Since the early 1960s, visitors to New Court have been greeted by two works of art: a painting and a tapestry. Familiar to many long-standing members of staff and clients, these iconic pieces have found pride of place in both the third New Court building and the current New Court, where they may be seen hanging side by side in the windows that face onto St Swithin's Lane.
There have been Rothschilds at New Court since 1809 when Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777-1836) the Frankfurt born financier arrived from Manchester to establish his banking business. New Court was rebuilt in the 1860s by Nathan's sons, and again in the 1960s by a later generation of Rothschilds. The present building was erected betwen 2008 and 2011.
This large oil painting (113 x 138 inches) by W.A. Hobday shows Nathan Mayer Rothschild and his family. It is believed to have been commissioned by Nathan c.1821, and hung at his home in Stamford Hill, and later at his estate at Gunnersbury Park, now in west London. It is not known when the painting first arrived at New Court, but for many years it hung in the General Office in the second New Court building. When the third New Court building was opened in 1965, it was hung to the right of the seating area in the main foyer. See A family Portrait in The Rothschild Archive Annual Review 2006-2007 for more information about this painting.
The Brussels Tapestry
The tapestry (signed ‘Borght’) is an 18th Century (circa 1730-1741) Brussels tapestry depicting the story told in the Old Testament, Numbers 20:8-12, of Moses striking a rock in the desert to bring forth water for the thirsty Israelites, fleeing from Egypt. The Tapestry was brought to New Court in the 1960s by Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, where it was displayed behind the reception desk in the marble foyer.
Please note that the Hobday and the Tapestry are not publicly accessible, although they may be viewed from St Swithin's Lane.