Jews and the Coral Trade

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not occur in any edition of Josephus that I have seen. The nearest is the picture of the High Priest's headband in the original folio edition of Whiston's Josephus, but there the letters are clearly Samaritan, like the Samaritan type used in eighteenth-century printed books.

The letters on the tombstone are more like the letters on silver shekels. Still nearer are the letters on the picture of the High Priest's Breastplate in the 1730 edition (French) of Calmet's Dictionary of the Bible, vol. iii. p. 352. In this picture the names of the twelve precious stones are written in cIbri characters very like those on the tomb. All the letters required occur, except vav, and the vav on the tomb is con? spicuously inferior in shape to the rest.

can scarcely claim to have unearthed the actual source of Daniel Symes's erudition; in fact, I should not be satisfied until I could find a picture, accessible to him, of Aaron's Petalon with Tfiivb tSHp exhibited thereon in the required lettering. And further, we need to account for the curious phrases about " sleeping with the Fathers " and the " Field of God." I think the composition was due to Daniel Symes himself, for the three lines recording his own death are quite commonplace ; moreover, the two final lines about the Field of God are in the same lettering as those about the Fathers. It was easy to leave a sufficient space blank for Daniel's own name, to be added afterwards. All the interest therefore of this curious tombstone is in the part commemorating Bettey Symes, erected while her widowed husband was still alive. He must have been an odd character in this Wessex village a hundred years ago !

10. Jews and the Coral Trade.

The appended document, which has been kindly brought to the notice of the Society by Mr. Horace Mitchell, Assistant Superintendent of Records at the India Office, is interesting for at least two reasons. In the first place, it illustrates the large part played by Jews in the coral trade, as controlled by the East India Company, for of the sixteen leading firms signing it, eight are Jewish; and, in the second place, the appearance of Benjamin DTsraeli (the grandfather of Lord Beaconsfield) among the signatories marks an important turning-point in the varie? gated career of that adventurous personage.

Jews were prominent in the coral trade from a very early period, and their interest in it had much to do with the migrations which gradually shaped the Anglo-Je wish community in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Coral was shipped to India, where there was a great demand for it, and the returns were very largely taken in diamonds. Hence, two Jewish interests were involved, that of the great gem merchants of London and Amsterdam, who were chiefly Jews, and that of the coral dealers in Italy, who were also very largely Jews. The trade, however, was declared a monopoly by both the British and Dutch East India

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