Welcome toThe Rothschild Archive'swebsite

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



Henri de Rothschild (1872-1947) began his career as a collector in early childhood with a collection of stuffed animals. His tutor objected to the smell, however, and Henri turned his attention to collecting autographs instead. He accumulated more than 5,000 documents bearing signatures of kings, queens and statesmen, poets, dramatists and philosophers from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Combining a historian's professionalism with an amateur's interest, Henri chose two curators, Roger Gaucheron and Jean Porcher, to edit the catalogue of autographs.

They include letters and documents concerning the political, artistic and literary history of France. Henri's commitment to the subject is proved by the editions he produced of previously unedited letters by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in correspondence with Mme Boy de Ia Tour, as well as of the autographs of the playwright, Pierre Corneille which he brought out in 1929 as facsimiles of originals in Paris, Rouen and London. The collection was given to the Bibliothque Nationale in 1933.

Musical Autographs

Charlotte de Rothschild (1807-1859), Baron Anselm's wife, took advantage of the presence of three notable musicians who were staying at her parents' house in the summer of 1829 to start a collection of musical autographs. On this occasion, Mendelssohn, Moscheles and Cramer each wrote a short piece of music in her autograph book, or Livre d'or as it was known.

From then on, she continued to ask music teachers and friends to write an arietta or piano piece in her book until she died in 1859. Many of these pieces were published and became popular works. Bellini wrote the romance, Dolente immagine di Fille mia in 1821 in the book, which was the first work by him to be published, and quickly became a popular salon piece.

Meyerbeer wrote an English song, The Rare Flower in the book, while in 1836 Chopin wrote a Mazurka which is not very different from his Op. 67 no.4. Rossini, a family friend, often used the musical score Siroe Mi lagnero tacendo by Metastasio as a personal autograph.

In 1834, Louis Spohr entered a song he had published in 1819, his Nachgefiihl. After Charlotte's death, her daughter, Mathilde (1832-1924), continued the book, and two composers, Halevy and the lesser known Rosenhain, entered pieces twice in it, once for Charlotte and later for Mathilde. Victor Massé, Franz Lachner and Anton Rubenstein were amongst the composers who wrote in the book for Mathilde. In 1869, Mathilde stopped collecting and her daughter and granddaughter, Minna Caroline and Lily Schey started collecting again in 1925.

Signature of Evelina de Rothschild (1839-1866).

Signature of Evelina de Rothschild (1839-1866).