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Article Dans Une Revue Journal of the History of Collections Année : 2022

A nineteenth-century entrepreneur and collector


Abstract Members of the Parisian financial elite, Meyer Joseph Cahen d’Anvers (1804–1881) and his descendants belonged to an Ashkenazi community rooted in Germany and Belgium. In the late nineteenth century, as targets of the anti-Semitic press, the Cahen d’Anvers family experienced the consequences of the Dreyfus Affair and the horrors of the racial laws. In an earlier generation, the family adopted what could be defined as a ‘top-down’ model of integration. This essay focuses on its mechanisms and development, in relation to the construction of the family’s national and cultural identity. After tracing the patriarch’s origins, the text analyses the properties and collections of Cahen d’Anvers and explores their influence upon the subsequent development of the family’s place in society. As a showcase for their public identity, the Château de Nainville (Essonne) and the Petit Hôtel de Villars (Paris) distilled, in their architecture, furnishings and collections, Meyer Joseph’s civil rights and ambitions.
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Dates et versions

hal-03899130 , version 1 (14-12-2022)



Alice Legé. A nineteenth-century entrepreneur and collector. Journal of the History of Collections, 2022, 34 (3), pp.469-480. ⟨10.1093/jhc/fhac008⟩. ⟨hal-03899130⟩


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