Austrian tax mark for 1806 also helps to date a similar ring in the Victoria and Albert Museum, inv. no. 453–1873; G. Seidmann, Marriage Rings in the Jewish Museum, London, published in the Annual Report for 1982 of the Jewish Museum, London. 116 Dalton, op. cit. [1912] (note 86), cat. no. 1339, af.1417 117 From the Secular to the Sacred. Everyday objects in Jewish ritual use, Israel Museum (Jerusalem, 1985), cat. no. 36; Hindman et al., op. cit. (note 88), p. 104. 118 On Glückel or Glikl Bas Judah Leib, see N. Zemon Davis, Women on the Margins. Three seventeenth century lives (Cambridge, ma, 1995), pp. 5–62. The Yiddish text was first published by D. Kaufmann, Die Memoiren der Glückel von Hameln 1645–1719 (Frankfurt am Main, 1896). 119 M. Given Gutman, The Enigma of Anna O, A biography of Bertha Pappenheim (Rhode Island and London, 2001), p. 191. 120 Waddesdon Bequest 38; Tait, op. cit. (note 92), cat. no. 38. 121 L. Börner, Deutsche medaillenkleinode des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts (Leipzig, 1981), cat. no. 64. 122 H. Borggrefe, T. Fuesnig and A. Schunicht-Rawe, Moritz der Gelehrte, Ein Renaissancefürst in Europa (Munich, 1997); F. A. Dreier, ‘The Kunstkammer of the Hessian Landgraves of Kassel’, in The Origins of Museums. The cabinet of curiosities in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe, ed. O. Impey and A. MacGregor (Oxford, 1985), pp. 102–9. 123 Borggrefe et al., op. cit. (note 122), cat. no. 66. 124 Referred to in a letter from Segar’s brother, William Segar, to Maurice of 9 September 1615 as one of a group; ‘Fowyre chaynes, with their medals, whereof two are of King James, the third of yo[u]r Highness’: M. Spies, ‘Francis Segar and Abraham van der Doort in Kassel; two English artists at the court of Landgrave Moritz the Learned’, British Art Journal 16 no. 2 (2015), pp. 20–23, at p. 22. 125 For thalers and medals supplied by Mayer Amschel to the Bavarian Court in 1789 see Heuberger, op. cit. (note 47), p. 19. 126 C. de Hamel, The Rothschilds and their Collections of Illuminated Manuscripts (London, 2005), pp. 4–5. 127 Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), pp. 196–203, 186–95. 128 T. Stammers, ‘Collectors, Catholics, and the Commune: heritage and counterrevolution, 1860–1890’, French Historical Studies 37 no.1 (2014), pp. 53–87, at p. 73. I am grateful to Tom Stammers for this reference and for our discussion on the political climate for collecting in France during this period. 129 E. Corti, The Rise of the House of Rothschild (London, 1928), p. 400; Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 38. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the History of Collections Oxford University Press

Baron Ferdinand Rothschild’s sense of family origins and the Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum

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Abstract

Abstract Baron Ferdinand Rothschild (1839–1898) is usually remembered for Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire and for the Waddesdon Bequest, his splendid gift of Renaissance treasures to the British Museum, recently reinterpreted in a new gallery. The author analyses Baron Ferdinand’s unpublished reminiscences, revealing his interest in the history and mythology of the Rothschilds as a Frankfurt Jewish banking dynasty. The status and significance of Judaica in the Waddesdon Bequest and other family collections is also explored within the context of nineteenth-century collecting, the development of the art market and an emerging sense of a Jewish European history and identity. John Berger wrote of Mark Rothko that ‘his art is an emigrant art, seeking, as only emigrants do, the unfindable place of origin, the moment before everything began.’1 Allowing for disparities in wealth and status, there is a sense of similar searching for a home and for an historic identity among members of the Rothschild family, a new dynasty that arose to become – within the space of two generations in the 1800s – bankers to the world. The French Revolution and the British-Prussian-Austrian war against revolutionary France brought lucrative new business opportunities which transformed the family’s wealth and standing, as well as offering the possibility of emancipation and eventual escape from the confined world of the Frankfurt Judengasse.2 Following the defeat of the Austrian army by invading French forces in June 1796, much of the Judengasse was destroyed; improvements in the legal status of the city’s Jewish community followed, leading to a relaxation of residential restrictions.3 In 1811 the Frankfurt Jews were temporarily able to buy emancipation, and they continued to use financial leverage in their cause, which finally achieved success only in 1864.4 The Rothschild diaspora from Frankfurt – Nathan Mayer left for London in 1798 – saw them gaining a special status in their newly-adopted cities of Vienna, Paris, London and Naples. At the same time, their liberation from the restricted life they had known in their home city enabled them to develop a sentimentality about Frankfurt; their attachment to the Jewish quarter and to their family origins in the city grew over time, as revealed in letters, memoirs and benefactions.5 Baroness Salomon’s gift to the Städel Institute in its centenary year in 1887 of what has been described as ‘by far the most important portrait in the whole of Germany’, the Tischbein portrait of her fellow-citizen Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, encapsulates the Rothschild relationship with their home town.6 Frankfurt was the symbolic heart of the family to which later generations often returned to marry. In 1882 Baron Edmond Rothschild even named a colony in Palestine ‘in honour of Mayer Amschel’ (Kefar Meir Shefeya), the Frankfurt Rothschild ancestor with whom it all began.7 The Rothschild sense of ancestry and origins seeps through the writings of the exceptionally sensitive, childless Baron Ferdinand, who grew up in Frankfurt and Vienna (Fig. 1). He felt drawn – particularly after the death of his English Rothschild mother, Charlotte and his marriage to his English cousin, Evelina –towards England and all things British. He left what he wished to be known as ‘The Waddesdon Bequest’ to the British Museum, of which he was a trustee, at his death in 1898.8 We know Baron Ferdinand largely from his memoirs, written in 1897: Bric-à-Brac, which deals with art collecting and the role of his family in the development of the art market.9 His more personal and as yet unpublished Reminiscences concerning the family is revealing in a different way.10 Both are anecdotal, but are also self-reflective in the way they present him as a member of a famous dynasty that sprang from humble roots. Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the Baron’s Room at Waddesdon Manor, from The Red Book, 1897; Waddesdon (National Trust) Bequest of Dorothy de Rothschild, 1988; inv. no. 54. © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor. Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the Baron’s Room at Waddesdon Manor, from The Red Book, 1897; Waddesdon (National Trust) Bequest of Dorothy de Rothschild, 1988; inv. no. 54. © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor. Baron Ferdinand was named with a typical Rothschild flourish after the new Kaiser Ferdinand I of Austria and the steam railway system on the British model, the Kaiser-Ferdinand’s-Nordbahn, which was founded by his grandfather, Baron Salomon, and which was opened the year before his birth in 1838.11 He was, however, born in Paris, on 17 December 1839, as he proudly informs his readers: . . . at number 17 Rue Laffitte – my Grandfather’s house – and in the same room as that in which Napoleon III had first seen the light. After he had become Emperor, Napoleon came to inspect the former residence of Queen Hortense, and was received with much ceremony by my family.12 Ferdinand moved to England after his mother’s death, in 1860; in 1865 he married his English cousin, Evelina, and took up British citizenship. He served in Buckinghamshire as Justice of the Peace, was elected a member of the County Council; he served as High Sheriff in 1883, and was elected Liberal Member of Parliament for Aylesbury from 1885. This was in addition to his acknowledged role as a lay leader of the Jewish community of London, where he resided at 143 Piccadilly.13 Baron Ferdinand served on the General Committee for the Anglo-Jewish exhibition, held at the Royal Albert Hall in 1887, which affirmed the role of the Jewish community in English history both in the pre-Expulsion period and following the readmission under Cromwell in 1656.14 His living legacy, apart from the Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum, is the Evelina Hospital for Sick Children which he founded in Southwark in 1869 in memory of his wife and unborn son. In founding the hospital – which was remodelled in 1999 and is now the second largest provider of children’s services in London – Baron Ferdinand was true to his caste, as support for medical and nursing services in the community was a strong Rothschild trait, especially in the Frankfurt/Vienna branch.15 Baron Ferdinand is also remembered for his creation of Waddesdon Manor, the estate in the Vale of Aylesbury – one of seven Rothschild estates in the area by 1900 – which he bought at auction in 1874 from the Duke of Marlborough on coming into his inheritance.16 He accumulated a spectacular art collection there, which is now shown to the public with other Rothschild collections that arrived in the house with successive owners.17 In 2015 a new gallery in the British Museum, funded by the Rothschild Foundation, drew renewed attention to the Kunstkammer of medieval and Renaissance treasures which Baron Ferdinand left at his death in 1898 to the British Museum.18 Originally displayed in the New Smoking Room at Waddesdon, it was known as ‘The Waddesdon Bequest’ according to the terms of Ferdinand’s will, and was immediately acknowledged to be different and distinctive on its arrival at the British Museum, not least in being a separate legal entity with its own character and identity within the museum.19 Charles Hercules Read, who curated and catalogued the collection for the British Museum on its arrival, justified this somewhat defensively in the Preface to his catalogue, published in 1902: The separation of bequests or individual collections is . . . contrary to the principles that should govern all museums, and adds somewhat to the labours of the student. There are, however, some compensating advantages. Taste in collecting is