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Staffordshire pearlware mug, 3rd Mendoza v Humphreys bout

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.630

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    Staffordshire pearlware mug, 3rd Mendoza v Humphreys bout

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    Brief Narrative
    Staffordshire pearlware mug with a depiction of Jewish boxer Daniel Mendoza and Richard Humphreys, also spelled Humphries, in their final match, September 29, 1790, in Doncaster, England. Mendoza held back for several rounds, but still won quickly. Humphreys won the first bout in 1788, and Mendoza the second in 1789. Billed as Mendoza the Jew, he was Champion of England from 1792 to 1795. Mendoza was the first prominent Jewish prizefighter in England. He was smaller than his opponents, and won with superior technique, speed, and agility. His style, known as the Mendoza or Jewish school, is credited with inspiring a generation of boxers and establishing many elements of modern boxing. The mug is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    creation:  approximately 1790
    commemoration:  1790 September 29
    creation: Staffordshire (England)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, caption below image, black paint : Humphries and Mendoza Fighting at Doncaster on Wednesday Sept. 29th 1790
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Subject: Daniel Mendoza
    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

    Household Utensils
    Drinking vessels
    Object Type
    Drinking cups (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Cylindrical, poorly painted, pearlware mug with a flat base, rounded rim with a painted red band, and a loop handle with 2 incised lines and a red painted floral design attached to the side. On the body is a black, transfer printed scene with hand painted details. It depicts 2 barechested men in breeches in boxing stances, knees touching. The left boxer, in yellow, with slightly darker brown skin, has shifted his weight to the back, on a bent right leg, and throws a punch with his left arm. The other boxer, in green, braces himself with his left leg, both fists raised to guard his face. Each boxer has 2 prizefighters in jackets and breeches behind him in his corner; 1 is his second, the other, his water bottle holder. On the far left is a gentleman umpire in a hat and long red coat with a pocket watch. The face of a second umpire is visible over his shoulder. See 2016.184.156 for a similar mug.
    overall: Height: 4.750 inches (12.065 cm) | Width: 3.000 inches (7.62 cm) | Depth: 4.500 inches (11.43 cm)
    overall : pearlware, glaze, paint, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The mug 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:
    2024-02-21 07:11:15
    This page:

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