This figure illustrates the perception of Jewish predominance at the financial markets by sections of Austrian and German societies in the 19th Century. The figure is symbolic of the then widespread myth that Jewish Capitalists were seeking to dominate the world economy.
The German inscription on the base of the base of this piece – ‘hausse!’ refers to the stock market boom that the Jewish financier supposedly enjoys. It may refer to a particular coup that a specific Jewish stockbroker, investor or merchant banker had enjoyed at the time. The figure is holding a document in its hand, possibly a bond or a share certificate. However, unlike some items of this genre this piece seems to have more humorous than malicious intent. In this period of Jewish assimilation in Europe it is interesting to note that the figure wears long sidecurls (‘peyot’) more commonly associated with Orthodox or Hassidic Jews – a suggested reminder of the Jewish traditional roots.
Finely cast and chased in form of a Jewish financier with pronounced nose and Semitic features in elegant clothing, top hat, jacket with tails and pin-striped trousers, holding a document and standing on a globe. Base inscribed in German ‘Hausse!’ (Boom!). 15.2 cm high. Bronze.
Sotheby’s Tel Aviv Catalogue 4/1997
Stock ID: 90124