very apt to be subject to the fashion of the time, and a collection made at a given period, if kept together, illustrates contemporary fashions better than if it were dispersed into its several classes.20 This collection, as Read acknowledged, is very much about fashion, something which Baron Ferdinand himself emphasized in an article on collecting and the art market: newly-formed collections are generally more accessible in their new homes than in their former secluded retreats. They contribute, not a little, to dignify their new residence; they attract the more enlightened and intelligent portions of society, who, in their turn, attract the fashionable throng. Thus brilliant gatherings are formed which have beneficent influence on the tone and conditions of society at large, and may lead to the social and political development of a future age . . . and when they become absorbed into some public institution, which then becomes their alma mater, they act as a safeguard against mediocrity by affording a standard of excellence; they serve as inspiring models to the rising geniuses of the day; kindle generous impulses of imitation and emulation, cultivate and refine the masses, besides giving them a gratuitous lesson in history.21 Like all Rothschilds, Baron Ferdinand had an innate understanding of the importance of family culture. In the unpublished Reminiscences, written in 1887, he reflected on his family’s beginnings in Frankfurt. The free imperial city within the Holy Roman Empire had, since 1462, established a Jewish quarter under ‘protection’ in exchange for cash. The population grew with Frankfurt’s role as a centre for money-changing and trade fairs, which drew Jews to manage credit transactions, along with other traders including the first Rothschild.22 The Jews in the Judengasse lived highly restricted lives: Frankfurt advertised its inherent antisemitism with an obscene bit of graffiti, the Judensau, on the Old Bridge Tower which was, as Goethe noted, ‘not the product of private hostility, but erected as a public monument.’23 It was destroyed in the wake of the French revolutionary bombardment of Frankfurt of 1796 in which many houses in the Judengasse were damaged; residence restrictions on Jews began to loosen thereafter and their legal status improved under Napoleon. This is the context for Baron Ferdinand’s musings: Much has been written about the early history of our house, but most of the tales which have obtained general credence are either garbled or altogether fictitious. It has been asserted, for instance, that our surname only dates from the Napoleonic invasion of Germany, when the Jewish inhabitants of Frankfort were obliged by the Emperor (in 1808) to assume a surname, a custom they had not hitherto followed. On passing through Frankfort recently, however, my attention was drawn to a sale of rare books, and I was shown some catalogues of old coins dated 1754–5 and signed ‘A. M.Rothshild’. This disposes of one popular fallacy.24 Baron Ferdinand was right that his family name predated the Napoleonic invasion, but the mail order antiquities business founded by his great-grandfather Mayer Amschel (1744–1812) in the Frankfurt Judengasse was established only in 1764. In 1765 Crown Prince Wilhelm, the future Landgrave of Hesse recorded in his accounts a payment of ‘38 gulden 30 kreuzer to Jew Mayer for medals’, which must refer to Mayer Amschel, four years before he was appointed Court Factor in 1769.25 This was the beginning of the family’s astonishing rise to prosperity. The first recorded volume of a series of annual mail order catalogues dates from 1770, and in the 1778 Commercial Register Mayer is the only Jewish coin dealer listed in Frankfurt.26 On 29 August 1770 he married Gutle, daughter of Wolf Salomon Schnapper, the wealthy Court Factor to the Prince of Saxe-Meiningen.27 The marriage brought a dowry of 2,400 gulden and connections: in his own words, he was now ready to ‘make his fortune in Frankfurt’.28 His catalogue of 1783 trumpets him as ‘Court Factor to the Lofty Prince of Hesse-Hanau’ and advertises not only ‘beautiful coins’ but ‘Ancient Rarities and Antiques’.29 Profits from the mail order business financed Mayer’s move into banking in the early 1790s. He also sold his share in the house in which the family had lived from 1634 and acquired an apartment in one of the largest houses in the Judengasse, ‘zum grünen Schild’, the Green Shield, in 1787.30 Baron Ferdinand’s great-grandmother, Gutle, continued to live there to the end of her long life. Her tenacity and fierce spirit was the butt of cartoons and anecdotes in the European press, though there was also a degree of admiration for her asceticism as expressed by Ludwig Börne: ‘Look, there she lives, in that little house . . . and has no wish, despite the world-wide sovereignty exercised by her royal sons, to leave her hereditary little castle in the Jewish quarter.’31 Baron Ferdinand recalled visiting her there as a child in much the same terms: My great-grandmother died in it (the Green Shield House), a centenarian, in 1849, and though she long survived her husband, and her sons and daughters were living amid luxurious surroundings, she abided all her life in the small, dingy dwelling in fulfilment of a promise to her husband that she would never leave the home of their youth. I can still see her, resting on a couch in her dark little sitting-room, folded in a thick white shawl, her deeply-furrowed face enclosed in a full and heavily-ribboned white cap, and a genial smile beaming from her bright eyes as she bade me partake of some favourite small aniseed cakes.32 The house opened as a family museum in the 1860s; C. E. Mylius made painted copies of the famous photograph of it in 1869, which circulated among the family into the 1880s.33 In 1884 the house was dismant led, rebuilt and extended when the eastern end of the Judengasse was condemned. The street in which it stood was then renamed the Börnestraße in 1885. The carefully-restored building behind its new façade was a monument to Rothschild history and legend, a parallel to the restored Goethe House in Frankfurt as part of the city’s identity.34 Baron Ferdinand explained: The first street to be doomed by the present mania for sanitation and improvement was the old ‘Jew’s Street’; which, in former times was closed at night with heavy chains, no Jew being permitted to leave it after dark. This house of my ancestors, alone, has been respected, but as it stood in the way when the street was being pulled down to be widened, it was carefully taken to pieces to be re-erected farther back. It now looks strangely incongruous beside its new and gaudy neighbours . . . Though outwardly one house, it is really divided into two, only one half having been inhabited by my ancestors.35 His account matches the tone of a letter of 14 March 1889 written by Louise, Baroness Mayer Carl, to her niece, Blanche Lindsay: The Jews’ Street, where it (the house) stood has, I am glad to say, been pulled down, for it was a horrid narrow dirty place, but the Rothschilds’ house has been built up as it used to be. My grandmother never would leave it, and said it was good enough for her husband and therefore good enough for her.36 Mayer Amschel’s spartan spirit is demonstrated by his tombstone of 1812, which survives in the south-western corner of the Jewish cemetery in Battonstraße in Frankfurt. Baron Ferdinand mentions ‘the tombstones in the local cemetery’ – that is Battonstraße – in his Reminiscences of 1897, and clearly knew them.37 Mayer Amschel’s gravestone was moved to the Rat-Beil Straße cemetery to escape destruction by the Nazis in 1938, before being moved back again after 1945.38 It was restored for the 250th anniversary of Mayer Amschel’s birth in 1994.39 It stood next to that of his ancestor Isaak Elchanan Rothschild (died 1585) with its emblem of a red shield denoting his house, known as ‘zum roten Schild’, built in 1567 at the southern end of the Judengasse. Mayer Amschel’s gravestone lacks a house sign, recording only his name, date of death and burial and the name of his father in Hebrew.40 Tombstones prompted Baron Ferdinand to think about family origins: From what I have been told by a trustworthy authority who has studied the tombstones in the local cemetery, I have warrant for assuming that my family had already settled at Frankfurt in the beginning of the sixteenth century; but how long they had then been settled there, or whether, and when, they had hailed from Roskilde, or whether, as I am half inclined to believe, they were descended from a tribe of Slavs from the south of Russia, who as stated by Gibbon, embraced Judaism long before the conversion of Russia to Christianity and afterwards migrated north and west, are hypotheses which will probably never be proved.41 He also wondered when the family surname stuck and why: Then again, it has been said that we took our surname from the town of Roskilde in Denmark, where my family is supposed to have originally lived. For my part, I should say that my ancestors derived their name from the red shield – in German, Rothschild – which hung over the door of their house in Frankfort. This shield served the office of a sign at a time when houses were not yet numbered, and when Jews, as a rule, had no surnames, and they adopted it as their crest in 1819 [sic] when they were ennobled by the Emperor of Austria.42 The red shield does indeed feature at the centre of the family arms in the patent of nobility granted in 1822, when the Rothschilds became barons of the Austrian empire.43 It is at this point in his narrative that Baron Ferdinand launches into an account of Mayer Amschel’s relationship with the Elector of Hesse, and how Nathan heard of the victory at Waterloo before the British government. Ferdinand was quietly proud of Mayer Amschel, ‘the virtual founder of our house’; of the reputation of his grandfather, Salomon, as ‘the Vienna Rothschild’; and of his mother’s descent from Nathan, ‘the head of our London house’ who was ‘already called “a pillar of the Exchange” before the Battle of Waterloo.’44 It was Baron Ferdinand’s grandfather, Baron Salomon von Rothschild (1774–1855) who founded the Viennese branch of the Rothschild bank, and, in 1844, a family archive. Carefully catalogued as ‘e.1’ was the document appointing Mayer Amschel Court Agent to the Elector of Hesse.45 Salomon inscribed a leather-bound index to the archive: the records in this register, together with the register itself, are, for all time, to be held in the safekeeping of my dear son, Baron Anselm Salomon von Rothschild, and thereafter in the archives of the entailed estate of his successors, in perpetual remembrance by these descendants of their ancestors. This is the firm and certain intent of the undersigned Baron Salomon Mayer von Rothschild, 20 October 1844. 