- Museum number
- Object: A new court fire screen.
Scene outside the office of the Alliance Assurance Co., part of the façade forming the background, showing the main doorway, pilastered and flanked by side-doors: German Porters Lodge (left) and English Porter's Lodge (right). A mail-coach stands by the door, the roof heaped with money-bags inscribed 200, 300, &c.; a man stands beside the driver, clasping bags inscribed 500, to ask the English porter, who looks round his door: Are we in time porter? The man answers: No! all full at a Premium. A fat German porter stands in the other doorway (left) shouting to his colleague: No! No! open your toor Jn° Ox dere is yet blenty of room to take in our Guntry Friends. The inside of the coach is over-full; outside passengers say: What must we take our money back to the country; Hey! take our money back. The coach is inscribed Spanish-Fly [cf. BM Satires 11016], In Eighteen hours from Manchester. On the panel is a winged head, wearing a fool's cap and smiling. On the steps of the main doorway Nathan Rothschild and his brother-in-law Moses Montefiore talk together; the former, with the New Court Guide under his arm, says: ma fois [sic] c'est entre nous. The latter: Movine c'est bien fait pour mon beau frère—Moses on mount fore [?]. In the roadway stands Benjamin Gompertz (brother-in-law of Montefiore) addressing them: Experience makes wise men wiser; in his pocket is a paper: Factotum F.R.S. On the left stand three Jewish brokers, dressed alike in top-hats and gaberdines, all holding large bundles of Bonds. At their feet is a paper: Their Holy Brokers have Stop'd on the East side of the Temple. They say: Their never were such times! ; I hope they will continue so, and Amen! Amen! In the lunette above the door: No Persons will be admitted but those with empty heads and full pocketts. Above the door is an entablature inscribed Hollow Alliance Fire And Life Preserving Office. On this are ranged five realistic portrait busts of sovereigns inscribed (left to right) Russia, Prussia, Naples, France, Austria. On the wall above them is a large notice: Persons insured in this office will be supplied gratis with a Box of veritable German Paste which if applied according to the direction of Prince H & C° will prevent fire—NB should any person obtain fraudently a Box of the above miraculous Paste without being insured in this Office it will have the contrary effect, and consume the house on the first appearance of the New Moon. Over the two lodge-doors are tablets respectively inscribed: No Hollidays except Dog days and the Fifth of November, and Office Hours from Sun-rise to Moonshine. Above the design: Pro bono Publico. 1824
- Production date
Height: 260 millimetres
Width: 391 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', X, 1952)
An anti-Jewish satire on the formation of the Alliance British and Foreign Life and Fire Assurance Co. (now Alliance Assurance Co., one of 20 insurance companies floated or projected in 1824-5), the beginning of the reckless plunge of capital into joint stock companies which characterized the speculative mania of 1824, see No. 14669. The capital of £5,000,000 was oversubscribed, rising to a premium of 22½ per cent, on the issue of the prospectus. Smart, Econ. Annals, ii, 1917, p. 188; Jenks, Migration of British Capital, 1938, p. 52. Benjamin Gompertz (1779-1865) was the first actuary of the Company, which was not exclusively Jewish, Samuel Gurney being also a founder. Prince H. is Prince Alexander von Hohenlohe (1794-1850), a priest who claimed to effect miraculous cures by prayer, and who was in England in 1824. He is ridiculed in John Bull, 26 Dec. 1824. See No. 14816. The porter is identified as John Knox.
There is a satirical portrait of Rothschild as a fireman of the Company: Foreman of the Alliance (Rubens, No. 235, not in British Museum).
Rubens, No. 299 (reproduction). Reproduced, C. Roth, The Magnificent Rothschilds, 1939, p. 20.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1994/5 Oct-Feb, Frankfurth, Jüdisches Museum, The Rothschilds ...
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number