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Jewish Glass-Makers

Zoë Josephs

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Jewish Glass-makers* ZOE JOSEPHS, B.A. Although books on occupations which are characteristically Jewish seldom mention glass, Jews have been involved in the craft from very early times. The earliest traces of glass-making seem to occur in Mesopotamia in the early 2nd millennium b.c.e.1 By about 1500 b.c.e., the Phoenicians were involved, whether as traders or actual manufacturers. Egyptian glass was at a peak at the time of the Captivity, which makes it very possible that these skills were brought back by the former slaves; similarly the Jews on their return from the Babylonian exile in the sixth century b.c.e. must have brought knowledge of the very advanced glass tech? nology of Mesopotamia. There is no documented evidence of glass making by Jews in early times but there are many legends and literary references. The only mention of zechuchit (glass) in the Old Testa? ment comes from the book of Job, 'Gold and sapphire and glass cannot equal wisdom.' In the Blessing of the Tribes in Deuteronomy2 Zebulun is assigned land in lower Galilee around the present Haifa-Acco districts. This includes the Na'aman, the ancient river Belus. Zebulun and neighbouring Issachar shall 'suck the abundance of the seas and the treasures hid in the sands'. Targurn Jonathan comments 'and from the sand they shall bring forth mirrors, and kinds of glass which are hidden in the depth will be revealed unto them'. This is explained as, 'these hidden treasures are fish, snails, and white glass'. This is the site of the fable which Pliny1 retells of the invention of glass. Phoenician sailors were said to have used blocks of saltpetre which they were carrying as cargo to make a hearth on the sand dunes, above the Belus river, 'when they became heated and were completely mingled with the sand on the beach, a strange translucent liquid flowed forth in streams and this, it was said, was the origin of glass'. Tacitus and Strabo4 echo Pliny, and Josephus5 stresses the trade in sand. 'Many ships there loaded . . . where the Belus flows into the Jewish sea.' This is of course the locality of the great Phoenician cities of Sidon and Tyre, later to become the centres of the Syrian glass in? dustry. But glass is also found here in an indisputably Jewish context. Bet Shearim, nine miles south-east of Haifa, was the home of Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi (170-217 g.e.), Judah the Prince, and it was here he compiled the Mishna. In the catacombs where he is buried, among many tombs carved with Jewish sym? bols, is the third largest block of glass in the world, 11x7 feet and 18 inches thick. Its use is uncertain, but from Talmudic evidence it appears it was meant to be broken up into 'ingots' to be remelted to make glass objects.6 Herodotus speaks of a legendary emerald column at Tyre which must have been glass.7 Bet Shearim must have been a great centre of glass-making, for the hillsides are strewn with lumps of blue-green glass which shine out after rain on the chocolate-coloured soil. This would seem to be confirmed by the Talmud. Jews appear to have been familiar with all aspects of glass and glass-making. Among many other references there is a story of the master of three crafts, a goldsmith, a potter, and a glassmaker. 'Those who loved him called him a goldsmith, those who hated him called him a potter, those who were indifferent called him a glassmaker.'8 So in Talmudic times, it appears glass-making was a fairly commonplace activity. The Mishna mentions 'glass, beads, scoops, funnels, dishes, * Paper delivered to the Jewish Historical Society of England on 13 November 1974. 1 D. B. Harden, 'Ancient Glass', I, Archaeological Journal, Vol. CXXV, 1968, pp. 46-49. 2 Deuteronomy, xxx, 19. 3 Pliny's Natural History (Loeb Classical Library) Vol. XXXVI, p. 190. 4 Tacitus, Histories, V. 7. s Josephus, Jewish Wars, X, 2; II, 190. 6 Talmud, Shabbath, 154b; A. Engle, Readings in Glass History (Jerusalem, 1973), p. 37. 7 Herodotus, Histories, 11, 44. 8 The Midrash, V. Numbers ii, 17, p. 55 (Soncino Press, 1939). 107</page><page sequence="2">108 Zoe Josephs mirrors, flat sheets of glass, methods of manu? facture and of mending';9 it speaks of cameo glass and even the delicately carved cage cups:10 'They are so artistic and fragile that if a cock crows into them they will shatter.' The invention of glass-blowing is still sur? rounded by mystery. Early in the third century b.c.e., in Syria and Palestine moulded bowls of green, amber, blue, and colourless glass were being polished and cut." Glass-blowing may have developed from this because 'workers realised that with a hollow tube a "gob" of glass could be injected into a mould instead of just being placed there and manipulated'.12 As it happens, some of the very earliest blown glass has recently been found in Jewish contexts. Blown glass and cast bowls have been found together in a cave-tomb at En-gedi, on the Dead Sea.13 This cave-tomb was destroyed 40-37 b.c.e. (En-gedi was a centre of the perfume industry, as is attested by excavation, as well as in the Song of Songs, 'My beloved is like a camphire in the vine-yards of En-gedi'). Early in 1972 blown glass was unearthed on a site near the Hurveh Synagogue in the old city of Jerusalem, dated by coins to the third quarter of the first century b.c.e.14 The Syrians taught Western Europe the art of glass-making, but there were many Jews among them, spreading throughout the Roman Empire as prisoners of war, or merchants in the wake of the victorious army. After the fall of the Roman Empire communications became difficult although trade continued in the hands Jewish and Syrian merchants.15 In the East craftsmen flocked to the Court of Byzantium, where the production of every luxury was encouraged. We hear Jewish glass blowers were summoned to Constantinople by Bishop Menes (531-36 c.e.).16 The story of the child of a Jewish glass-blower dates from this period. He was said to have eaten crumbs of the consecrated Host, and his father attempted to put him to death by shutting him in a blazing furnace. After three days he was discovered unhurt. The Virgin had appeared, poured water on the ashes, and saved him. Another story tells of a Jewish glass-blower who tried to blow a vessel. But every time he made a cross, and he was eventually baptised.17 In 687 c.e., according to an Italian writer, Greek workmen left Constantinople for France, 'to make glass in the Jewish manner'.18 Con? stantinople had trading connections with Venice from early times.19 There is a tradition that the manufacture of glass beads was intro? duced by the Jews to Venice in the very earliest days of the city's existence. Marguerite beads in Venice were said to have come from the Heb? rew margolith?a pearl.20 In the ninth century, Jews of Tyre and Hebron were trading with Venice and the East, bringing sand for the glass industry from the river Belus and Egypt.21 In the Cairo geniza a document of 1101 c.e. concerns a dispute over the payment for 50 bales of glass sent by Jews from Tyre and Cairo. Four other contracts of partnership have also been discovered, one of which mentions a Jewish glass-maker who appears to have arrived in Cairo, having travelled overland from Tunis.-2 These documents are borne out by Benjamin of Tudela, who in 1166 reported 400 Jews living in Tyre, 'who are makers of fine glass, which is prized in all lands'.23 He also visited Antioch and found Jewish glass-makers, the leaders being Reb Mordecai, Reb Chaim, and Reb 9 Mishna Kelim, VIII, 9; XXX, 4; IX, 8; XXX, 1. ??The Midrash, III, Exodus xxvii 9, p. 330 (Soncino Press, 1939). 