46 Baron Salomon or his son Baron Anselm, Ferdinand’s father, is thought to have commissioned a pair of paintings from Moritz Oppenheim in 1859, which serve as a visual parallel to the family archive.47 The pictures illustrate two important episodes in the family mythology, to which Baron Ferdinand referred in his family Reminiscences: [Mayer Amschel] was as trustworthy as he was able, and at the time of the French invasion of Germany, the Elector placed all his valuables and securities in his keeping. Mayer died, as has been said, in 1812, before the termination of the war, and when peace had been concluded, his sons, who were carrying on the affairs of the firm, were called upon by the Elector for the return of his fortune. To his delight they restored it, not merely in its entirety, but with accumulated interest.48 Oppenheim’s first painting shows the visit of the Elector Wilhelm I of Hesse to Mayer Amschel in the Judengasse in Frankfurt to deposit his treasure, after Wilhelm’s lands were annexed by Napoleon and he was forced into exile in 1806. The second painting shows the Elector reclaiming his wealth, with the widowed Gutle and her five sons, including Salomon, handing it all back from trunks.49 Both paintings were copied and distributed to advertise the probity of the Rothschilds as bankers. A pair was given to Queen Mary by Leopold de Rothschild in 1910.50 Baron Salomon founded the family archive the year after he was awarded honorary citizenship of Vienna in 1843 and the right to acquire real estate. He was the first Jew to receive this honour in a famously snobbish and anti-Semitic city where, as the prejudiced visitor Frances Trollope put it in the 1830s, bankers were ‘unadmitted and inadmissible in the higher circles’.51 Salomon’s original archive includes business papers of Mayer Amschel, family and property documents, awards and titles, gifts and foundations with letters of thanks, all of which are listed in the same hand.52 Seen in the context of Rothschild concern about their social status in a post-Napoleonic world order, certain letters preserved in the Rothschild Archive take on great significance, such as Amschel Mayer’s letter written on 11 March 1817 to his brother James in Paris on how he has bought a garden in Frankfurt on the Boeckenheimer Landstraße: ‘as soon as one Jew has a garden, all the Jews will have a garden and when one becomes a Baron, they will all become Barons.’53 Baron Ferdinand’s letter recalled how Count Metternich, a friend of his grandfather, had entertained his parents at dinner by reading them passages from his memoirs, demonstrating the family’s acceptance into Viennese high society and politics.54 Baron Anselm carefully documented their new status in the set of wedding plates in Bonn porcelain which he commissioned for his son, Baron Ferdinand’s, wedding in Vienna to his English cousin, Evelina in 1865. One plate is painted with the arms of Prince Wittgenstein, another bears the arms of E. Prinz Radziwill, with their names and titles inscribed on the reverses.55 In settling into his mother’s country, England, Baron Ferdinand brought with him his quiet sense of pride in his family’s standing. His sense of dynastic status was puzzling to English observers, with their xenophobia and strong sense of caste. One of these was Edward Hamilton (1847–1908), senior Treasury official and former Secretary to Gladstone. Hamilton confided in his diary shortly after Ferdinand’s death, after a sharp analysis of his friend’s virtues, failings and foibles: ‘He was proud of his race and of his family and liked talking about his predecessors as if he had an illustrious ancestry of the bluest of bloods.’56 Hamilton implied that Baron Ferdinand was mistaken in regarding the Rothschilds as equals to the British royal family; as what his mother-in-law dubbed in 1871 ‘the Caucasian Royal Family’.57 The entry of the English Rothschilds into aristocratic and royal society, with Queen Victoria’s visit to Waddesdon and her visit to Alice Rothschild at Grasse, did not involve losing their Jewish identity.58 In the words of the Daily Telegraph, by making his bequest to the nation, as ‘a Jew by birth and religion, an alien by origin . . . he (Baron Ferdinand) identified himself with the interests and welfare of England’.59 Given Ferdinand’s proud but fairly private sense of his Jewish inheritance, it is intriguing that there should be so few objects within the Waddesdon Bequest (let alone at Waddesdon Manor) which document it in any direct way. An exception is the silver vase set with enamel plaques now shown at Waddesdon, which was presented by the Frankfurt bank to Amschel Mayer and his wife as a 50th wedding anniversary present in 1846 (Fig. 2). Apparently made after a design by Oppenheimer, two of the enamel plaques contrast the Green Shield house in the Jewish quarter, where the couple had married in 1796, with the splendid villa and English garden on his estate on the Boeckenheimer Landstraße, of which Mayer Amschel was so proud.60 The vase exemplifies the sense of Jewish emancipation and the role of the Rothschilds within it – as individuals, and as a banking dynasty. Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide Unknown goldsmith, Commemoration Vase, 1846; silver, enamel and hardstones; 34.5 x 15.5 cm; Private Collection; inv. no. 57.1995. Photograph Richard Valencia © National Trust, Waddesdon Manor. Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide Unknown goldsmith, Commemoration Vase, 1846; silver, enamel and hardstones; 34.5 x 15.5 cm; Private Collection; inv. no. 57.1995. Photograph Richard Valencia © National Trust, Waddesdon Manor. The Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum is strongly historicist in character, in that it links the Rothschilds through largely Renaissance court objects with European and British history and identity. The Judaica establishes a European Jewish identity in fascinating ways.61 The most important piece of Judaica is the Pressburg Cup of c.1600, which, according to a Hebrew inscription on its lip, was used by the Burial Society of Pressburg (Poszony in Hungarian and now Bratislava, capital of Slovakia) in the eighteenth century (Fig. 3). Finding the intellectual and historical context for this cup has proved difficult, since there are so few pieces with which it can be compared. It was more usual for burial societies to commission cups in silver with the names of their members engraved on the sides, but the earliest surviving examples are dated 1711 and 1722. The Pressburg Cup, by contrast, may have belonged to a Jewish family for some time before it was put to use by the Society, or may have been acquired specially for the purpose as an impressively heavy cup, and engraved in 1739–40. Either way, the Rothschilds, as observant Jews, could interpret the Hebrew inscription and understand the importance of the cup as a document for European Jewish identity. How they acquired it is still unknown – perhaps as bullion through the banking trade. Among the contents of Baron Salomon’s family archive are letters of thanks from Jewish communities throughout the Austrian empire – Brunn (Brno), Pressburg (Bratislava), Ofen and Pest (Budapest) and Rechnitz – in thanks for Salomon’s philanthropy in the field of social welfare between 1842 and 1844. Salomon’s benefactions aimed to allay envy and animosity at the family’s rise and to secure civil rights for Jews (a concession that was finally made in 1864) as well as fulfilling the central Jewish tenet of Zedekah (benefaction).62 One wonders if some of the objects in the Bequest – the Pressburg Cup and the Deblín Cup for instance, both of which were listed in Baron Anselm’s collection by 1866 – might have derived from Salomon’s contacts with and visits to these grateful communities in the 1840s.63 Fig. 3. View largeDownload slide The Pressburg Cup, silver-gilt, marked for Hans Petzolt, Nuremberg c.1600; inscribed in Hebrew for the Burial Society of Pressburg [Bratislava] in 1740, height: 56.5 cm. The Waddesdon Bequest, inv. no. wb.104. © British Museum. Fig. 3. View largeDownload slide The Pressburg Cup, silver-gilt, marked for Hans Petzolt, Nuremberg c.1600; inscribed in Hebrew for the Burial Society of Pressburg [Bratislava] in 1740, height: 56.5 cm. The Waddesdon Bequest, inv. no. wb.104. © British Museum. There was an established tradition by which Jewish communities or Court Jews gave suitably historic pieces to princely rulers for their Kunstkammern, a tradition that went back to the late sixteenth century.64 They recognized these pieces as having a worth that was separate from their bullion value. Silver was of course useful to communities on the move: it is portable and small in scale, and it can easily be converted into cash. Beyond these intensely practical concerns, various surviving objects and their recorded provenances suggest that old German plate had high status among German Jewry from the eighteenth century. Whether this was part of a general historicist sentiment about old silver and giving it a ritual use shared by the wider Christian community is not clear, but what is certain is that Jews were intensely involved in the buying and trading of silver, as recorded by Nuremberg goldsmiths in 1706.65 A silver ewer and basin marked for Jeremias Wild in Augsburg in the 1590s has a coat of arms engraved on each piece, but the set appears to have been acquired for the Jewish community in Prague as ritual vessels for use as a Levite service, possibly in the seventeenth century.66 A silver beaker marked for Georgius Renner, who was made a master goldsmith in Hermannstadt in 1626, was later engraved with a Hebrew inscription recording that it belonged to the Jewish Burial Society in Alt-Ofen (Obuda) in 1764–5. Another inscription records that it was later sold to raise funds ‘and immediately donated to be given to the above-named (burial society) on the day of his death for burial fees, and that it was given by his heirs on the 7th of Adar [5]563 (1803)’.67 When, around 1711–12, the members of the Worms burial society donated a wine cup to their synagogue, they chose an old silver cup, made in Nuremberg around 1650, rather than a new one. In 1732, they added a plaque which was prominently set on to the lid proclaiming that they had restored the piece so as to make ‘a new flask from the old’ with funds ‘from their own pockets’.68 Two