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

Religious objets d'art

Adolphe de Rothschild (1823-1900) was an enthusiastic collector of objets d'art , and built up a fine collection of religious pieces, many dating back to the Renaissance, which he displayed at his house in the rue de Monceau.

He arranged his collections in glass cases in rooms where daylight entered through glass ceilings, and which, like those of a museum, were arranged solely for those admiring the objects on display, with benches around the walls.

The objects were organised by type or period, with some displayed in a dramatic setting. Adolphe's collection consisted of a remarkable series of reliquaries, monstrances, sacred vases and other pieces of religious jewellery and precious objects, which permitted the study of forms and techniques used in the workshops of the gold- and silversmiths of the 15th century.

When Adolphe bequeathed his objects to the Louvre, he entrusted them to the curator of the department of objets d'art, Emile Molinier, to edit the catalogue of the collection. He also left the resources for the construction of a new room with Flemish hangings and Italian flooring where he wished the objects to be kept together.

Ferdinand de Rothschild (1838-1898) collected some Gothic sacred objects which he bequeathed to the British Museum, the most important of which is the gold enamelled reliquary of the Holy Thorn of French origin and dating from the first decade of the 1400s. A thorn, supposedly from the Crown of Thoms, is set in a sapphire at the centre of a jewelled shrine depicting the scene of The Last Judgement.

There was also an early 16th-century elaborate tabernacle of highly carved boxwood which may have belonged to the Emperor Charles V. This is in detachable sections and opens like a flower to reveal minutely carved scenes on the inside of each 'petal' from the Life and Passion of Christ. Ferdinand also had a miniature altarpiece, again of boxwood dating from 1511, inside which were delicately carved biblical scenes.

Interior of the house in the rue de Monceau where Adolphe von Rothschild displayed his collection.

Interior of the house in the rue de Monceau where Adolphe von Rothschild displayed his collection.