11 D. B. Harden, 'Ancient Glass,' I, Archaeological Journal, Vol. CXXV, 1968, p. 60. 12 D. B. Harden, 'Ancient Glass', II, Archaeo? logical Journal, Vol. CXXVI, 1969, p. 45. 13 Ibid., p. 47. "Daily Telegraph, 14.3.1972. 15 S. Dill, Roman Society in Gaul in the Merovingian Age (1926), pp. 244 seq., pp. 470 seq. 16 A. Kisa, Das glas in Altert?mer (Leipsic 1908), I, p. 99. 17 F. Neuberg, Glass in Antiquity (1949), p. 37. 18 Filiasi, Saggio sul Antico Commercio, p. 148n. 19 A. Kisa, op. cit., I, p. 100. 20J. R. Vavra, 5000 Years of Glass-making (Prague 1954), p. 100. 21 A. Kisa, op. cit., I, p. 100. 22 S. D. Goitein, 'The Main Industries in the Mediterranean World as Reflected in the Cairo Geniza', Journal of Economic and Social History of the Orient (1961), Vol. IV. 23 Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela, ed. M. Adler (1907).</page><page sequence="3">Jewish Glass-makers 109 Yismael. At this period of the Crusades, Bohemond of Poitiers was master of Antioch and may well have sent gaffers to France (secret Jews among them), where they intro? duced their speciality window panes with bull's eyes.24 During the Middle Ages and beyond there are references in the glass histories to the Jews of Western Europe working in glass. A very early Spanish treatise, written in Hebrew, describes formulae for glass mixtures and instructions in glass-making. Recent work on the Inquisition files has brought to light stories of Jewish glass-makers in Spain.25 In Central and Eastern Europe there is documented evidence of Jewish glass-makers. In spite of the strict rules of the Guilds, Jews were permitted from time to time to be ap? prenticed to Christians, though they could seldom aspire to the title of Master. In 1556 a Jewish glass-blower was operating a factory in Bohemia and about 1570 there were complaints in Prague that a Jewish Master, David, was driving out the Gentiles. In his defence he said a Jew might follow any trade provided it was an honest one.26 Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Jewish craftsmen had to submit to constantly changing laws; often whole populations would be expelled from cities and then drift back and recommence their old occupations. In 1776 only eldest sons were allowed to stay in Bohemia and Moravia after marriage. This led to many younger sons moving to Hungary, a factor which played its part in the rise of the glass industry in the eighteenth century in that country.27 In England Jewish names do not occur in glass-making until the eighteenth century. Mr. Arthur Arnold, in his list of Jewish apprentices in Great Britain, 1710-1733 (JHSE Miscellanies VII, 1970), notes a master Mor decai Levy who set up first as a glass-maker and then as an engraver. He had two apprentices, Arthur Jacob, whom he trained as an engraver, on consideration of the sum of ?5, and Isaac Levy. Mordecai Levy is recorded as a glass flowerer (i.e., engraver) in 1770 at Whitechapel when his bankruptcy was announced in the London Gazette.2* The Sketchley Birmingham Directory of 1770 mentions Michael and Barnett Frideberg, of 55 Dudley Street, as glass cutters, flowerers, and toymen. In 1773 Lazarus Isaacs, a glass-cutter, arrived from England to be employed later by Stiegel at his factory in Mannheim, Pennsylvania.29 The previous year, 1772, Henry Levy, a glass flowerer from Stourbridge and fugitive debtor, had surrendered in London. There is an Isaac Levy in 1782, a glass-cutter at Newcastle-on Tyne,30 and in 1793, one Jacob Samuel, an engraver in Bristol,31 and it is here in Bristol that arises to fame one of the most important English glass-making families, the firm of Lazarus and Isaac Jacob, glass-makers to His Majesty King George III. According to the College of Arms, Lazarus Jacobs arrived in Bristol from Frankfort-on Main about 1760.32 This family was to produce glass of a very high standard and it is most probable that Lazarus brought some expertise with him from the Continent. Perhaps, like most of his fellow-Jews, he started by peddling it around the countryside, engraving it to order. In the early part of the century, it had been difficult for a newcomer to establish himself. Trade laws were strict in all towns against 'foreigners'?i.e., anyone not born in the town, and particularly so in Bristol, where even folk from Clifton were 'interlopers.' In 1757 the Council ordered Moses Cone (Cohen), 'who keeps a shop with glass windows before same and therein sells gold and silver without being a free burgess be prosecuted for same.' But these 24 Thorpe, W. A., English Glass, 1961, p. 80. 25 A. Frothringham, Spanish Glass (1963), pp. 13, 26. 26 R. Kestenberg Gladstein, Neuere Geschichte der Juden in den B?hmen L?ndern (T?bingen, 1961), p. 376. 27 M. Wischnitzer, A History of the Jewish Crafts and Guilds (New York, 1965), pp. 22, 50, 52, 62, 159. 28 A. Arnold, 'Apprentices of Great Britain,' Trans.J.H.S.E., Vol. XXII, 1968-9, p. 145. 29 Encyclopaedia Judaica (Jerusalem, 1971), Article on Glass. 30 F. Buckley, 'Development of English Cut Glass in 18th Century,' Burlington Magazine, Vol. XLV, 1924, pp. 229-304. 31 C. Roth, Rise ofProvincial Jewry (1950), p. 4 In. 32 Ex inf. Jessop, W. S., Franklin Lakes, N.J. (1971).</page><page sequence="4">110 ZoeJosephs restrictions were falling into disuse, so much so that by 1786 the Weavers' Guild was so small that the Jews bought their hall for a syna? gogue. 33 In 1771 Felix Farley's Bristol Journal adver? tised 'At Mr. Lazarus Jacob's glass cutter, nearly opposite Temple Church during the ensuing fair, will be sold by auction or other? wise a very large good and fine assortment of superfine best seconds, and livery, broadcloth. They will be sold at prime cost, the maker of them being about to go out of business.' In 1774 Perrot's, one of the main glass houses in Bristol, went bankrupt and the property 'two houses in Temple Street, both adjoining with fine gardens and orchards'3 * were sold to Lazarus, who now set up as a flint glass-cutter and engraver with his 16-year-old son Isaac. The firm rapidly took its place in the front rank of glass-makers, manufacturing much of the blue glass which was becoming very fashionable.3s (In 1786 a German lady, Sophie Von Le Roche, lunching at Richmond with the wife of the Danish Ambassador, remarks in her diary, 'The blue glass bowls used for rinsing hands and mouth are quite delightful'.)36 About 1750 an artist, Michael Edkins, came to Bristol, probably from Birmingham, and he was at first employed as a decorator for a firm making delft plates and tiles. When about 1760 these started going out of fashion, he set up on his own and his business ledger is preserved in the City Library.3? This document shows him to have been a most enterprising individual, working as an interior decorator, painting theatre scenery, signboards, and coats of arms on carriages. There are also many entries of glass firms, including Lazarus Jacobs. In 1763 he painted a board and back shed for Lazarus; 86 gold letters and two gold decanters and glasses, and all for ?1 16s. 6d. From 1785 to 1788 there follow countless entries in blue and 'enamel' glass, cream jugs, basins, bottles, jars, and sugar basins, including the favourite 'setts' or garnitures for the mantelpiece.38 The term 'Bristol blue' is thought originally to have come from Bristol's being the port of entry for 'smalt', the blue colouring used for glass manufacture. The term, as we use it today, may, however, have come from the frequent mention