In a small room in the third New Court where, until 2004, the London price of gold was set twice each business day by five representatives from The London Gold Market Fixing Ltd., hung a small series of early nineteenth-century portraits, known as the ‘Crowned Heads’.
These heads of state represented five of the countries for which the Rothschild brothers provided government loans in the two decades after the Napoleonic Wars (1803 –1815). The portraits are identified by small brass labels as the Empress Catherine of Russia, King William of the Netherlands, Emperor Francis of Austria, King Frederick William of Prussia, and King John of Portugal. They now hang together with two other ‘Crowned Heads’ of significance – William IX, the Elector of Hesse, and Andrew Jackson, President of the United States – in a prominent corridor in the present New Court.
For more information about this collection, please see 'Unmasking King John of Portugal' in The Rothschild Archive Annual Review 2013-2014.
Please note that these portraits are not publicly accessible.