important silver-gilt cups from around 1600–40 are prominently engraved with Hebrew initials for later owners – possibly in the eighteenth century, judging by the script; one of them was later recorded in the collection of Baron Ferdinand’s brother, Nathaniel, in Vienna in 1885.69 The tradition of giving old silver plate a new significance within the Jewish community continued into the nineteenth century. A silver beaker with busts of Roman emperors in relief, probably made in Halle in the late seventeenth century, was inscribed around the lip in Hebrew in 1804 with a presentation inscription, perhaps within a burial society, which suggests that the society was adapting the iconography of the Caesars for its own purposes: ‘From the council of seven called ones [probably the Gaboim of the city] wine and life to the mouth of the Admor [master]’.70 Were these pieces that had long been in the hands of Jewish families and passed down the generations, or were they pieces recently acquired as bullion through banking or pawn and then donated to burial societies, other Jewish groups or synagogues?71 Paintings from the early nineteenth century take this involvement with historic German plate further. Two paintings, one by Ferdinand’s mother Baroness Charlotte von Rothschild, and the other by her art teacher and the Rothschild court painter Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, demonstrate the status of old German plate within Frankfurt Jewry in the 1830s. The first is Baroness Charlotte’s portrait of herself with Anselm and their first two children and their nanny in the year before Ferdinand’s birth, 1838. In a cupboard at the right is the nucleus of the silver that was to become the Waddesdon Bequest, with recognizable representations of one of the Tucher cups and of the Bacchus seated on a barrel.72 This painting gives a firm place within Rothschild family history to specific pieces of silver now in the Waddesdon Bequest. The second painting is Oppenheim’s picture, The Return of the Volunteer from the Wars of Liberation to his Family still Living in Accordance with Old Customs (Die Heimkehr des Freiwilligen aus den Befreiungskriegen zu den nach alter Sitte lebenden Seinen), which dates from 1833–4 (Fig. 4). The painting presents a Jewish volunteer in around 1815 who has fought to defend Germany from Napoleon’s armies – and wears the Iron Cross. The Sabbath meal takes place in a highly-detailed interior in which contemporary Biedermeier furniture mingles with Jewish silver ritual objects in the style of the seventeenth or eighteenth century on the walls and ceiling. The painting represents something new and different as a depiction of a Jewish subject by a Jewish artist, suggesting a shift in mood within the Jewish community.73 Beneath the silver Sabbath lamp, at the centre of the picture and isolated on a white linen cloth, is a silver-gilt standing cup. Its form and proportions as well as its ornamentation suggest that it is taken from a German sixteenth- or early seventeenth-century German cup, and it resembles in its form and proportions one of the Tucher cups in the Waddesdon Bequest, which were made in Nuremberg in 1568.74 In 1842 Ferdinand’s mother, Charlotte, illuminated a Haggadah manuscript under Oppenheim’s instruction as a gift for her uncle Amschel Mayer von Rothschild of Frankfurt. Oppenheim recorded: I designed the subjects for it, which she carried out in the style of old missals. To this end she obtained from Paris, not without considerable expense, manuscripts illuminated with miniatures. [Eliezer Sussman von] Meseritsch, at that time the best Jewish calligrapher, inscribed the text, and this manuscript certainly cost the Baroness several thousand gulden.75 Fig. 4. View largeDownload slide Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (1800–1882), Return of the Volunteer from the Wars of Liberation to his Family still Living in Accordance with Old Customs, 1833–1834. New York, The Jewish Museum. Oil on canvas, 34 x 37 in (86.2 x 94.0 cm). Gift of Richard and Beatrice Levy, 1984-61. Photograph John Parnell, 2017. © Photo The Jewish Museum/Art Resource/Scala, Florence. Fig. 4. View largeDownload slide Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (1800–1882), Return of the Volunteer from the Wars of Liberation to his Family still Living in Accordance with Old Customs, 1833–1834. New York, The Jewish Museum. Oil on canvas, 34 x 37 in (86.2 x 94.0 cm). Gift of Richard and Beatrice Levy, 1984-61. Photograph John Parnell, 2017. © Photo The Jewish Museum/Art Resource/Scala, Florence. Charlotte herself says in the preamble to the manuscript that she herself ‘found and drew’ the pictures. The style is that of the High Renaissance around 1500, with bold colours and classical architectural borders with moresques and fictive jewels. Charlotte’s model has recently been identified as the Book of Hours of Frederick III of Aragon of 1501–4, which had been acquired by the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris in 1828.76 At the heart of the Haggadah is a romanticized Seder scene, with women and men in vaguely sixteenth-century dress, which is signed with Charlotte’s initials (Fig. 5). On the table are shown distinctively seventeenth-century silver-gilt beakers on ball feet, and more generalized standing cups typical of a Rothschild collection in the 1840s. Both Charlotte and her teacher were eager to promote a similar historicist view of Jewish history and tradition; a symbiosis of Jewish and German cultural identity. The Crémieux Cup, which was commissioned from Oppenheim by Charlotte Rothschild (wife of Lionel) in 1840 after the ‘Damascus Affair’ in Frankfurt, represents a similar fusion of influences and ideals, and identifies the Rothschilds with German history, progress and the cause of Jewish emancipation.77 Fig. 5. View largeDownload slide Seder scene in Passover Haggadah, with German translation [Frankfurt?], copied on parchment by Eliezer Sussman von Mezeritsch, decorated by Charlotte von Rothschild, 1842, p. 42. © Braginsky Collection, Zurich. bcb_314_042.,.20. 20.8 x 19.0 cm. Photography Ardon Bar-Hama, Ra’anana, Israel. Fig. 5. View largeDownload slide Seder scene in Passover Haggadah, with German translation [Frankfurt?], copied on parchment by Eliezer Sussman von Mezeritsch, decorated by Charlotte von Rothschild, 1842, p. 42. © Braginsky Collection, Zurich. bcb_314_042.,.20. 20.8 x 19.0 cm. Photography Ardon Bar-Hama, Ra’anana, Israel. Oppenheim was well-acquainted with old silver: as Baron Ferdinand recounted, he was his father, Baron Anselm’s, agent and preferred dealer in forming his collection in his Frankfurt years. As Baron Ferdinand recalled: In those days there were no curiosity dealers in Frankfurt worthy of the name, but his work took the Professor into many private houses, where he occasionally discovered and picked up a fine old German cup, which he then brought to my father. I cannot describe the joy I felt when he unpacked some quaint Nuremberg or Augsburg tankard, or the figure of a man, a lion or a stag, which was weighed and bought by the weight. Oh! For those good old days when the artistic merit of a cup was of no account to its possessor, and he merely valued it according to the number of ounces it contained!78 Baron Ferdinand’s pride in recalling ‘a fine old German cup’ indicates the kind of idealized patriotism as well as the aesthetic appreciation which this type of silver evoked for a Rothschild sensitive to history. Similar sentiments are expressed in Oppenheim’s painting with its proto-nationalist message about German and German-Jewish identity. The French invasion had allowed the Rothschilds to develop a sentimentality about their origins in Frankfurt, much as the same invasion had allowed Germans to develop a stronger sense of patriotism: the two sentiments developed in parallel.79 What might be called Judaica in the collections of Baron Ferdinand’s branch of the family had its fate decided under the terms of Baron Anselm Rothschild’s will at his death in 1874. Anselm divided the bulk of his art collections between his two sons, Baron Ferdinand and his elder brother, Baron Nathaniel, in Vienna. Baron Ferdinand wrote to his uncle, Lionel, on 15 August about the division: ‘a few curiosities are left to Salbert [a third brother, Salomon Albert], but the greater part are to be divided between Natty and myself in two lots.’80 Little is known about Nathaniel’s collection and his post-mortem inventory from 1905 does not appear to have survived. We have, however, his Notes on some of my Works of Art which he published in Vienna in 1903: These pages contain explanatory information about those of my works of art for which it was possible for me to ascertain the name of the artist or the work’s provenance. I do not deal here with objects for which I have no information or which do not yield their secrets with visual examination.81 Among the 239 pieces are two important items of family Judaica. The most important is the last, the Rothschild Talmud Bava Kamma, concerned with monetary laws, written by Amschel Mayer Rothschild in the Frankfurt Jewish quarter in 1721–2 and handed down within the family. Baron Nathaniel transcribes the inscriptions recording five generations of ownership with an explanatory family tree: his and Baron Ferdinand’s father, Baron Anselm, had received it at his bar mitzvah in 1816.82 Nathaniel mentioned among other works in gold and silver a Jewish ring of a kind long considered (without documentary evidence from the rabbinic discourse) to be a wedding ring: A gold ring with decoration in the form of a gable, decorated with enamelled ornament, inside the construction are two Hebrew letters which are abbreviations for Good Luck. With this ring my great-grandmother Gudula Rothschild was married in 1770, a fact which in order to avoid confusion with two other similar rings in my collection I have had marked on the inside.83 The combination of the gable architectonic form, the enamelling and the inscription mazal tov identifies Nathaniel’s ring as belonging to a well-known type of which many examples survive in public and private collections. They used to be considered Renaissance and Venetian, which evoked romance for generations of collectors. They can still be the focus of family memory in the twenty-first century, which makes them even harder to place. One, in a private collection in New York, is at the heart of a novel written by the owner.84 Another was given in 2003 to the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaisme in Paris in honour of Baroness Élie de Rothschild.85 The ring in