Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Ward Baring Brothers

James Ward after Sir Thomas Lawrence

Sir Francis and John Baring and Mr. Wall

32 x 25

A large-scale, mezzotint engraving by James Ward after the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, published in London between 1807 and 1811.

In this fascinating group study, we see Francis Baring in conversation with his younger brother John and his son-in-law Charles Wall. The Baring brothers were important London merchants who went on to establish the House of Baring Brothers, later known as Barings Bank. The bank was to face a spectacular collapse in 1995 after fraudulent investments left it in debt to the tune of £827 million. Before this ignominy however, there were over 200 years of extraordinary growth and achievement. Francis and John began dealing in profitable commodities such as wool but were soon offering financial advice to the rapidly expanding international trade market including, regrettably, the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Most memorable amongst the bank's achievements was the Louisianna Purchase of 1803, the largest land deal in history that would double the size of the United States.

In this image we are reminded that Sir Francis suffered from deafness as he holds a hand up to his ear. His brother and Charles Wall are engrossed in a ledger that deals with Hope and Co., a Dutch merchant bank with whom they had considerable and mutually beneficial dealings. Proof copy, before all inscriptions.


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