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Elie Robert de Rothschild (1917-2007)

Elie Robert de Rothschild was born on May 29 1917, the younger son of Baron Robert de Rothschild. Robert was one of the partners of the family bank, de Rothschild Frères. Elie and his siblings Diane, Alain and Cécile were brought up at Château de Laversine, near Chantilly, and in Paris at 23 avenue de Marigny, a mansion built by their grandfather Gustave de Rothschild in 1885.

With the outbreak of the Second World War, Elie rode to the front with their cavalry regiment, the Anciens 11èmes Cuirassiers. After German forces invaded France in May 1940 Elie and his brother Alain were captured near the Belgian frontier. Elie was sent to a German PoW camp near Nienburg from which, after an unsuccessful escape attempt, he was sent to Colditz. Subsequently he was moved again, to a camp at Lübeck, where he was reunited with Alain. During his internment, Elie wrote to his childhood sweetheart, Liliane Fould-Springer, proposing that they be married by proxy; she accepted. The groom took his vows at Colditz in October 1941; the bride took hers in the town hall at Cannes, in Vichy France, in April 1942 - sitting beside an empty chair with a photograph of Elie in front of her. Elie and Liliane had a son and two daughters, Nathaniel, Nelly and Elisabeth.

The French business post-war

After the war Elie helped his cousin Guy and brother Alain to put de Rothschild Frères back on its feet, and to expand their Compagnie du Nord. In 1967, the old rue Laffitte building was pulled down to make way for a modern concrete and glass structure. In 1956, Elie became president of the family company PLM, an enterprise to build and promote hotels, motels and restaurants. Liliane supervised the interior decoration of PLM's properties.

Château Lafite-Rothschild

In addition to his business activities in Paris, in 1946 Elie had assumed charge of running the vineyard at Château Lafite-Rothschild, which he owned jointly with Alain, Guy and their Anglophile cousin Jimmy de Rothschild (of Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury). In the immediate postwar years, in Paris, Elie and Alain and their wives shared 23 avenue de Marigny, and in the 1950s Elie and Liliane and their children moved into a house of their own, 11 rue Masseran. An 18th-century mansion built by Brongniart for Prince Masserano in 1785, their new house was almost as big as 23 avenue de Marigny, and more attractive. It provided a fine setting for their magnificent 18th-century French furniture, objets d'art, Old Masters and modern paintings. In 1974 Elie handed over the reins at Château Lafite-Rothschild to his nephew Eric, Alain's son. Elie de Rothschild remained active until his death at his hunting lodge in the Austrian Alps. 

Elie de Rothschild, sundry photographs, c.1940-1970

000/1295/2, 000/1334/1, 2 folders

Elie de Rothschild (1917-2007), sundry photographs:

  • seven photographs of building activities in Palestine with military attendance, c.1940s;
  • four photographs with captions on the reverse in German, taken in Israel, possibly Jerusalem, at a university awards ceremony, c.1950;
  • photograph of Elie and two other men at dinner table, c.1950s;
  • photograph of Elie playing polo, c.1960;
  • copy photograph of Elie de Rothschild (1917-2007) and Evelyn de Rothschild (1931-2022) in polo playing kit; copy photograph of polo match scoreboard, c.1965;
  • contact prints of Elie at his desk in in office interior, (presumed Banque Rothschild in the rue Lafitte), together with negatives of the same, c.1970.

Elie de Rothschild: sundry papers concerning works at 11, rue Masseran and 23 Avenue Marigny, 1954-1965

000/2212/1-2, 2 folders

Elie de Rothschild: sundry papers concerning works at 11, rue Masseran and 23 Avenue Marigny:

  • Folder of correspondence with architects concerning works undertaken at 11, rue Masseran, 1956-1965. The Hôtel de Masseran was acquired by Baron Élie de Rothschild (1917-2007) and Baroness Liliane (née Fould-Springer (1916-2003). They remodelled the interior, and, in the 'Boffrand' salon, installed woodwork executed by the carpenters Taupin, Le Goupil and Desgoulons between 1720 and 1723 for the Hotel de la Comtesse de Parabère , No. 22 Place Vendome , which belonged to Baron Fould-Springer, Baroness Liliane's father;
  • Folder of estimates for works undertaken at Avenue Marigny, 1954. The house at 23 avenue de Marigny was originally three houses which Gustave de Rothschild (1829-1911) transformed and aligned to create a very successful new house. Robert de Rothschild (1880-1946) who inherited the property from his father Gustave, made his own alterations. 

Elie de Rothschild, secondary sources, 'Le Figaro', 1981

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Magazine Le Figaro, No 11.325, 31 January 1981. Includes the article ‘Chez Rothschild, le grand style vielle provinces’ about the life and style of Baron Elie de Rothschild.

Elie de Rothschild, secondary sources, 'South Shore Record', 1982

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Cutting from the South Shore Record, 18 November 1982, featuring a report of a visit to Long Island of Elie de Rothschild.