Nathaniel’s collection was thought to be a Rothschild relic. Its present location – if it survives at all – is unknown. Baron Ferdinand inherited one Jewish ‘marriage ring’ of a different type from his father, Baron Anselm, in 1874, which had been catalogued in his collection in Vienna in 1866. It takes the form of a plain band with raised edges and applied ornament with the Creation of Adam and Eve, the Expulsion and the Fall, and is almost certainly nineteenth-century in date.86 Baron Ferdinand added to the collection a ring with a gabled building amid bosses of filigree with enamelled flowers (Fig. 6). There are three further examples of this type in the British Museum, all part of a comprehensive collection of Jewish ‘marriage rings’ bequeathed by Augustus Wollaston Franks in 1897, the year before the Bequest arrived in the Museum.87 Rings of this type are now thought to be modern, made after 1700 and probably in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century.88 They fall into two broad groups: those with an architectural construction on the bezel, with filigree and enamel; and those with bands of applied ornament, and both groups are usually given a broad date range of ‘sixteenth to seventeenth century’.89 Attributions vary widely: some are attributed to Italy, especially Venice, which is surprising given the Hebrew inscriptions inside them which would seem to belong to Ashkenazi rather than to Sephardic tradition. Attributions have also been made to southern Germany or Central and Eastern Europe into the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.90 The filigree technique can be compared with goldsmiths’ work from Transylvania and Hungary, as first suggested by Beatriz Chadour in 1994.91 A fascinating reference to a certain ‘Baron Rothschild’ in the 1850s as being interested in Transylvanian goldsmiths’ work mentions his employing a Hermannstadt goldsmith and jeweller, Hugo Lüdecke, as his agent in supplying pieces. Could a rare treasure like the Transylvanian bowl in the Waddesdon Bequest have been acquired through similar networks?92 Fig. 6. View largeDownload slide A group of gold, enamelled and gem-set rings from the Waddesdon Bequest: clockwise from left: gabled enamelled gold Jewish ‘wedding ring’, memento mori fede ring, Garden of Eden Jewish ‘wedding ring’, ring with cameo of a black African, pierced heart fede ring and foiled signet ring, sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. Waddesdon Bequest, wb.195,199,196,200, 197,198. © British Museum. Fig. 6. View largeDownload slide A group of gold, enamelled and gem-set rings from the Waddesdon Bequest: clockwise from left: gabled enamelled gold Jewish ‘wedding ring’, memento mori fede ring, Garden of Eden Jewish ‘wedding ring’, ring with cameo of a black African, pierced heart fede ring and foiled signet ring, sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. Waddesdon Bequest, wb.195,199,196,200, 197,198. © British Museum. All rings of this type seem to be later, more highly decorated versions of the few Jewish rings that are recorded from medieval treasure hoards, though we know nothing about the original role and function – if any – that architectural rings may have had in Jewish marriage ritual. Medieval marriage ceremonies incorporated two stages, betrothal (erusin) followed a year later by marriage (nissuin). A betrothal ring was a key gift as part of the ritual that marked the marriage, and the traditional Hebrew words spoken at Ashkenazi weddings, mazal tov, were engraved on the ring.93 One ring from the medieval hoard at Erfurt takes the form of a temple, hexagonal in plan, with Hebrew characters engraved on the pyramidal roof, engraved with mazal tov.94 The hexagonal form suggests that the inspiration might be the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, which was regarded as the Temple by the fourteenth century.95 A pyramidal ring from the Colmar treasure, deposited before 1348, is similarly inscribed.96 A third gabled ring with Hebrew inscription from the Weissenfels treasure, which was deposited after 1310 and probably dates from before 1348–9, was found in 1826.97 All three rings date to the early fourteenth century. A further ring of this type was inventoried in the Munich Kunstkammer in 1598 as part of the earlier collection of Albrecht V – evidence of the humanist interest in Judaism.98 We do not know when the later, gabled form of ring like Baron Nathaniel’s and Baron Ferdinand’s was produced, or where. Octavius Morgan questioned their status in 1871: There are certain large rings which are broad and much ornamented in the hoop, and have, by way of a bezel, a small house, temple or tabernacle projecting from them. They are generally called Jewish marriage rings and usually have a Hebrew inscription upon them meaning, I am told, God be with us. I have been very credibly informed that no such rings are used in the Jewish marriage ceremony; and I should esteem it a favour if anyone can inform me whether they are really Jewish marriage rings or not, and whether they are, or were, ever used in the Jewish marriage ceremony. If they were used in former times, when that usage ceased? And if they are not used at such marriage, what is their use and meaning? The universal Hebrew inscription seems to favour such an idea.99 Morgan may have been wrongly-informed about the Hebrew inscription, but he was justly concerned about the status and significance of this type of ring. Nine examples lacking provenances are in in the Jewish Museum in London, displayed with a wedding belt decorated with cast metal plaques showing gable rings.100 Seven more were acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1871 from Edmund Waterton (1830–1881), a Catholic antiquary.101 He wrote about this type in the 1862 South Kensington Loan Exhibition: some are curiously ornamented with filigree and enamel; and they all have the inscription, in Hebrew, maul toub, God be with you. These rings are made for the use of the synagogue, where they serve in the celebration of the marriage ceremony, being placed on the finger of the couple at a certain part of the rite.102 Jewish ‘marriage rings’ were exhibited with other Judaica at the Trocadéro in Paris in 1878 as part of the collection of Isaac Strauss (1806–1888).103 Nineteen rings were acquired as part of the Strauss collection and given to the Musée de Cluny in 1890 by Baron Ferdinand’s aunt, Charlotte, Baroness Nathaniel de Rothschild (1825–1899).104 This was the first Jewish collection to be given to a national institution in France, just four years before the outbreak of the Dreyfus Affair, and it represented a foundation gift to which other Rothschilds added similar Jewish goldsmiths’ work from 1893 to 2003.105 There is little doubt that Jewish ‘marriage rings’ suddenly seem to have appeared in quantity on the art market in the nineteenth century just at the moment when serious collectors – including Jews – started to show an interest in Judaica in the 1880s and 1890s.106 A sense of their perceived value appears in a letter of 22 October 1896 from the collector Max Rosenheim to Franks at the British Museum, asking for a valuation for a Jewish ‘wedding ring’ which he had previously shown Franks but which had been stolen from his house. Rosenheim valued it for insurance at £20: . . . but the Co[mpany] want proof as regards cost or value. The ring having been in our own family for I don’t know how long I could not give them any proof as regards cost or value, but as I had shewn it to you, Sir Wollaston, and Mr Griffith some time last year I thought you might perhaps remember it and write me a note stating that you considered my valuation of £;20 correct – or not –.107 Rosenheim continued with a description of the ring, which had a turret (drawn in the letter) studded with lions’ heads holding small rings in their mouths; the turret opened to reveal ‘some Hebrew inscription’. The letter shows the importance of these rings to Jewish collectors as objects that carried an ancient tradition with them but which also had a value on the contemporary art market. A particularly highly-decorated enamelled ring from the Pierpont Morgan collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a fascinating provenance documenting this new taste in the second half of the nineteenth century. The ring belonged to Johannes Paul in Cologne, and appeared in the sale of his collection on 20 October 1882 (no. 788); it was then acquired in 1904 by Baron Albert von Oppenheim, a Protestant convert from a powerful Jewish merchant family in Cologne; then acquired by M. J. Seligmann, in 1906; and finally sold to Morgan, who retained it until it was given to the Metropolitan Museum in 1917.108 The fashion for these rings probably derived from the interest shown in Jewish women – especially brides in wedding costume – by Orientalist artists from the 1830s to 1850s. Eugène Delacroix, recorded in his diary for 21 February 1832 how he had been introduced by his Jewish interpreter in Tangiers to the latter’s daughter, and had painted her in her bridal finery.109 Chassériau witnessed a wedding in Constantine, Algeria in 1846, and painted it in 1851.110 Both paintings emphasise dress, rings, bracelets and necklaces. The Frankfurt Jewish painter Moritz Daniel Oppenheim’s painting of a Jewish wedding, painted in 1861, celebrates an idealized view of life in the Frankfurt Judengasse: the wedding is shown taking place outside the synagogue there. Again, the ring takes centre stage, and both bride and groom wear heavy belts ornamented with gold.111 The ring in Oppenheim’s painting is of plain gold. That accords with the exhaustive account of Frankfurt Ashkenazi wedding customs given by Johann Jacob Schudt in 1714.112 It is clear from a close reading of the text – which is extremely detailed concerning the series of rituals surrounding Jewish betrothals and marriages – that only a plain gold ring, without enamelling or gems, was used, and that checking on the quality and suitability of the ring was an integral part of the marriage service. No mention is made in the text of rings with gables, enamel and filigree, though the inscription mazal tov is mentioned in connection with rings. One of the few documented Jewish wedding rings from this period is a completely plain gold band which was used at a Sephardic ceremony on 13 April 1699 at the Bevis Marks synagogue in London. The inscription in Hebrew on the inside records that Joshua and Judith Sarfaty were married in 1699. ‘Good luck. Joshua and Judith Tsarfathi. May their Rock and Redeemer guard them. 1699.’113 We have no