of blue glass in the Edkins ledger, together with the Jacobs's habit of signing their pieces, for blue glass was made at many other centres besides Bristol, and Bristol made many other types of glass. The elegance of shape and depth of colour, particularly the violet shades, make Bristol blue highly collect? able, and when signed fetch very high prices. Edkins was in the habit of sending 'ventures' of glass abroad. Many tradespeople in seaport towns entrusted parcels of goods to captains of merchant vessels and the Jacobs no doubt did- likewise. Isaac's son, Joseph, went on at least one business trip to the West Indies, and his brother Lionel was reported in the Gentle? man's Magazine to have died in 1812 in the prime of life at Spanish Town, Jamaica. The Jacobs had certainly increased in wealth and importance since Lazarus sold off seconds at the Fair. On Friday 16 September 1786 the new synagogue in Temple Street was dedicated with great ceremonial and music.39 The order of service on this occasion includes a hymn in honour of Eliezer ben Jacob, in the form of an acrostic on his name, and also an acrostic on the word Bristol.40 This, says Cecil Roth, was un? questionably Lazarus Jacobs. When the after? noon service was over, he stood up and annulled the sanctity of the synagogue, and the whole congregation proceeded, two by two, to the new one.41 In 1787, Lazarus moved to Avon Street and later to the 'delightful retreat of Great Gar? dens, Florio's happy spot, fragrant with jas? mine, roses and orange trees, beauteous with 33 J. Latimer, Annals of Bristol in 18th century (1893), p. 470. 34 W. J. Pountney, Old Bristol Potters (Bristol, 1920), p. 242. 35 H. Owen, Two Centuries of Ceramic Art in Bristol (Bristol, 1920), p. 242. 36 G. Wills, English and Irish Glass (1968), p. 11. 37 R. J. Charleston, 'Michael Edkins and the Problem of English Enamelled Glass,' Journal of the Society of Glass Technology, Vol. XXXVIII, 1954, pp.'10-11. 38 Michael Edkins1 Ledger, Bristol City Library, accession number B.20196. 39 W. Barret, History of Bristol (1789), p. 556. 40 Ex inf. Rabbi D. Kaplin (1974). 41 G. Roth, Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), p. 41, and A. Rubens, 'Early Anglo-Jewish Artists,' Trans. J.H.S.E., XIV, 1937, p. 106.</page><page sequence="5">Jewish Glass-makers 111 fantastically cut yew and holly trees'.42 Here in 1796, at the age of 87, after a short illness, he died. He was buried in the grounds in the parish of St. Philip.43 His widow, Mary (born Hiscock at Templecombe in Somerset), sur? vived him until 1816, when she died aged 81. It is an odd fact that both Lazarus and Isaac appear to have married out of their faith. Isaac's wife, Mary, nee MacCreath, of Shrews? bury, died only a fortnight after her mother-in law, aged 51.44 Could they have been glass makers' daughters? Lazarus and afterwards Isaac fathered an immense and often dis? tinguished body of descendants and the family tree shows, until recent times, nothing but Jewish names. Lazarus left ?100 p.a. to his wife, with his plate and main household pro? perty, which after his death were to go to the two sons of his younger daughter Susannah (Suky), who had married Joseph Moses Al man. Isaac received ?60 p.a. and there was provision for the two daughters of his elder girl, Hannah, the wife of Hiam Emden. The residue went to the grandsons together with the 'holy utensils'?i.e., Sabbath candlesticks, wine-cup and spice-box. This last phrase was written in cursive Hebrew script and had to be witnessed by Joseph Schabracq, one of the few Jewish notaries of the time. Both the girls had made good marriages. The wealthy Almans gave money to London charities, and Hiam Emden, who came from Amsterdam, is described in the family tree as a gentleman.45 Isaac now took over the firm, and his eldest son, Joseph, born 1790, was apprenticed to him at the age of 14. (Lionel was born in 1792, John in 1795, followed by Matilda, Morris, Sarah, and Fanny.) Under Isaac's direction the busi? ness attained new heights. In 1799 Great Gardens and Avon Street were purely business premises, and Isaac took a house in Somerset Square, 'a retired situation neatly built of brick'. The area is a garden, enclosed by a dwarf wall with a walk for the inhabitants. It had 'a pleasing open prospect into Somerset shire of a Verdant Valley (between which the river flows) terminating in Dundry Hill'.46 It was convenient both for work and synagogue but away from the smoke. By 1805 the roses and orange blossom of Greet Gardens must completely have dis? appeared, for in that year Isaac launched out on a new project: the Nonsuch Glass Manufac? tory. 'He will continue manufacturing every article in the glass line on the largest possible scale', runs the advertisement, 'even the com? mon articles in that superior quality which has hitherto given him decided preference over every other glass-house in the Kingdom. The neatest medical phials are to be sold, for the same price that other houses charge for the new green.' In the following year he describes him? self as 'glass manufacturer to his Majesty' and announced that he had opened a new set of rooms on purpose for the retail trade, with a large and elegant assortment of cut and engraved glass both useful and ornamental at wholesale prices. 'Specimens of the Dessert set which Isaac Jacob had the honour of sending to their Majesties in burnished gold upon royal purple coloured glass may be seen at his manufactory, where several dessert sets of the same kind are now completed, from fifteen guineas per set to any amount. Coats of arms, crests and cyphers done in the greatest style by some of the finest artists in the king? dom.'47 Signed pieces of Jacob's glass may be seen in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where there is a blue finger-bowl with Greek key design and a blue port decanter ascribed to Lazarus. A similar finger-bowl is in the Jewish Museum, London. In the Bristol Art Gallery there is a plate with the crest of the Earl of Verulam and a finger-bowl. The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, has a plate of dark-blue glass signed J, Jacobs. The Cecil Higgins Museum, Bedford, possesses a blue finger-bowl with gilded fret border between gold bands round the rim, and festoons of flowers below the lips signed 'J. Jacobs/Bristol', and a decanter with pendant label (Rum) in gold signed J. Jacobs, Bristol '15. Gloucester Museum has two sets of 42 W. Goldwyn, A Poetical Description of Bristol (1712), p. 15. 43 A. C. Powell. 'Glass-making in Bristol,' Trans. B.G.A.S., Vol. XLVII, 1925, pp. 238-240. 44 Ex inf. Jessop (1971). 45 C. Roth, Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), 41. 46 Matthews' Bristol Guide (Bristol, 1815), 124. 47 A. C. Powell, op. ciu, pp. 238-240.