Anti-semitism in Georgian England

By WALLIS, Edward, 1807 
£5,000
£3,000

The New and Fashionable Game of the Jew

Social & Political
  • Author: WALLIS, Edward
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Wallis, Dunnet and Wallis
  • Publication date: May 27th, 1807.
  • Physical description: Original hand-coloured engraved game, dissected and mounted on linen, housed in original slipcase with publisher’s label, together with original totem.
  • Dimensions: 480 by 410mm. (19 by 16.25 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 1436

Notes

A fine copy of this anti-Semitic board game, where the playing area is divided into ten sections, In the centre is a stereotyped depiction of a Jewish moneylender, surrounded by money bags. The players each have to roll a pair of dice or a totem, which gives the number of counters they have to place on the corresponding square of the board. If they throw a seven, their money goes to the Jew; if they throw a twelve, they receive all the counters on the board (Whitehouse). It is rare to find the game with the original totem.

Stephen Sondheim, who, as a games collector, owns a copy, commented memorably: It taught kids to be anti-semitic” (ATG).

There are institutional copies at the Jewish Museum London, University of Michigan, University of California, Yale, Harvard and Princeton.