documentary evidence that the so-called Jewish ‘marriage rings’ with enamelled gables were ever used as such. What no-one has noticed until now concerning the Waddesdon Bequest ring is that there are small loops on the hoop which indicate that this ring was adapted as a pendant, like one formerly in the Benjamin Zucker collection and now in another private collection in New York114 (Fig. 7). The formerly Zucker example is quite possibly seventeenth- or eighteenth-century but was later adapted: two stages of work can be detected in its making. The presence of an Austrian tax mark which was in use between 1806 and 1824 provides a terminus ante quem for this type of ring.115 Another example, also with the tell-tale loops, which was bequeathed by Franks in 1897, is in the British Museum.116 A clue to the dating of these rings worn as pendants – or at least the vogue for them in Jewish circles – is provided by the very similar pendant shown being worn by the Frankfurt socialist and feminist Bertha Pappenheim (1859–1936), in a late nineteenth-century portrait by Leopold Pilichowski (1869–1933). The portrait has apparently been destroyed, and is now known only from photographs.117 In the portrait Pappenheim, who was the ‘Anna O’ in Sigmund Freud’s and Marcel Breuer’s Studies in Hysteria of 1895, is shown dressed as the Jewish businesswoman and diarist, Glückel of Hameln (1646–1724), whose Yiddish diaries Pappenheim had published in Vienna in 1910.118 Pappenheim identified with Glückel, whom she described in her introduction to the diary as a woman who ‘stood out because of her unusual mental gifts, [who] was true to her faith, to her people, to her family, and to herself.’119 Pappenheim’s concept of seventeenth-century Jewish dress, complete with a pendant made like a ring, gives a fascinating historical and intellectual context for this category of historicist ring in Germany in the late nineteenth century. But might the sense of family origins and family fortunes, as expressed by Baron Ferdinand in his writings, be documented in other ways by other, non-Jewish objects in the Bequest? Did the Gnadenpfennig, or ‘medal of honour’, of Moritz ‘The Learned’ of Hesse-Kassel recall Mayer Amschel’s appointment as Court Agent to Wilhelm of Kassel in 1769, as an object which documented their debt to one of the great ruling dynasties of Europe?120 Moritz became Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel in 1592 and was married to his second wife, Juliana, in 1603. The Gnadenpfennig featuring portraits of them both can, therefore, be dated to their joint reign between 1603 and 1627.121 Moritz was the one who established the stable wing of the palace in Kassel as a museum in 1593, calling it the Kunsthaus.122 The inspiration for Rothschild Kunstkammer collecting has often been traced to the family’s relations to their patrons in Hesse-Kassel, and they can be shown to have collected in all the areas covered by the great court collections of Europe. Within Renaissance and Baroque courts these embellished portrait medals were given and received as tokens of kinship, trust and allegiance and were worn on heavy gold chains by both men and women. Moritz was free in giving out ‘innumerable numbers of golden chains, sometimes with his and his wife’s portrait’,123 including what seems to have been a Gnadenpfennig with his own portrait, like the example in the Bequest, as a favour to the English painter at his court, Francis Segar.124 Fig. 7. View largeDownload slide Jewish wedding ring with container and pendant, Central on Eastern Europe, eighteenth century. Height overall 80.03 mm; height of ring 47.61 mm; height of pendant 30.89 mm. Private collection, USA.©Les Enluminures/R.Goodbody. Fig. 7. View largeDownload slide Jewish wedding ring with container and pendant, Central on Eastern Europe, eighteenth century. Height overall 80.03 mm; height of ring 47.61 mm; height of pendant 30.89 mm. Private collection, USA.©Les Enluminures/R.Goodbody. The piece points to the origin of all Rothschild collecting in Mayer Amschel’s dealing in coins and medals from the Frankfurt Judengasse.125 Christopher de Hamel has observed how some manuscripts collected by Mayer Amschel’s grandchildren echoed his numismatic tastes in that they included illuminated borders with realistic depictions of gold and silver coins. But there are other resonances with family history and identity which may have mattered just as much. Two of these manuscripts, such as a Strozzi wedding poem of c.1503 and a Josephus History of the Jews illuminated by Attavanti Attavante for the Medici, were both commissioned by great merchant banking dynasties of Renaissance Europe. As de Hamel points out: ‘It must have been natural for Rothschilds to recognise a cultural kinship and to delight in manuscripts commissioned by their professional predecessors.’126 The same has been said of many of the finest objects in the Waddesdon Bequest – that they link the family with the merchant banking dynasties of the past as they also do with the great princely collectors of Europe, such as the Habsburgs who had ruled half of the known world in the sixteenth century. Baron Ferdinand was keenly aware, for example, that the Meit busts in his collection had belonged to Rudolf II of Prague, and that his boxwood tabernacle had the arms of Charles V incised on its leather case.127 In a Neo-Kunstkammer, in which provenance mattered, these were surely connections that conferred layers of subtlety and sophistication upon the family; what the politician Adolphe Thiers described as another way of ‘doing history’.128 When Goethe mused over the rise of the House of Rothschild in 1828, he considered it to be a matter of culture as much as wealth: in order to do something you must be something. We think Dante great, but he had a civilisation of centuries behind him; the House of Rothschild is rich but it has required more than one generation to attain such wealth. Such things all lie deeper than one thinks.129 The Gnadenpfennig of Moritz ‘The Learned’ is shown in the new British Museum gallery for the Waddesdon Bequest in connection with the role of the Kassel Kunstkammer in shaping the collecting interests of the Rothschild family. The Judaica analysed here is presented so as to demonstrate the way in which the demand for Judaica stimulated faking in the nineteenth century. The pieces point at one and the same time to the family’s Judaism, its wish to integrate with European high culture of the Renaissance, and its close links to the development of the art market in nineteenth-century Europe. The point is made discreetly, visually and almost subliminally in the gallery, in a way that is intended to match Baron Ferdinand’s sophisticated and inward-looking account of the origins of his family, its faith, and its role in the making of modern Europe. Acknowledgements I am grateful to Melanie Aspey, Beatriz Chadour-Sampson, Evelyn Cohen, Gabriel Goldstein, Judy Kelly, Sharon Liebermann Mintz, Peter Mandler, Tessa Murdoch, Beverley Nenk, Diana Scarisbrick, Birgit Schüebel, Jeremy Warren, Ulrike Weinhold, and Benjamin Zucker for commenting on aspects of this paper and providing illustrations. A private collector in New York, who wishes to remain anonymous, has also been of great assistance. Any mistakes and misinterpretations which may remain are my own. Notes and references 1 J. Berger, Portraits; John Berger on artists, ed. Tom Overton (London and New York, 2015), pp. 330–31. 2 A. Elon, Founder, Mayer Amschel Rothschild and his Time (London, 1996), pp. 89–92. 3 N. Ferguson, The World’s Banker (London, 1998), pp. 50–51. 4 Ibid, pp.170–90. 5 M. Aspey, ‘The Rothschilds and the Judengasse; new documents from the Rothschild Archive’, in The Frankfurt Judengasse. Jewish life in an early modern city, ed. F. Backhaus, G. Engel, R. Liberles and M. Schlüter (London and Portland, or, 2010), pp. 155–64, at p. 157. 6 N. MacGregor, Germany, Memories of a Nation (London, 2005), pp. 130, 519. 7 E. Antébi, Edmond de Rothschild, L’homme qui racheta la Terre Sainte (Paris, 2003), p. 39. Other colonies were named after his parents, his uncle Salomon, Ferdinand’s father, and his mother-in-law, Ferdinand’s sister, Hannah Mathilde. 8 D. Thornton, A Rothschild Renaissance; Treasures from the Waddesdon Bequest (London, 2015); Pippa Shirley and Dora Thornton, A Rothschild Renaissance: A new look, British Museum Research Publication 212 (London, 2017). 9 M. Hall, ‘Bric-à-Brac, a Rothschild’s memoir of collecting’, Apollo 166 no. 545 (2007), pp. 50–77, and D. Thornton, ‘From Waddesdon to the British Museum. Baron Ferdinand Rothschild and his cabinet collection’, Journal of the History of Collections 13 (2001), pp. 191–213. 10 Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, Reminiscences, July 1887, Windmill Hill Archive, Waddesdon Manor, inv. no. 177.1997 (hereafter Reminiscences). With thanks to the Head Archivist, Catherine Taylor. 11 V. Gray and M. Aspey (eds), The Life and Times of N. M. Rothschild (London, 1998), p. 112. 12 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), p. 1. 13 For these aspects of Baron Ferdinand’s biography see Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), pp. 746, 778, 849–50. 14 Unlike his father-in-law and uncle, Baron Lionel, he was not, however, a lender to the exhibition. Jewish wedding rings like those in the Waddesdon Bequest, discussed here, were displayed in this exhibition: Catalogue of the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition 1887, Royal Albert Hall, (London, 1887), cat. nos 1822–31 for Jewish wedding rings lent by the Rothschild dealer, E. Joseph among others. 15 For Paris see C. A. Soulié, ‘De la solidarité communitaire à l’action sociale’, in Les Rothschilds, ed. C. Collard and M. Aspey (Paris, 2012), pp. 149–62; for Frankfurt, see H.-O.Schembs, ‘“For the care of the sick, the good of the community, the embellishment of their home town’’’, in The Rothschilds, Essays on the history of a European family, ed. G. Heuberger (Frankfurt am Main, 1994), pp. 205–19. 16 N. Pickering, ‘The English Rothschild family in the Vale of Aylesbury: their houses, collections and collecting activity 1830–1900’, Ph.D. dissertation, King’s College (London, 2013). 17 M. Hall, Waddesdon Manor (New York, 2002). 18 Thornton, op. cit. (note 9). 19 Ibid. 20 H. Read, The Waddesdon Bequest, Catalogue of the works of art bequeathed to the British Museum by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild, MP, 1898 (London, 1903), p. xv. 21 Thornton, op. cit. (note 8) p. 202. 22 F. Backhaus, ‘The population explosion in the Frankfurt Judengasse in the 16th century’, in Backhaus et al. op. cit. (note 5), pp. 23–40, at p. 38. 