</page><page sequence="6">112 ZpeJosephs decanters which they feel are probably by the Jacobs, though they are unsigned. In 1809 Isaac built himself'a noble and sub? stantial house at Weston-super-Mare, recently elevated from a fishing hamlet to a fashionable retreat for Bristol merchants'. Terminating the Beach Parade, 'it had a commanding terrace in front; altogether in design and construction of greater importance than most of the preceding [houses] and if the design were carried out by the erection of other mansions on the same scale, would impact a peculiar degree of aristocratic distinctiveness to this part of the town. It was called Belvedere.'48 In the same year Isaac was admitted to the liberties of the city by order of the Common Council and in 1812 he was granted his coat-of arms ('Isaac Jacob of the City of Bristol merchant; or four cinquefoils, a canton gules, charged with an eagle displayed on the field. Crest a wreath of colours, a lion rampant erminois, supporting a cross corselet fitchee erect and charged on the shoulder with a cinque foil gules').49 His billhead of this period reads: 'glass master to his Majesty'. This is flanked on one side with a pair of squat glass-houses, their tall chimneys belching flames, on the other a pair of clippers in full sail, indicating profitable ventures. Beneath in small letters, 'no discount but for payment in the usual term of credit and no cullet [broken glass to be melted down for flux] allowed for till received'.50 Isaac now appeared to be at the very height of prosperity, making the immense income of between ?15,000 and ?20,000 a year. This astonishing figure must have been his gross income. Even so, it must at its peak have reached ?3,000-?5,000, the equivalent of ?75,000-? 100,000 today. In fact, however, he had over-reached himself. The Bristol glass trade was in serious difficulties, owing to heavy taxation and the resulting fierce rivalry of the untaxed Irish glass. Many glass-makers had already left Bristol for the coalfields of the Mid? lands and North. Belvedere had been a costly undertaking and he had been forced to borrow ?10,000, at a high rate of interest, to discharge his debts. By 1812 Joseph was 22 and engaged to be married. His father had in the traditional way taught him the art and mystery of glass-making, besides how to keep the books. Whether his father, with all his financial worries, was losing grip, we do not know, but Joseph appears now to have the principal management of the business and when the engagement was un? fortunately broken off, he still demanded that his father take him into partnership. Isaac re? fused and Joseph left his employment. Ten days later he returned, when Isaac agreed to let him have ?300 a year over and above his board and lodgings, as he continued to live in the family house. Although this did not amount to a one third share, Joseph agreed and, in 1814, he travelled to Madeira, the Barbadoes, Mar? tinique, and Dominica, with an adventure of goods for his father. Meanwhile Isaac's affairs sank from bad to worse. By the year 1820 he had had to borrow further large sums of money. It proved im? possible to let Belvedere. At the glass-works he had had to lay off many of his best workmen. The final indignity occurred when, returning from the Bankruptcy Court in London, he was clapped into jail for debt. This seems to have been largely due to his own generosity. Earlier in the year, in spite of his own troubles, he had lent his name to bills for a friend amounting to ?2,000. This man had gone bankrupt, leaving Isaac to pay. He was publicly taken into custody, left in a lock-up in Bristol for two days and nights, conveyed back to London, and there surrendered by his bail in discharge of themselves. On his return, Isaac was so de? pressed that he shut himself up in his home, refusing to see anybody. Now the former Royal glass-maker and pillar of the Jewish community was nothing but a 'dealer and chapman,' an object of public notoriety. He was declared bankrupt and his goods were sold at a public auction. As if the affair were not already shame? ful enough, an unpleasant scandal arose. Joseph was one of the creditors in respect of unclaimed salary and there was a strong sus? picion of fraudulent collusion between father 48 J. Whereat, The Visitor's Companion in Rambling about Weston (Weston-super-Mare 1945) , pp. 53, 54. 49 A. Rubens, Anglo-Jewish Notabilities (Jewish Historical Society of England, 1949), pp. 100-101. 50 The City Art Gallery and Museum, Bristol.</page><page sequence="7">Jewish Glass-makers 113 and son. In the event the Lord Chancellor cleared their name, and a pamphlet setting out the facts of their case was published 'for the country reader'.51 But the business was in ruins. What became of the immediate family is un? known. The Jacobs are not mentioned in the Directory of 1825. (Matilda, Joseph's sister, had married an Abraham Alexander in 1817, dur? ing the time of family trouble. The counterpart settlement in the Bristol Archives office men? tions the comparatively small consideration of ?100.) Extracts from the rate book of the Overseers of the Poor in Weston-super-Mare show that the last time Isaac was rated was in 1822. The great Belvedere had been divided in two by the mid-century. The front part became a crammers, 'an Academy where young gentlemen are prepared for the University'; in the back, in the room designed by Mr. Jacobs for a billiard room, a dame's school was con? ducted.52 In 1925 the house was finally de? molished to make room for a bus station. As for the glass-house in Great Gardens, it was apparently next door to Carrington's glass? house. It was probably absorbed into that con? cern, and then into the Phoenix glass-works.53 Somerset Square, near St. Mary Redcliffe, is now covered with blocks of flats, though Isaac would remember the old fountain with gro? tesque masks in the centre. Near by is the last remaining shell of a glass-house now incor? porated into an hotel as a feature of the dining room. Victoria Street cuts across the warren of workshops that was Temple Street, though the Temple Church remains. Rose Street, where in 1811 Isaac bought a burial ground for the community and where in 1835 he himself was finally laid to rest, has been almost obliterated by Temple Meads Goods Yard.54 172 0.55 Nothing is known of his family or his early years, but he seems to have been a man of good education, and apparently also a Talmud scholar with excellent Jewish connec? tions; his signature appears on a commentary on a tractate of the Babylonian Talmud by Arye Lob Ben Ascher of Minsk, a scholar of repute, which was published in Metz. This book was passed down by Oppenheim to the famous Tevele Schiff, Chief Rabbi of the Great Syna? gogue, London, from 1765 to 1792, who anno? tated the margins with his notes.56 On 5 December 1755 'Mayer Oppenheim, the eldest, of the City of London Merchant', received a patent from King George II.57 Married, with a family and settled in this country, he had 'with great labour, industry application and at considerable expense, invented and brought to perfection' a method entirely new and not hitherto practised of making or manufacturing red transparent glass which would be of general utility. He was granted a licence of sole making and vending this invention for 14 years, provided he pub? lished its exact nature. (These specifications are important in glass history, because they state the component parts of flint glass or glass of lead. This formula formed the foundation of red glass at that time and consisted of two parts of lead, one part of sand, and one part saltpetre or borax.) In 1770, the licence having expired, Mayer obtained a second;58 an unusual privilege, he claimed, and in spite of the opposition of his fellow-businessmen. He was now living in Birmingham, where he was later to acknow? ledge he had learnt his skills in English flint glass 'by long study in the glasshouses'.59 Coming as he did, however, from the great glass centres of Bohemia and Hungary, it seems probable he brought some expertise with him. He now claimed to have perfected a garnet glass, which, by varying the ingredients, could Mayer Oppenheim was born at Pressburg (Bratislava), then in Hungary, probably about 51 C. H. Walker, In the Matter of Jacobs, a Bankrupt (1821), Bristol City Library, accession number B.1259. 52 Brown's New Guide to Weston super-Mare (Weston super-Mare, 1854), p. 10. 