Max Beerbohm produced a number of cartoons of the Rothschilds. Alfred Rothschild, eccentric, extravagant and hypochondriac, was his favourite subject among the family.
Upon the death of his father in 1879, Alfred inherited a 1,400-acre (5.7 km2) estate at Halton in Buckinghamshire. As Alfred lacked a country retreat and the Halton estate did not provide one, Alfred 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 exquisite art collections. He was a lavish host, and guests might be entertained by his personal orchestra or circus, of which Alfred was conductor and ringmaster respectively.
Max Beerbohm's 'A quiet evening in Seamore Place. Doctors consulting whether Mr Alfred may, or may not, take a second praline’ cleverly brings together all of Alfred's foibles in an affectionate character-sketch, produced in about 1905, of Alfred at home in his London house.