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Sources for business history: plans of New Court

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

Catalogue of 'Old Master' pictures of Alfred de Rothschild

The Rothschild Archive has recently acquired by gift a large and rare volume of delicate photographs of the valuable pictures collected by Alfred de Rothschild.



‘Collections de Mr Le Baron Alfred de Rothschild Seamore Place et Halton’

The Rothschilds were dedicated collectors. From books to butterflies, stamps to silver, they vied among themselves to develop the most spectacular collections. The great Rothschild houses were perfect settings for art, silverware, and porcelain. Some of the most priceless collections were of old master paintings.

Alfred de Rothschild, collector, patron and connoisseur

Alfred (1842-1918) was the fourth of five children of Lionel and Charlotte de Rothschild. He spent his childhood in the family homes at 148 Piccadilly and Gunnersbury. At the age of 21, he became a partner at N M Rothschild & Sons at New Court. While he was perhaps in the shadow of older brother, Nathaniel (1840-1915), aged  26, Alfred became a director of the Bank of England, the first Jew to be appointed. Alfred's wide social circle supplied a long list of private clients for N M Rothschild & Sons. Upon the death of his father in 1879, Alfred inherited the estate at Halton in Buckinghamshire, and set about building a house in the style of a French chateau. Work started around 1880 and Halton House was finished in July 1883. Alfred remained in residence at his town house, 1 Seamore Place in London and only ever used Halton House for social purposes. Both houses formed magnificent backdrops to his art collections. A lifelong patron of the arts, Alfred also donated money to the National Gallery for acquisitions, and served as a trustee of both the National Gallery and the Wallace Collection.

Cataloguing his collections

This large blue leather volume, measuring some 55 x 70 cm, is handsomely inscribed in gold 'Collections de Mr Le Baron Alfred de Rothschild Seamore Place et Halton'. It was most likely privately published in Paris by Maison A.D. Braun & Co. of Paris, Dornach and New York. The exquisite plates are by Braun, Clément & Co. The plates illustrate the most important old masters in Alfred’s collection, including works by Boucher, Drouais, Gainsborough, Greuze, Reynolds, Romney, Rubens, Teniers, van Dyck and Watteau. The volume bears the manuscript inscription ‘For Lady Feo's kind acceptance in remembrance of ten very pleasant days spent at Halton, Alfred de Rothschild, 28 March 1901’, and bears a bookplate with the arms and motto 'En Dieu Est Tout’ and the family name ‘Alington’. These are the arms of  Humphrey Napier Sturt, 2nd Baron Alington, whose wife was Lady Feodorowna Yorke (1864-1934). It is presumed that the volume was presented to her by Alfred as a gift.

An earlier two-volume catalogue of Alfred’s collections of pictures, china, furniture, metal work and objets de vitrine (Catalogue of the Works of Art forming the collection of Alfred de Rothschild: Volumes I and II (Charles Davis, 147 New Bond Street, London, 1884)) is also in the collection of the Archive (RAL 000/2281). Together with the latest acquisition, these catalogues provide a comprehensive account of Alfred’s style and collecting taste.

Collections de Mr Le Baron Alfred de Rothschild Seamore Place et Halton

Collections de Mr Le Baron Alfred de Rothschild Seamore Place et Halton

'Madame Lowndes Stone' by Thomas Gainsborough

'Madame Lowndes Stone' by Thomas Gainsborough