53 F. Buckley, 'Early Glasshouses of Bristol,' Trans? actions of the Society of Glass Technology (1925), Vol. IX., No. 33, p. 43. 54 A. C. Powell, op. cit., pp. 238-40. 55 Archives of the Department de la Seine-Maritime, Rouen, France. State Documents 1783-1784. 56 This book belongs to Mr. A. Schischa, who translated the inscription. 57 Patent of Invention No. 707. 58 Patent of Invention No. 969. 59 A. Hartshorne, Old English Glasses (London and New York, 1897), pp. 246-247.</page><page sequence="8">114 Zjoe Josephs be made either opaque or transparent. Kunckel, the Potsdam chemist, who was direc? tor of the glasshouse of the Elector of Branden? burg, had made a beautiful ruby glass in 1679, using gold, and he had many imitators. Mayer also used gold with another substance he called 'braunstein'. But glass was by no means Mayer's only interest. On 22 February 1762, the Birmingham Gazette announced that 'Mayer Oppenheim of Snow Hill wished to purchase 1200 gross children's metal buckles at different prices.' At the same time, however, 'he is willing to leave the foreign hardware and inland glass manu? factory at Snow Hill, Birmingham, any person that is disposed to carry on either of these above trades may by allowing him a reasonable premium (with a capital of ?1000 be put in such a way as to clear ?500 a year or with less sum in proportion). The above glass-house and the dwelling house part of the said building to be let for a time as can be agreed on. Enquire of the said Mayer Oppenheim, who has to sell a large parcel of Lynn sand and fine white arsenic. N.B. the red transparent glass is to be had at the above glass-house, either a light rose or a deep ruby colour.' It was Birmingham on the threshold of the Industrial Revolution on which Mayer had set his sights, a town of dozens of flourishing trades and particularly attractive to an ambitious Jew. Dissenters of all kinds were welcomed, no one interfered with their religious observances. 'No trade guilds, no companies existed and every man was free to come and go, to found, follow or leave a trade just as he chose . . . Birmingham was emphatically the town of Free Trade.'60 Matthew Boulton was building his astounding prototype of the modern factory, but generally businesses were small, with a great deal of putting out of labour. Sketchley's Directory of 1700 lists Mayer as Merchant at 98 Snow Hill; his neighbours were button moul? ders, jewellers, gunsmiths, cabinet makers, a watchmaker, a japanner and a plater. Before the cutting of the canals brought cheap and reliable transport, Birmingham manufacturers were forced to concentrate on small light articles of relatively high value. Buckles, but? tons, and 'toys'?that is, desirable trinkets in polished steel and precious metals, tortoise shell, and enamel, were of great importance, and many of these trifles were made in glass, The directories of the '70s and '80s list a number of glass pinchers who 'prepared glasses for the common link buttons and are also makers of glass buttons'. The pinchers used only small furnaces less than six feet in height and were often able to work in secret, avoiding Excise duty. Birmingham seems to have been the centre of this trade, selling parts of candlesticks, decanter stoppers, lustre drops for the fashion? able girandoles at cut price to the glass-houses.61 Whether Oppenheim made any of these articles or only supplied the glass we do not know. However, in spite of crippling taxation, the demand for these luxury articles was rapidly growing and certainly at a later date he claimed to be able to make them.62 Whatever Mayer's reasons for wishing to sell out in 1762, he apparently did not do so, for he was, as we have seen, still there by 1770 and the glass works were obviously prospering, in London as well as Birmingham. On New Year's Day 1770 he advertises again in the Gazette: 'Wanted immediately hands, men and boys, glassmakers and tisseurs, either to work in Birmingham or at London in same business. Any persons being out of employment may apply to Mr. Mayer Oppenheim at his glass? house in Snow Hill, Birmingham N.B. good wages to good workmen.' The 1774 Directory continues to list Mayer as before. In 1775 his account books have been stolen, in which were foreign bills amounting to ?500. A free pardon for their return and 'no questions asked by me' is promised. 'Payment of above bills are stopped, therefore they will be of no service to such person or persons having them in their possession.'63 This proved to be the first of a series of mis? fortunes. Mayer had by now a very large family; he had married twice and had had 60 Samuel Timmins, Birmingham and the Midland Hardware District (1867), p. 211. 61 G. B. Hughes, English glass for the collector 1660-1860 (1958), p. 151. 62 Archives of the Department de la Seine-Maritime, op. cit. 63 Arises Birmingham Gazette, 13 February 1775.</page><page sequence="9">Jewish Glass-makers 115 seven children by his first wife and at least five by his second. Some of the older boys were a problem, 'wasting a great deal of his capital'.64 In May 1777, the London Gazette announced 'Mayer Oppenheim, late Birmingham glass maker bankrupt.' From July 1778 to February 1780 he remained a prisoner for debt in the King's Bench Prison, London. A relative, Nathan Oppenheim, took over in Birmingham and not very long after Mayer's arrest in December 1778 advertised in the Birmingham Gazette: 'Glasshouse. Any person wishing to be concerned in erecting a glasshouse for the purpose of carrying on this trade in the Cane and Wave way may be acquainted with parti? culars by me Mr. Nathan Oppenheim who intends to join in carrying on the same.' Nothing more is heard of him or the Snow Hill Glass-house, though glass toymaking was carried on at Snow Hill until 1785.65 In prison Mayer's fertile brain must have been thrashing out new possibilities. The 'foreign hardware' of his Birmingham advertise? ment turns out to have been thirty years in the ironmongery line with one Pierre Lemercier, of Rouen.66 He also ran market stalls in Caen and Givray, a means by which the French Jews, in spite of the tight hold of the guilds, managed to trade. At this time the Jews, and in parti? cular the Ashkenazi Jews, of France, were struggling to obtain a degree of economic freedom. In spite of many enemies, notably Voltaire, in Government and Court circles, some members of the 'Enlightenment' were in favour of allowing them more freedom, partly because of the prevailing spirit of humanitar ianism, but especially when their efforts bene? fited the State.67 Mayer, despite his troubles, certainly received a great deal of moral and financial support, both from individuals and from the Government. Going through Rouen, soon after his release, Mayer met Pierre Lemercier, and with another businessman in the town ventured on the project of a glass factory. Normandy had long been famous for glass, but at this time only window glass was being made. Here was a splendid opportunity for supplying fine-quality glass for the table decanters, wine glasses, and dishes. Mayer built a small furnace, made some trial pieces which satisfied himself and his colleagues, and a partnership was decided upon. The third party disappears. Lemercier was to provide the materials, in return for which Mayer would teach him his precious secrets?the mystery of glass-making?and supervise production. In the event of failure Oppenheim undertook to pay Lemercier 6,000 livres. Oppenheim petitioned the Intendant of Rouen for a permit to erect a glass-house to be called the 'Royal Glass