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

Snuff boxes

Snuff box reputed to be that of Mayer Amschel Rothschild

The taking of snuff saw a dramatic increase at the beginning of the 18th century. In the collections of the London bank at New Court is a Louis XV lacquer Chinoiserie snuff box, reputedly owned by Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812) and given by him to his son Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777-1836), in about 1758 (RAL 000/2494). The snuff box was presented to Anthony de Rothschild (1887-1961) by the Earl of Rosebery in 1951. A manuscript inscription inside the lid reads: 'Given in June 1951 to Anthony de Rothschild A Grandson of Lionel de Rothschild, by the Earl of Rosebery, A grandson of Mayer de Rothschild. Lionel and Mayer were sons of Nathan Mayer' and a manuscript inscription inside base reads 'The box was worn by the later Meyer Amschel Rothschild of Frankfurt a/M [am Main] who died there December 1812. Peace to him Amen, Amen. Given to J M Samuel by his son Nathan Mayer Rothschild soon after his father's death'. The snuff box was for many years displayed at New Court.

Collections of Ferdinand de Rothschild

The collection of snuff boxes of Ferdinand de Rothschild (1838-1898) was consistent with his passion for the French decorative arts of the period. He may also have been inspired to build on a collection begun by his father, Anselm, from whom Ferdinand inherited six very fine boxes decorated by the van Blarenberghes, a Dutch family who worked in France.

Purchasing mainly through London dealers, he acquired many more boxes with van Blarenberghe illustrations. Two of these represent the unveiling of the equestrian statue on the Place Louis XV (now the Place de la Concorde) in 1763, which are recognised as masterpieces. The van Blarenberghe snuffboxes were remarkable for their high level of detail, often including hundreds, sometimes thousands of figures in one scene. Among them were contemporary events, country and port scenes, moral tales and scenes from popular operas and plays of the day.

Collections of Alice von Rothschild

Alice von Rothschild (1847-1922) continued her brother Ferdinand's collection of snuff boxes when she inherited his house at Waddesdon, adding eight more decorated by the van Blarenberghes, and two in semi-precious stone in the form of pug dogs, reflecting her liking for these dogs. She also acquired a snuff box on the top of which was a Sèvres porcelain plaque painted with two dogs which belonged to Mme de Pompadour.

The 'New Court' snuff box.

The 'New Court' snuff box.