Welcome toThe Rothschild Archive'swebsite

Sources for business history: catalogues of bank files

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

Art collections: Alfred de Rothschild

Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918) became a partner at New Court, and in 1868, he became the first Jew to be elected a director of the Bank of England. His wide social circle formed a useful source of information, much appreciated by the Paris House in particular, and also supplied a long list of private clients, including many from the world of art and entertainment.     

On the death of his father in 1879, Alfred inherited Halton in Buckinghamshire, building a new mansion as his country home, and when in town lived at 1, Seamore Place. 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.

Alfred was a trustee of the National Gallery, and a founder trustee of the Wallace Collection. The strength of his personal collection of paintings lay in his ensemble of English female portraits of the 18th century. Among the Gainsboroughs were Mrs Beaufroy, Mrs Meares, Mrs Lowndes Stone-Norton and Mrs Villebois, but his favourite was a portrait by Joshua Reynolds of Lady Bamfylde; he even named a room at Halton after her.

Alfred was an enthusiastic collector, and began buying paintings in his early twenties, continuing until his death in 1918. Preferring to avoid auctions, he bought mainly through friends and family. He purchased some Dutch and Flemish paintings but clearly favoured the French and English 18th-century schools. Boucher, Greuze, Lancret, Pater and Watteau all featured among his collection.

Halton House

Halton House

Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918)

Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918)