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Cartoon collection

Since early in the 19th century, the Rothschilds have been almost constantly in the public eye, across Europe and beyond, but the public profile of the family has swung wildly with changing times and in different countries. Caricature provides an effective barometer of those varying moods and attitudes.

Caricature highlights moments when the family has been the butt of virulent anti-semitism or has been identified with unpopular causes or movements and attacked as a readily accessible symbol. Equally, it can reflect moods of gentle - even affectionate - pinpointing of eccentricity or idiosyncracy, and it reflects and comments on significant moments in history in which the Rothschilds have been involved. 

The Rothschild Archive holds a small collection of cartoons and caricatures featuring the Rothschilds. The Archive has not set out to create a complete collection per se but the collection has been assembled enable the Archive to better understand the context in which the Rothschild family were living and working. A gallery of cartoons and caricatures in featured on our website here: Exhibition: Rothschilds  in Caricature » (Note: the Archive does not hold originals of all the cartoons and caricatures featured in this gallery).

For an analysis of The Rothschilds in caricature, with a detailed list of caricatures, see the article 'The Rothschilds in Caricature' by Alfred Rubens in Transactions & Miscellanies (Jewish Historical Society of England), Vol. 22 (1968-1969), Jewish Historical Society of England. A copy of this article is available upon request in the Reading Room.