Manufactory' in the suburbs of Rouen at Petit Quevilly, which was to produce ordinary glass and crystal which would be in every way as good as the English product. He promised to use pit coal in place of the traditional charcoal, which had denuded the once mighty Normandy forests, pointing out that coal could be brought direct from England up the Seine, thus avoiding expense, which would bring down the price of the finished article. Other manufacturers would note his success and follow suit and this would benefit a wide range of trades in the town. Further benefit would be brought by appren? ticing local boys, giving them a trade which would ensure them a good living. All he asked in return was exemption from tax, or a rebate, on raw materials such as saltpetre and potas? sium, which he would have to import from Hamburg. The rest could be obtained locally. If his application were successful, he asked the Intendant of Rouen to help him obtain the necessary letters patent, together with a licence giving him the exclusive right to make glass in the English fashion. It is rather surprising that Mayer appeared unaware that pit coal had been used to make glass in Rouen since 1616. The Intendant's reply was unenthusiastic, pointing out that pit coal was at that moment being used locally 64 Archives of the Department de la Seine-Maritime, op. cit. 65 Pyes' Birmingham Directory, 1797; F. Buckley, 'The Birmingham Glass Trade 1740-1833', Journal of the Society of Glass Technology, Vol. XXVIII, 1927, p. 375. 66 Archives of the Department de la Seine-Maritime, op. cit. 67 A. Herzberg, The French Enlightenment and the Jews (New York, 1970), pp. 82-92.^</page><page sequence="10">116 Z?e3osephs in a porcelain factory. Nevertheless, all his requests were granted, on condition that pit coal only should be used. The letters patent issued in September 1784 were granted by Louis XVI?one of the last issued by the old regime68 ?and the factory was built at Petit Quevilly on land belonging to Lemercier.69 Two master glass-blowers were engaged as well as 'tiseurs' (stokers) and other workmen. At one point Lemercier was accused of enticing skilled workmen from a neighbouring owner, who submitted a request to the Intendant to forbid this practice. This accords rather strangely with the proposal to train 'quiet local boys'. How? ever, on 24 December 1784, letters patent were registered giving the exclusive right to manu? facture crystal glass and for 15 years nobody else was to be allowed to do so within a radius of at least 15 leagues. Quarrels appear to have broken out between the partners almost immediately. Lemercier complained Mayer's promise of spectacular success was not immediately forthcoming. The moulds had been lost, the trial glass was far from perfect, and although he had laid out 5,000 livres, Mayer had only produced 400 livres' worth of articles and those would be difficult to sell. Mayer retaliated that Lemercier was giving him constant irritation. Neverthe? less, the factory was going to be a success, and he intended to build two more factories in the name of Wolf Oppenheim, his son, for the manufacture of plain glass and glass painted in enamels, Venetian style, for which he was applying for a licence. Not surprisingly, the Minister concerned, before granting this, sent back to Rouen for details of the quarrel between the two partners. Towards the end of 1784, Mayer returned to England to complete the winding up of his affairs. He left detailed plans for the comple? tion of the factory with Lemercier, specifica? tions for the clay to be used for the pots, and details of the raw materials and firing required. He trained a workman to carry out his wishes. The furnace, however, he wished to build himself, in the English style with materials to be prepared in his absence. Lemercier, however, was concerned only for economy, cut down on the quantity and quality of the specifications, even to the very bricks that were to be used. Worse still, according to a friend, Jean Jacques Sorel, who was to take up the cudgels vehemently for Mayer, Lemercier had forced his partner into an unfavourable agreement, whereby he had the right to retain the raw materials left over from the triali. His son-in law, M. Lefebre, took them and, according to Lemercier, made good glass from them, boast? ing he was as clever as Mayer and they now had no need of him. The Government, how? ever, would grant the patent only to Mayer, who had to return from England specially to obtain the licence. The final deed of partner? ship, according to Sorel, was also a fraud, perpetrated on Mayer by Lemercier by reason of his ignorance of the customs of his newly adopted country. It should not have obliged Mayer to divulge the secrets of the glass trade in return for the money put up by Lemercier. Mayer returned again to England to com? plete his interrupted business. Lemercier, according to Sorel, kept writing to him to return, urging him to bring his family and settle down, as he had rented him a house and garden. (There is some discrepancy here. Mayer in one note says the Lemerciers did not want him back, they could do without him.) Mayer returned in February 1785 apparent? ly as a result of this pressure, leaving his business unfinished and, so he said, making considerable financial sacrifices. With him were his wife, several of their children, their tutor, and domestic servants. The first shock concerned the promised accommodation. There was not a stick of furniture in it, and there was no immediate prospect of his own arriving from England. He was not offered so much as a chair or a glass of water. Indeed, if it had not been for the kindness of a devoted friend (presumably Sorel), Mayer would have starved. Most of our information now comes from the statements of Jean-Jacques Sorel,70 whose inevitable bias must explain some of the in 68 C. Roth, The Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), p. 33. 69 Archives of the Department de la Seine-Maritime, op. cit. 70 O. de Vaillant de la Fieffe, Les Verreries de la Normandie (Rouen, 1873), pp. 300-521.</page><page sequence="11">Jewish Glass-makers 117 consistencies of the case as we read it. He was a distinguished citizen of Rouen ; a member of the local Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a few years previously had set up a factory in laminated lead,71 in partnership with some wealthy Parisians. He may first have struck up acquaintanceship with Mayer by supplying him with raw materials. In any case, they were neighbours in the Rue de Gros Horloge. 