23 British Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings, inv. no. 1876,0510.518 for a print of 1618 recording the ugly iconography of the painting. Isaiah Shachar, ‘The “Judensau”: A medieval anti-Jewish motif and its history’, Warburg Institute Surveys 5 (1974). For Goethe, see Ferguson op. cit. (note 3), p. 37. 24 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), p. 2. 25 Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 46; F. Backhaus, ‘The last of the Court Jews, Mayer Amschel Rothschild and sons’, in From Court Jews to the Rothschilds 1600–1800, Art, Patronage and Power, ed. V. B. Mann and R. I. Cohen (Munich and New York, 1996), pp. 79–95, p. 81. 26 Thirteen catalogues, mostly undated, are in the Frankfurt Stadt-und Universitätsbibliothek: see Mann and Cohen, op. cit. (note 25) p. 82 and cat. no. 58. The 1788 sale catalogue of David Samuel von Madai’s collection of thalers, heavily annotated by Mayer Amschel with prices raised, survives in the Rothschild Archive in London as a testimony to the way the latter used Madai’s coin catalogues as numismatic manuals: see Gray and Aspey, op. cit. (note 11), p. 85. 27 For Gutle, see Mann and Cohen, op. cit. (note 25), cat. no. 162; Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 46; Gray and Aspey, op. cit.(note 11), p. 84. 28 Backhaus, op. cit. (note 25), p. 81. 29 Elon, op. cit. (note 2), p. 68. One of ten volumes published in Frankfurt between 1783 and 1787: Mann and Cohen, op. cit. (note 25), cat. no. 58. 30 Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 47. 31 Ibid, pp. 508–9. 32 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), p. 10. 33 See painting by Carl Goebel in the collection of the Earl of Rosebery, which probably came into that family through the marriage of Hannah Rothschild in 1878 to the 5th Earl of Rosebery: Gray and Aspey, op. cit. (note 11), p. 83. 34 It was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1944. D. Bartetzko, ‘Fairy tales and castles: on Rothschild family buildings in Frankfurt on Main’, in Heuberger, op. cit. (note 15), pp. 221–43, at pp. 238–42. 35 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), p. 10. 36 Aspey, op. cit. (note 5), p. 157. 37 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), p. 2. 38 Gray and Aspey, op. cit. (note 11), p. 87. For a photograph of the tomb see Elon, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 175–6. 39 Lord Rothschild, preface to Heuberger, op. cit. (note 15), p. 12 and photographs on p. 14. 40 Elon, op. cit. (note 2), p. 175. 41 Reminiscences, op. cit.(note 10), pp. 2–3. 42 Ibid., p. 2. 43 Ibid., pp. 214, 186–7; Gray and Aspey, op. cit. (note 11), p. 111. 44 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), pp. 3–5. 45 Aspey in Backhaus et al., op. cit. (note 5), p. 155. Mayer Amschel’s sons treasured his 1769 grant of title as Court Agent by Wilhelm of Hesse and two volumes of his early accounts, ibid., pp. 161–2. 46 The Rothschild Archive, London. This archive has an extraordinary history, having been confiscated by the Nazis in 1938, warehoused in Poland, then taken by the Soviets (there is a Russian receipt dated 1948), and finally returned to the Rothschilds and given to the Rothschild Archive in 2001. 47 G. Heuberger (ed.), The Rothschilds, A European Family (Frankfurt am Main, 1994), pp. 112–14. On the relationship between Oppenheim as a portraitist with the Rothschilds see A. Weber, ‘Moritz Oppenheim und die Familie Rothschild’, in Moritz Daniel Oppenheim – Die Entdeckung des Jüdischen Selbstbewußtseins in der Kunst, ed. G. Heuberger and A. Merk, exh. cat., Jewish Museum, Frankfurt (Frankfurt am Main, 1999), pp. 187–200. 48 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), p. 4. Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), pp. 68–76; Heuberger and Merk, op. cit. (note 47). 49 Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), caption to illustrations on p. 232. 50 Royal Collection, inv. nos. rcin 421460 and 421110. 51 Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 206. 52 M. Aspey, ‘Salamon’s archive’, The Rothschild Archive Review of the Year 2001–2, pp. 27–31. 53 The Rothschild Archive London xi/109/6/2/27, quoted by Aspey in Backhaus et al., op. cit. (note 5), p. 159. 54 Reminiscences, op. cit. (note 10), pp. 57–8. 55 Judaica Acquisitions 1992–93, The Jewish Museum, New York (New York, 1995), p. 31; Mann and Cohen, op. cit. (note 25), cat. no. 175 and pl. 65. 56 Sir Edward Hamilton’s diary, 15 December 1898, British Library, Additional ms 48674. Part quoted in A. Allfrey, Edward VII and his Jewish Court (London, 1991), p. 189; Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 751; Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), p. 41. 57 Charlotte Rothschild, letter to Leo Rothschild, 4 September 1871, Rothschild Archive, London (hereafter ral), rf am c/21; Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 771. 58 T. M. Endelman, ‘Commmunal solidarity among the Jewish elite of Victorian London’, Victorian Studies 28 no. 3 (1985), pp. 491–526. 59 22 December 1898, quoted in E. Donnelly, ‘Securing a new national treasure; Baron Ferdinand and the British Museum’, in Shirley and Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), pp. 40–51, at p. 41. 60 Waddesdon Manor, inv. no. 57.1995_57.1995; Gray and Aspey, op. cit. (note 11), p. 84; Heuberger and Merk, op. cit. (note 47), p. 405, cat. no. xiv.6. I am grateful to Mia Jackson for photographs and information. 61 For the group, including the Pressburg Cup and the two rings discussed here as well as a fake circumcision knife attributed to Rheinhold Vasters, see Thornton op. cit. (note 8), p. 289. 62 Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 466; Schembs, op. cit. (note 15), p. 207 for Mayer Amschel and Zedekah. 63 Waddesdon Bequest 104, see Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), pp. 284–9 and Waddesdon Bequest 57, ibid., pp. 126–31. See also Aspey, op. cit. (note 52), pp. 27–31, esp. p. 31, h2, described as ‘Letter of thanks for the goblet and dedicatory address from Pressburg’. Could this have been the Pressburg Cup? 64 Prag um 1600, Kunst und Kultur am Hofe Rudolfs II, exh. cat., Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (Vienna, 1998), vol. i, cat. no. 505 for the Hoshen amulet given to Rudolf II by the Jewish community in Prague, which was recorded in the Vienna Kunstkammer in 1750. 65 I am grateful to Birgit Schübel, pers. com., 27 June 2017, for her comments. A Christian example of a secular piece becoming a sacred object is the silver ewer and basin made in Nuremberg to commemorate the birth of Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen around 1610, given by him in 1665 to the Reformed Church in Cleve for use at baptism: Waddesdon Bequest 91 and 92, H. Tait, Catalogue of the Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum, vol. ii: The silver plate (London, 1988), cat. no. 46. 66 Prag um 1600, op. cit. (note 64), vol. i, cat. no. 506. 67 N. M. Kleeblatt and V. Mann, Treasures of the Jewish Museum (New York, 1986), pp. 58–9. 68 Jewish Museum, New York, gift of Michael Oppenheim, inv. no. f 3589. S. L. Braunstein, Le-Hayyim – To Life! Cups of sanctification and celebration (New York, 1984), cat. no. 46. 69 A silver-gilt beaker, marked for Bamberg, with Hebrew initials from the Ullman collection in Frankfurt, and a cup marked for Wolff Straub, Nuremberg 1618–44, with Hebrew initials, both sold at Sotheby’s sale, Important Judaica, Sotheby’s, Tel Aviv, 8 October 1996, lots 205 and 219. 70 Ibid., lot 208. Four similar beakers with busts of emperors after the Lives of the Emperors by Suetonius in relief, made by different makers in Augsburg around 1680–85, are in the Kassel Kunstkammer; three were first recorded in the Museum Fridericianum in 1779; the fourth was given in 1816: B. de Boysson, E. Schmidberger and H. Ottomeyer, Orfèvrerie d’apparat, Allemagnexv-xviie siècle, (Bordeaux, 2001), cat. nos 22–4; R-A. Schütte, Die Silberkammer der Landgrafen von Hessen-Kassel (Kassel, 2003), cat. nos 69–71. 71 A silver secular beaker, made in Nuremberg between 1669 and 1774 was later engraved with two Hebrew inscriptions within the Jewish community in Copenhagen. The bosses on the cup itself are engraved: ‘A memorial present from the fraternal society ‘Ohave Hesed’ [Lovers of Charity] which was established in the 5492 [ad 1732] here in Copenhagen in commemoration of the centenary of the Society in 5592 [ad 1832].’ Victoria and Albert Museum, inv. no. m.40. 1,2-1959. 72 Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), pp. 290–95. 73 The Jewish Museum, New York, gift of Richard and Beatrice Levy, inv. no. 1984-61. Heuberger and Merk, op. cit. (note 47), no. vi.1, pp. 112, 373. Moritz Oppenheim: The first Jewish painter, exh. cat., Israel Museum, Jerusalem (Jerusalem, 1983), no. iii.9, pp. 24, 54. 74 British Museum, Waddesdon Bequest 101a-b; Tait, op. cit. (note 65), cat. no. 15. 75 Quoted in A. Werner, Pictures of Jewish Family Life by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (New York, 1976), p. 14. Charlotte von Rothschild’s Haggadah, Frankfurt am Main, 1843, is in the Braginsky collection 314, fol. 42. E. M. Cohen, ‘Charlotte (‘Chilly’) von Rothschild: mother, connoisseur, and artist’, The Rothschild Archive, Review of the Year 2012–2013, pp. 29–36. 76 E. M. Cohen, ‘A surprising model for Charlotte Rothschild’s Haggadah of 1842’, Ars Judaica 10 (2014), pp. 37–48. 77 R. Erb, ‘The “Damascus Affair”, 1840; the role of the Rothschilds in mobilizing public opinion’, in Heuberger, op. cit. (note 15), pp. 99–112. For the cup, which survives in a private collection in the USA, see Heuberger and Merk, op. cit. (note 47), pp. 175, 177, fig. 6, and cat. no. xiv.5. 78 Quoted in Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), p. 22. 79 I owe this observation to Peter Mandler. 80 Letter from Baron Ferdinand Rothschild to Baron Lionel Rothschild, 15 August 1872, ral 000/26; Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), p. 327 n. 38. For Nathaniel’s collection in Vienna, A. Nierhaus, ‘Vorbild Frankreich. Der Paläste der Familie Rothschild im Wiener-Belvedere-Viertel’, Östereichische Zeitschrift für Kunst und Denkmalpflege 72 (2008), pp. 74–86. 81 N. Rothschild, Notizen über einige meiner Kunstgegenstände (Vienna, 1903), Introduction. 