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Gillray print of Jewish boxer Mendoza winning 1st match with Ward

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.157

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    Gillray print of Jewish boxer Mendoza winning 1st match with Ward


    Brief Narrative
    Colored etching by James Gillray of Jewish boxer Daniel Mendoza and Bill Ward near the end of a bareknuckle match on May 14, 1792, near Croydon, England. Mendoza won, overpowering Ward, born Warr, and leaving him too injured to walk away unassisted. The match was fought to settle Ward’s dispute with Mendoza’s claim to the title, Champion of England. Billed as Mendoza the Jew, he held the title from 1792 to 1795. He was the first prominent Jewish prizefighter in England and inspired a generation of boxers. Mendoza was smaller than his opponents, and won due to his superior technique, speed, and agility. His style, known as the Mendoza or Jewish school, established many elements of modern boxing. Gillray (1756-1815) was one of the greatest caricaturists of the 18th century. The print is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Artwork Title
    Dan Beating the Philistines
    publication/distribution:  1792 May
    depiction:  1792 May 14
    publication: London (England)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, top, black ink : DAN beating the Phillistines / Pub May 1792 by W Fores No 3 Piccadilly London
    front, bottom, black ink : Butcher / Johnson / MENDOZA / WARD / Joe Ward / Jackson
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Subject: Daniel Mendoza
    Publisher: S. W. Fores
    Artist: James Gillray
    The Katz Ehrenthal Collection is a collection of more than 900 objects depicting Jews and antisemitic and anti-Jewish propaganda from the medieval to the modern era, in Europe, Russia, and the United States. The collection was amassed by Peter Ehrenthal, a Romanian Holocaust survivor, to document the pervasive history of anti-Jewish hatred in Western art, politics and popular culture. It includes crude folk art as well as pieces created by Europe's finest craftsmen, prints and periodical illustrations, posters, paintings, decorative art, and toys and everyday household items decorated with depictions of stereotypical Jewish figures.
    Daniel Mendoza was born on July 5, 1764, in Aldgate, London, England, to a large, poor Sephardic family descended from Spanish Marranos. He was apprenticed to a glass cutter. At 16, Mendoza began training with Richard Humphreys, a professional bareknuckle boxer. There were no weight classes in boxing, and the 5 foot 7 inch, 160 pound Mendoza had to face larger opponents. To compensate, he developed a technical style that emphasized footwork, jabbing, agility, speed, and and introduced the concept of defense. He rose to prominence quickly, fighting as Mendoza the Jew, and was the first Jewish figher to become champion. Mendoza fought approximately 35 professional fights, losing only 4, and was Champion of England from 1792-1795. Mendoza became one of the most celebrated figures in 18th century England. His image and, most frequently, the story of his three bouts with his mentor Humphreys, were portrayed in prints, tableware, and other merchandise. The Prince of Wales was a patron, and this royal acceptance was beneficial to Jews throughout British society. Jews had been expelled from England in 1296, and not permitted to return untl 1656. Mendoza opened several boxing academies where he taught his scientific approach to the sport, known as the Mendoza or Jewish school, and published a book, The Art of Boxing. He also performed touring demonstrations. He was married and had 11 children. Mendoza, 72, died on September 3, 1836.

    Physical Details

    Physical Description
    Print of an etching, handcolored, on paper of 2 barechested boxers, Mendoza and Ward, in breeches, stockings, and black heeled shoes. Mendoza, on the left, holds Ward in a headlock, looking down as he prepares to punch Ward’s face with his right fist. Ward is bent over and dripping blood from his mouth. Each boxer has 2 prizefighters in breeches and collared shirts in his corner, Butcher is Mendoza’s water bottle holder, Johnson his second; Jackson is Ward’s bottle holder, Joe Ward his second. They are in the center of an elevated ring, with the faces of spectators at ringside. The print is nearly monochromatic; only Mendoza wears white, the rest offwhite, and the mat and some spectator's shirts are light blue. The dripping blood is a later addition of red paint. There are handwritten markings on the back.
    overall: Height: 9.625 inches (24.448 cm) | Width: 13.875 inches (35.243 cm)
    overall : paper, ink, paint

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The print was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by the Katz Family.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Special Collection
    Katz Ehrenthal Collection
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:30:19
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