Constance ('Connie') de Rothschild, Lady Battersea (1843-1931) was born at 107, Piccadilly on 29 April 1843, the daughter of Sir Anthony and Lady Louise de Rothschild. In 1877, Constance married Cyril Flower (1843-1907), the British Liberal politician and property developer, who was created Lord Battersea in 1892. After her marriage to Cyril Flower, Constance combined a lavish social life with charitable activities. Her husband's political career took her to Wales for a period, but in London she had a residence at Surrey House and then Connaught Place. In 1888 the couple bought land at Overstrand, Cromer, where Lutyens built for them The Pleasaunce.
Lord and Lady Battersea were both collectors and patrons of the arts. Lord Battersea was a patron of James McNeill Whistler and was involved with the Pre-Raphaelite set. His bedroom in his London residence, Surrey House was one of the few interiors completed by Carlo Bugatti. One of the most famous works owned by Lord and Lady Battersea was The Golden Stairs by Edward Burne-Jones, which Cyril, a patron and friend of Burne-Jones commissioned in 1880 for Surrey House. In his will of 1907, Lord Battersea bequeathed The Golden Stairs to the National Gallery with a life interest to Lady Battersea. She surrendered this interest in 1924 and presented the work to the nation through the National Art Collections Fund in order that it might be exhibited at the Tate Gallery.
Despite this early interest in the avant-garde, sale catalogues of their collections after Lady Battersea's death reveal a preference for a rather more traditional, sentimental taste.