'Whenever he passed my door he took me into his confidence.' Sorel took up Mayer's defence with enthusiasm, addressing appeals to his influential friends in unashamedly emotional terms. On going out to Petit Quevilly, Mayer was horrified to see the glass-house a travesty of his plans and he quickly realised Lemercier and his son-in-law's experiments were only part of a plan to oust him from the partnership. Lemercier and his wife and, above all, M. Lefebre, 'an arrogant and bossy young man', nagged Mayer unceasingly. The furnace, which had been badly put together, started falling to pieces. Lemercier wanted to demolish it completely and reconstruct it in the French style, but Mayer claimed he only wished to discover the English method. In desperation Mayer took a pickaxe and completely demol? ished it himself. Lemercier had his way and rebuilt it in the French style, according to the specification for charcoal firing, which was against the terms of the licence. The raw materials were then prepared by Lemercier and put in the pots. But it was a failure. T could have told them so,' said Mayer, 'the sand was of poor quality, there was never enough fuel, the bricks had not been allowed to dry out, and they would open the furnace door before I gave them permission.' In return he was cursed, threatened, and generally ill-used in front of the workmen, most of whom, it appears, took his part. The Lemerciers now tried to force Mayer to take the son-in-law into the partnership; Mayer stubbornly refused, saying he would admit any other man they cared to name, except this young bully, who merely prevented him from getting down to work. The constant fighting upset Mayer to such an extent that he begged for arbitration, even suggesting friends and relatives of the Lemerciers as arbitrators, but the Lemerciers refused to agree. Eventually he was forced, under the partnership agreement, to instruct the Lemerciers in the proper methods and after three attempts some fairly good glass was produced. At last, in January 1786, the factory at Petit Quevilly was ready to go into regular produc? tion. But suddenly on 15 February Lemercier appeared before the Courts at Rouen, claiming that Mayer had not kept the terms of the agree? ment and that he wished to get the partnership annulled. He obtained permission to extin? guish the furnace at his own risk. At nine o'clock the same evening M. and Mme. Lemercier, the son-in-law, and a bailiff burst into the glass-works, had the furnace put out, and dismissed the workmen with scarcely time to collect their clothes. Mayer was summoned before the magistrates the next day, ordered to pay 6,000 livres damages, and the partner? ship was annulled. At his wits' end, Mayer now approached M. Sorel, 'on his knees, tears in his eyes, swearing he would defy the universe to defend his honour . . . and who is the man so barbarous as to resist his plea,' says Sorel, helping him with money and the advice of the cleverest people in the town. Lemercier certainly did not get it all his own way. The general opinion was that, whatever the rights and wrongs of the affair, he had acted shabbily. In any case, he had only put half the amount he had promised into the business. The case was put to arbitration and for the time being Lemercier was ordered to pay Mayer 60 livres weekly and to continue to pay the workmen as though they were still in employment. Lemercier appears to have been taken aback by this decision; he suddenly offered to give up to Mayer all the benefits of the licence which he had been enjoying in their joint names up till now. But nobody was taken in by this, since it was all too obvious he had been trying all along to oust Mayer in favour of his son-in law. It also came out that he had been trying surreptitiously to get advantages from two other 71 P. Dardel, Commerce, Industrie et Navigation ? Rouen et ? Havre au 18ieme siecle (1966), 139.</page><page sequence="12">118 Z? $ Josephs licences, which Oppenheim had recently been granted. In spite of all his vexations, Mayer's tireless brain was still proliferating new schemes. In February 1785, immediately on his return from England, he applied for licences for two more factories, one in Rouen, to be known as 'Oppenheim Perc', and another in Le Havre for his sons, to be 'Oppenheim Freres'. Here 'all sorts of enamelled glass, opaque and transparent, in all colours, plain, fancy cut, gilded, silvered, painted, engraved glass of all kinds, including portraits, and even glass imitating marble and agate' were to be made.72 Lemercier failed to obtain the advantages he sought, but (at least according to Sorel) he slandered Mayer to such an extent that the licences were deferred. This was a terrible blow to Mayer, cutting off an alternative means of livelihood in the event of the very probable success of the Lemerciers in their case against him. On 24 May 1786, the arbitrators came to a final decision. The partnership was annulled, but Mayer was to have all the benefits of the patent, which he could use as he wished. On the other hand, he was to repay Lemercier the 60 livres weekly as well as costs. Mayer immediately appealed, claiming the arbitrators were ordinary businessmen and he had a right to be judged by Master Glassmen like himself. They should first analyse his glass, find the reasons for its imperfections (namely, the meanness of the Lemerciers in its preparation), and secondly, judge his ability to manufacture glass on a large scale. Then, typically, without waiting for the result of his lawsuit, T am losing precious time in the inevitable . . . delay,' Mayer was off on a new scheme, planning to build yet another factory in which he would be able to make use of all three of his patents. Sorel and other sympathisers opened a subscription list and pathetic letters were written to the Minister and other notables once again stressing the blessings Mayer could bring to his adopted country. There was some hesitation; apart from his being a foreigner, someone has scribbled, T am afraid Mr. Oppenheim is nothing but a charlatan,' on top of the relevant document. The Government granted Mayer a loan of 24,000 livres and a gratuity of 1,200 livres yearly for six years to pay the interest on condi? tion that the money was used for the good of the State. This was added to the 10,000 livres subscribed by sympathisers and Mayer imme? diately went about buying a piece of land adjoining the Lemercier's at Petit Quevilly, ran up some wooden sheds, built a furnace, bought coal and raw materials, and set to again. But the resultant glass was poor, nothing com? pared to the original trial pieces, and it could not be sold. Eventually it was given to the people who had lent him money. Funds were running out again, but this time his old friends refused help. There were hard words: 'Persons who have been too trusting have been his dupes.' He applied for a safe conduct against his creditors (he had been granted one two years before when Lemercier was threatening to have him imprisoned). This was refused. Rightly or wrongly, he was sus? pected of having mismanaged Government money and the factory at Petit Quevilly closed. A final postscript on the Oppenheim case comes from a copper token in the collection of Mr. Alfred Rubens, stamped 'Oppenheim Warehouse London 1797'. He also has a trade card which reads: 'Samuel Wolf Oppenheim, Merchant from Paris ... at his Warehouse No. 3 Bevis Marks, London. All sorts of French and Dutch toys, haberdashery and various articles for perfumers.' As Mr. Rubens remarks, there were so few Jews in Northern France in the eighteenth century, any bearing the same name are likely to be connected. Perhaps this is the Wolf Oppenheim who was to have directed the glasshouse at Le Havre. Was Mayer merely a sharp trickster, out? witted by a rogue even sharper? He certainly must have been a persuasive pleader, winning over numerous officials and distinguished citizens. His workmen too were loyal, though we have only Sorel's word for this. There still remains the inscription on the Hebrew book, and it must be his signature. There cannot have been another Mayer Oppenheim de Birming? ham. Tevele Schiff, the Rabbi of London, who 72 P. Dardel, ibid., 127.</page><page sequence="13">Jewish Glass-makers 119 received it, acknowledges the gift in a second inscription, 'from the much-respected Mayer', which would indicate that he held him in some esteem. The date of Mayer's signature?if it is a date?is uncertain. 