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Old French and new money : Jews and the aesthetics of the Old Regime in transnational perspective, c.1860–1910.

Stammers, Thomas (2019) 'Old French and new money : Jews and the aesthetics of the Old Regime in transnational perspective, c.1860–1910.', Journal of modern Jewish studies., 18 (4). pp. 489-512.


At the dawn of the twentieth century, styles synonymous with the French Old Regime were hailed as the epitome of good taste. French fashions from the reigns of Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI were an international luxury brand, the proliferation of which seemed to announce the rise of “new money” and transatlantic alliances. This was a defiantly cosmopolitan and opulent mode of building and decorating, which was often dissonant with its immediate surroundings. Taking the example of Oldway Mansion in Devon – created by the American entrepreneur Isaac Merritt Singer in the 1870s and transformed by his son Paris Eugène Singer in the 1890s into a the “Versailles of the West Country” – this article reflects on the elusive but pervasive contribution of Jews to the popularity of French revivalism in the fin-de-siècle. It argues for the entanglement of Jewishness with other national and class identities and insists on considering not just the identity of the patron or the architect, but the wider network of artists, decorators and art dealers who specialized in recreating the elegance of the Old Regime. It explores what role Jewish patrons and art professionals played in disseminating French historicist styles among a dynamic, global elite.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of modern Jewish studies on 4 September 2019 available online:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:01 November 2019
Date of first online publication:04 September 2019
Date first made open access:04 March 2020

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