The Jew as Other: A Century of English Caricatures 1730-1830

A Jew Pedlar An English Politician

George Woodward (?)
(London, c. 1795)
Etching, aquatint, hand-colored with water color
[29.8 x 34.8 cm]

A late eighteenth-century caricature of A Jew Pedlar, with his box of knickknacks and cheap jewelry, shows him holding up and pointing to a gilt framed portrait as he exclaims: Dere ish de Pictures of de King and de Queen—ash fine ash de life itself—who buys? who buys? no more den twopence for the two—and de gold be worth all de monish without de pictures! The irony of a German Jew bargaining at a knockdown price to sell off the King of England (himself a Hanoverian!) is not easily missed. Next to the Jew, An English Politician, closely reading a paper entitled Extraordinary Gazette, declares: Hey day!—why what the Devil have we here? it must certainly be an Error of the press, it cannot be true—After which Mr. Fox made a motion to bring in a Ball.—Bull!—why, surely the Printer must mean a Bill. It is unlikely that the pairing of these two figures conceals an insidious design on the part of the caricaturist. Rather, it was for a time fashionable to purchase series of caricatures in strips that could be used as wallpaper or interior hangings in the card and games rooms of wealthy houses. Rubens dates this as circa 1820, which is too late. Charles James Fox, alluded to in the caption to An English Politician, died in 1806.