12h. 15d. 0?15 December of a year ending in 0 ? The book was published in 1781. Schiff died in 1792, so most probably it was 1790. Mayer was still describing himself as 'de Birmingham' in the letters patent of 1784. Perhaps, since the condition of the ordinary Jewish businessman in France was so precari? ous at this time, the title gave him a certain prestige. Both Mayer and the Jacobs remain shadowy figures and their ventures ended in failure. Nevertheless, by their enterprise and by the skills and knowledge they brought with them from Central Europe, they have their place among the founders of the prosperity and industrialisation of the countries of their adoption. APPENDIX 'JEW'S GLASS' A number of individual treatises describe formulae for glass-making, which was akin to alchemy and similarly secret. Theophilus, a Westphalian monk, speaks of Jewish glass, and another monk, Heraclius, writes, 'I must tell you how to paint upon glass. Take a grossinum of sapphire and mix it with lead glass, i.e., Jew's glass.' Oxide of lead enhanced the brilliancy of glass, especially when coloured. Another monk of the twelfth century speaks 'Plumbeum, vitrum judaeum scilicet' (lead glass which is of course Jewish). This monk specifically mentions lead glass used for arti? ficial paste gems being made in his time by the Jews, which would have been extremely useful to the monks in adorning their splendid reliquaries.73 The art of making imitation glass jewels was obviously traditional to the Jews. Ancient literature describes them as being so skilfully contrived that they perplexed even experienced moneylenders.74 The term 'Jew's-glass' for imitation jewels was used down to the last century in Birmingham. The Philosophic Maga? zine of 1836 reads, 'Kunckel [a Potsdam chemist of the seventeenth century] discovered that gold melted with flint glass made a beautiful ruby colour, and kept it secret. But it has since been practised for the purpose of imitating precious stones, etc., and the glass used to be sold in Birmingham under the name Jew's glass. The rose coloured scent bottles commonly made are composed of plain glass bottles flashed with a very thin layer of the glass in question.'75 In spite of much correspondence, the writer has been unable to find any further evidence of 'Jew's glass' in Birmingham. Several jewellers said they had heard the expression from very old members of the trade. The Director of die Assay Office always understood 'Jew's glass' meant glass paste in paste jewellery, but could give no reference in support of this. The term may merely have referred to the cheap jewellery sold by the Jews in the nine? teenth century. Cecil Roth suggests it merely indicates something 'very ancient, mysterious and of unknown origin'.76 But its antiquity is intriguing. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I should like to thank Mr. A. Schischa for his help, also Rabbi D. Kaplin, Dr. Aubrey Newman, Mr. Alfred Rubens, and Mr. Edgar R. Samuel. I have also had much valued advice from 'Mr. R. J. Charleston, Keeper of the Department of Ceramics, Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, London. 73 J. K. Knowles, 'The Technique of Glass painting in Medieval and Renaissance Times', Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, Vol. LXII, 1914, pp. 569, 570. 74 The Midrash, VI, xxi, 12, p. 838 (Soncino Press 1939). [See PLATES XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, &amp; V (Fig. 2)] 75 By a Correspondent, 'On the Art of Glass painting,' Philosophic Magazine (1836), pp. 460-461. 76 C. Roth, 'Jew's Houses,' Antiquity (1951), p. 66.</page><page sequence="14">Fig. 2. Signature of Mayer Oppenheim, mid-eighteenth century glass-maker, of London and Birmingham, with a patent from King George II (This photograph of the writing on a Hebrew book's title-page has been kindly provided by Mr. A. Schischa)</page><page sequence="15">PLATE XIII [See 'Jewish Glass-makers*] Fig. 1. Lazarus Jacobs, glass-maker, arrived in Bristol from Frankfurt about 1760. An artist he employed was Michael Edkins, who had arrived about 1750, and above is shown one of the many entries in Edkins's ledger (now preserved in the Bristol City Library) concerning work done for Jacobs ? rran rawfffTbs ... ft* * iwm Bf3DD1? 3*7 &lt;?&gt; j pp na Fig. 2. From the title-page of the Order of Service at the dedication of the Bristol Synagogue, Temple Street, on Friday, 22 Ellul 5546/16 September 1786, the synagogue 'built here in Bristol by the noble and distinguished official, Head of the Community*, R. Eliezer bar Jacob (unquestionably, says Cecil Roth, Lazarus Jacobs). The printer is shown as Leib Soesmans, London. Soesmans, of Amsterdam, tried unsuccessfully to establish himself in London, staying about two years.</page><page sequence="16">PLATE XIV [See 'Jewish Glass-makers9] ^^^ft^^^^ATWPKP^!toW (lb VIB^ll ? oiks^M^t* mhjji* J&amp;twV wfr Id 09)101 ovum . : ff^ nin^] ' *WllPO^*^3!J7? Part of the Bristol Synagogue dedication Order of Service, 1786, showing the initials of the Hebrew lines forming an acrostic on 'BRISTOL'</page><page sequence="17">PLATE XV [See 'Jewish Glass-makers*] : vsmh &lt;h tm ? it man v ? inst* aVintsaM d * w ^ ?n * *di wivto run **9 : niroa mma ? wa v&amp;V ttp "\w anp tw wn ffJiofci &lt;* : nirra trnvn*ntm3TO Win? an #nB33i wtd? # n?iymVnnVNnpn : n^Visn ?now nsan nsao ? njro trafrttVion ? w noana Sa n* i? to wor* ?k ran *** : niw?fl{A ^a ? poa aaiD aaio ? py nnsta ojii ? p? mo* rp im i* y *di ww nan &amp; ' nai ww ran V' ?wvyw tenant : njnit?7 p?a ? rnrpa nanna? narota nnaV to? *navw naV awnofan * tr.vrir.ruru 137} ??Trwaoirnnnpi ? vtbt* vrupp ? VanrrnsTev^un^p* : nmanrfriiu nrirreanrcv ww?Hirrnrnj*rra* rau ntuVtanuim-in* tnjriin w?ai -TDpVy isvriv'pripbjrcfr nwayanynvTOivs1? run?" : ?aivwfrw' ran*?-? : njn WKi Jiw ? umgrmrti ? war nansai * urny* hv tin r , , . na Yin* to ran 41 1 : njnawr ?t npm ? panp v ?nn raw ? pot* tVxa rrn ? pan aj* np-ts ? r? U^n&lt;n3?aunnrjwstyTayn7T7K ? .jpvj nnn^n:^ ?ptj fro*" :npatM-|rvaaidn Jtt? 5TW? jogei Jjpp j'pfo Part of the Bristol Synagogue dedication Order of Service, 1786, showing the initials of the Hebrew verses forming an acrostic on the name of'ELIEZER BAR JACOB' (Lazarus Jacobs), followed by 'KHAZAK' ('Be strong') and the date 5546 = 1786 (See also Plates XIII and XIV. Photocopies for reproduction were kindly supplied by Dayan David Kaplin)</page><page sequence="18">PLATE XVI [See 'Jewish Glass-makers'] A decanter with pendant label, *Rum', in gold, signed *J. Jacobs, Bristol '15', and a blue finger bowl with gilded fret border between gold bands round the rim and festoons of flowers below the lips, signed 'J. Jacobs, Bristol', who was Lazarus Jacobs's son Isaac (These pictures are reproduced by courtesy of the Cecil Higgins Museum, Bedford)</page><page sequence="19">PLATE XVII [See 'Jewish Glass-makers9] Fig. 1. Bill-head of Isaac Jacobs, Bristol. This and the two glass items shown below are in the Bristol Art Gallery and Museum, by whose courtesy the photographs are reproduced Fig. 2. Glass finger-bowl and plate, c. 1810, by Isaac Jacobs, bearing a crest from the arms of Lord Verulam</page><page sequence="20">PLATE XVIII [See 'Jewish Glass-makers'] Glassware no doubt figured among the goods of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Jewish itinerant pedlars visiting various towns and villages, some of it to be engraved to order. These sections from paintings in the Bristol Art Gallery (by whose courtesy they are reproduced) both show a Jewish pedlar?indicated in each case by an arrow?offering his wares in a countryside setting. The picture above is from 'Taking the King's Shilling', by E. V. Rippingille (1798 1859), and that below is from 'St. James Fair', by Samuel Colman 1816-1838)</page></plain_text>