82 Ibid, pp. 100–101, cat. no. 239. The manuscript is now in the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research in New York: see Mann and Cohen, op. cit. (note 25), cat. no. 87; I. Winter, Ingathering: Ceremony and tradition in New York public collections (New York, 1968), cat. no. 142; Gray and Aspey, op. cit. (note 11), p. 84; S. Lieberman Mintz and G. Goldstein (eds), Printing the Talmud; From Bomberg to Schottenstein Yeshiva University Museum (New York, 2006), cat. no. 52, pp. 270–72. 83 Rothschild, op. cit. (note 81), p. 82, cat. no. I89. ‘Ring aus Gold, mit dachförmigem Aufsatz und emaillierten Ornamenten verziert. Innerhalb des Aufsatzes zwei hebraïischen Buchstaben, welche in ihrer Abkürzung “Viel Gluck” bedeuten. Mit diesem Ringe wurde meine Urgrossmutter Gudula Rothschild im Jahre 1770 getraut: was ich, um eine Verwechslung mit zwei ähnlichen Ringen meiner Sammlung zu vermeiden, an der Innenseiten habe anmerken lassen.’ 84 B. Zucker, Blue (New York, 2000), p. 65, The boy Isaac is enjoined by an older relative to look closely at a gable ring with its enamel and inscription, ‘Not with your eyes but with your memory, with the eyes of the family memory.’ There is an echo in the phrase of Baron Nathaniel’s feeling about his great-grandmother’s ring. 85 P. Prévost-Marcilhacy (ed.), Les Rotschild. Une Dynastie de Mécènes en France 1873–2016 (Paris, 2016), vol. i, pp. 208–10, vol. iii, p. 402, fig. 7. 86 British Museum, Waddesdon Bequest 196. F. Schestag, Katalog der Kuntsammlung des Freiherrn Anselm von Rothschild in Wein (Vienna, 1866), no. 296; C. H. Read, The Waddesdon Bequest: Catalogue of the works of art bequeathed to the British Museum by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild, M.P., 1898, (London, 1902), no. 196; O. M. Dalton, Catalogue of the Finger-Rings, Early Christian, Byzantine, Teutonic, Mediæval and Later in the British Museum (London, 1912), no. 1332; O. M. Dalton, The Waddesdon Bequest, 2nd (rev.) edn, British Museum (London, 1927), no. 196; B. Chadour, Ringe, Die Alice Koch Sammlung, Vierzig Jahrhunderte durch vier Generationen gesehen / Rings, The Alice and Louis Koch Collection, Forty Centuries seen by Four Generations (Leeds, 1994), vol. ii, cat. no. 1073; Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), p. 289. There are three further examples of this type in the Franks Bequest in the British Museum, see Dalton 1912, cat. nos 1331, 1333–4. 87 Dalton, op. cit. [1912] (note 86), cat. nos 1355–7. Of these, 1355 may represent a sixteenth- or seventeenth-century example of the gabled type of ring: compare Chadour, op. cit. (note 86), vol. ii, cat. no. 1069. For a good comparison to this ring in copper-gilt see Important Judaica, op. cit. (note 69), lot 301. There are also in the British Museum collection seven rings with applied filigree ornament, Dalton, op. cit. [1912] (note 86), cat. nos 1339–46, and seven with applied letters and ornaments, cat. nos 1347–50, 1352–4. 88 S. Hindman, B. Chadour-Sampson, R. Hadjadj, J. Ogden and D. Scarisbrick, Cycles of Life. Rings from the Benjamin Zucker family collection (Paris, Chicago and New York, 2014), p. 91. 89 V. Klagsbald, Catalogue raisonnée de la collection juive du musée de Cluny (Paris, 1981), cat. nos 36–53. 90 Hindman et al., op. cit. (note 88), cat. nos 10–12. 91 Chadour, op. cit. (note 86), nos. 1069–97. 92 H. Klusch, Siebenbürgische Goldschmiedekunst (Bucharest, 1988), p. 22. I am grateful to Beatriz Chadour for this reference. The gold bowl is British Museum Waddesdon Bequest 66: see H. Tait, Catalogue of the Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum, vol. i: The jewels (London, 1986), cat. no. 53. 93 C. Descatoire (ed.), Treasures of the Black Death, exh. cat., Wallace Collection (London, 2009), p. 60. 94 Ibid., p. 60, cat. no. 1. 95 V. Mann, in Jerusalem 1000–1400. Every people under Heaven, exh. cat., Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 2016), p. 146. 96 Klagsbald, op. cit. (note 89), cat. no. 35; Descatoire, op. cit.(note 93), pp. 63-3, cat. no.2. 97 Descatoire, op. cit. (note 93), p. 63, cat. no. 3. 98 B. Stuadinger, Munich in The Jewish World and the Wittelsbach Dynasty (Munich, 2007), p. 34. Rings of architectural form made of plain gold continued to be made. One example in the British Museum, Dalton, op. cit. [1912] (note 86), cat. no. 1355, was bequeathed by Franks but came from the collection of the Welsh antiquary Octavius Morgan (1803–1888). It could possibly be a sixteenth- or seventeenth-century interpretation of the medieval form but might be more modern, like two cruder rings in the Victoria and Albert Museum which were acquired in 1871, inv. nos 863–1871 and 864–1871. 99 Notes and Queries, 10 June 1871, p. 495. Dalton, op. cit. [1912] (note 86), cat. no. 1355, derived from his collection. 100 G. Seidmann, ‘Jewish marriage rings’, Jewellery Studies 1 (1983–4), pp. 41–4. 101 S. Bury, Jewellery Gallery Summary Catalogue, Victoria and Albert Museum (London, 1982), p. 238. 102 Catalogue of the Special Exhibition of Works of Art of the Medieval, Renaissance and more recent periods, on loan to the South Kensington Museum, June 1862 (London, 1863), p. 623. 103 Esposition universelle de 1878 illustrée (Paris, 1878), no. 153, p. 788: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k5825437f/f2.image.r=Strauss; A. Erlande-Brandenbourg, Catalogue raisonnéee de la collection juive de musée de Cluny (Paris, 1981), pp. 7–9. 104 That gift formed the basis for the current Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaisme, established in 1986 by then Parisian mayor, Jacques Chirac: Hindman et al., op. cit. (note 88), p. 91. On Strauss and his collection see M. Schwab, Collection M. Strauss. Description des objets d’art réligieux hébraïques exposés dans les galeries du Trocadéro à l’Exposition universelle de 1878 (Paris, 1878); M. Schwab, ‘La collection Strauss au musée de Cluny’, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 3rd ser. 5 (1891), pp. 237–45; D. Jurasse, Existe-t-il un art juif? (Paris, 2006), pp. 42–7. 105 Prévost-Marcilhacy, op. cit. (note 85), vol. i, pp. 208–10. 106 In Schwab, op. cit. [1891] (note 104), two engraved drawings of Jewish wedding rings appear at beginning and end. 107 Letter from Max Rosenheim to A. W. Franks, 22 October 1896. British Museum, Archive of the Department of Britain, Europe and Prehistory, bep Correspondence Archives (Box 1896–1898, r-sm). I am grateful to Eloise Donnelly for discussing this reference with me as part of her doctoral research. 108 Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. no. 1917.190.996. For Rothschild reactions to the conversion to Christianity of members of the Oppenheim banking family in Hamburg in 1818, see Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 177. 109 L. Johnson,‘Delacroix’s Jewish bride’, Burlington Magazine 137 (1997), pp. 755–9. Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. no. 1972,118.210 for the painting. 110 Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. no. 996,285. 111 The Jewish Museum, New York, inv. no. 1999-87; Schwab, op. cit. [1891] (note 104), p. 245, mentions belt and ring being worn together by a bride. 112 J. J. Schudt, Jüdische merckwürdigkeiten (Leipzig and Frankfurt, 1714), vol. ii, chapter xxv, pp. 3–4. 113 British Museum, inv. no. af 1410. Their names are listed among the Ketubot at Bevis Marks: Bevis Marks Records, part 2, p. 65 no 69. Their deaths are recorded in the ‘Burial Register of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, London 1657–1735’, transcribed by R. D. Barnett, in Miscellanies of the Jewish Historical Society of England 6 (1962), pp. 20, 32, 70. Joshua died on 31 December 1722 and Judith on 23 February 1747. I am grateful to Beverley Nenk for this information. 114 See Hindman et al., op. cit. (note 88) p. 91 no. 14 in the same catalogue illustrates Waddesdon Bequest 95 and says it is Venetian or German, sixteenth to nineteenth century. It does not note the small loops on the hoop which indicate that this too was probably a pendant like the Zucker one with its rock crystal container, for which see also D. Scarisbrick, Rings (London, 2007), p. 117, figs 157–8. 115 An Austrian tax mark for 1806 also helps to date a similar ring in the Victoria and Albert Museum, inv. no. 453–1873; G. Seidmann, Marriage Rings in the Jewish Museum, London, published in the Annual Report for 1982 of the Jewish Museum, London. 116 Dalton, op. cit. [1912] (note 86), cat. no. 1339, af.1417 117 From the Secular to the Sacred. Everyday objects in Jewish ritual use, Israel Museum (Jerusalem, 1985), cat. no. 36; Hindman et al., op. cit. (note 88), p. 104. 118 On Glückel or Glikl Bas Judah Leib, see N. Zemon Davis, Women on the Margins. Three seventeenth century lives (Cambridge, ma, 1995), pp. 5–62. The Yiddish text was first published by D. Kaufmann, Die Memoiren der Glückel von Hameln 1645–1719 (Frankfurt am Main, 1896). 119 M. Given Gutman, The Enigma of Anna O, A biography of Bertha Pappenheim (Rhode Island and London, 2001), p. 191. 120 Waddesdon Bequest 38; Tait, op. cit. (note 92), cat. no. 38. 121 L. Börner, Deutsche medaillenkleinode des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts (Leipzig, 1981), cat. no. 64. 122 H. Borggrefe, T. Fuesnig and A. Schunicht-Rawe, Moritz der Gelehrte, Ein Renaissancefürst in Europa (Munich, 1997); F. A. Dreier, ‘The Kunstkammer of the Hessian Landgraves of Kassel’, in The Origins of Museums. The cabinet of curiosities in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe, ed. O. Impey and A. MacGregor (Oxford, 1985), pp. 102–9. 123 Borggrefe et al., op. cit. (note 122), cat. no. 66. 124 Referred to in a letter from Segar’s brother, William Segar, to Maurice of 9 September 1615 as one of a group; ‘Fowyre chaynes, with their medals, whereof two are of King James, the third of yo[u]r Highness’: M. Spies, ‘Francis Segar and Abraham van der Doort in Kassel; two English artists at the court of Landgrave Moritz the Learned’, British Art Journal 16 no. 2 (2015), pp. 20–23, at p. 22. 125 For thalers and medals supplied by Mayer Amschel to the Bavarian Court in 1789 see Heuberger, op. cit. (note 47), p. 19. 126 C. de Hamel, The Rothschilds and their Collections of Illuminated Manuscripts (London, 2005), pp. 4–5. 127 Thornton, op. cit. (note 8), pp. 196–203, 186–95. 128 T. Stammers, ‘Collectors, Catholics, and the Commune: heritage and counterrevolution, 1860–1890’, French Historical Studies 37 no.1 (2014), pp. 53–87, at p. 73. I am grateful to Tom Stammers for this reference and for our discussion on the political climate for collecting in France during this period. 129 E. Corti, The Rise of the House of Rothschild (London, 1928), p. 400; Ferguson, op. cit. (note 3), p. 38. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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