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Sources for business history

Sources for art history: Catalogue of the pictures of Alfred de Rothschild 1901

Sources for yachting history: Plans for Nathaniel von Rothschild's yacht Veglia 1905

Sources for natural history: Walter 2nd Lord Rothschild and his zebra carriage: c.1910

Sources for global financial history: Map of lines of the Brazil Railway Company: c.1920

Sources for business history: index cards to bank files

Sources for social history: Rothschild Hospital Paris: 1920s

Sources for business history: detail of a Rothschild bond coupon

Sources for architectural history: Halton House: 1890s

Sources for the history of travel: Lionel de Rothschild's tours of Spain: 1909

Sources for local history: Tring Park: c.1900

Sources for Royal history: shooting party with Edward Prince of Wales: 1893

Sources for political history: Lionel de Rothschild: first Jewish MP: 1858

Sources for sporting history: St Amant winner of the Derby: 1904

Sources for local history: gardeners at Aston Clinton: 1899

Sources for Rothschild family history: Lionel de Rothschild's yacht Rhodora: 1927

Sources for London history: entrance to New Court: 1965

Sources for design history: plans for Lionel de Rothschild's Rolls-Royce: 1930

Sources for business history: Rothschild gold bars produced by the Royal Mint Refinery: 1930s

Sources for business history: letters of August Belmont Rothschild Agent in New York: 1860s

The New Court Vitrine: Chinese silver 'sycees', c.1903

The New Court Vitrine, curated by The Rothschild Archive, recalls the cases of treasures and cabinets of curiosity that graced the great Rothschild houses.

Chinese silver ‘sycees’ given to Charles Rothschild (1877-1923) as a gift, c.1903. In 1903, Charles Rothschild made a Round-the-World trip, spending time in China. 

These objects are a type of silver bullion that took the form of ingots called ‘sycees’ or ‘shoes’ because of their distinctive shape created by rocking the mould while the metal was still liquid. They were used throughout China in varying weights and sizes. Each ingot was stamped with the name of the smelter, date of casting and an indication of the weight and fineness. 

Trade with China

The first firm evidence of business between N M Rothschild & Sons and China dates from 1838, In the earliest surviving letters from Rothschilds' agents in Canton, trade in Chinese silks feature considerably, alongside tin, tea, cochineal and quicksilver.

After 1858, N M Rothschild & Sons moved to expand these links. Much of the correspondence with their agents in Shanghai focused on silver, the medium of commercial payment in China. Trading and shipping of specie and bullion had, from the first, been a central pillar of the business of N M Rothschild and the firm was quick to organise a substantial trade to China.

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