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Germaine, Baroness Edouard de Rothschild (née Halphen) (1884-1975)

Germaine, Baroness Edouard Alphonse de Rothschild (nee Halphen) (1884-1975) was born in Paris in 1884, the daughter of the financcier Émile Halphen and philanthropist Louise Fould. She was the granddaughter of Paul Fould (1837-1917), the niece of the composer Fernand Halphen, the cousin of Gaston Gradis and cousin of Noémie Halphen (wife of Baron Maurice de Rothschild). Her marriage to Edouard de Rothschild in 1905 produced three children, Guy, Jacqueline and Bethsabée. Noted for her philanthropy in her native France, in 1938, she founded the Jewish Committee for Children of Germany and Central European refugees in France. In 1942, she was successful in securing the emigration of 130 Jewish children to the United States. In 1952 she wrote an illustrated volume on the work of the French potter, Bernard Palissy.

Germaine, Baroness Edouard de Rothschild, publications, 'Bernard Palissy et son école', 1952

000/995, 1 volume

Bernard Palissy et son école by Germaine de Rothschild. An illustrated volume on the work of Bernard Palissy, 1952.

Germaine, Baroness Edouard de Rothschild: publications, 'Luigi Boccherini sa vie, son ouvre', 1962

000/2592, 1 volume

Luigi Boccherini sa vie, son ouvre, by Germaine de Rothschild (Librairie Plon, Paris, 1962). The volume is a life of the Italian composer and cellist of the Classical era, Ridolfo Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805).

Germaine, Baroness Edouard de Rothschild: collections, 'The Rothschild Egg', Christie's sale catalogue, 2007

000/2750, 1 item

Germaine, Baroness Edouard de Rothschild (nee Halphen) (1884-1975): collections: Sale Catalogue The Rothschild Fabergé Egg, Wednesday 28 November 2007, (Christie's London: 2007). A copy of the Christie's press release announcing the sale is included in the catalogue. The 'Rothschild Egg' is a jewelled, enamelled, decorated egg that was made under the supervision of the Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé by the workshop of Michael Perchin in 1902. (Charlotte) Béatrice, Baroness Maurice Ephrussi (nee de Rothschild) ( 1864-1934)  presented this egg to Germaine Halphen upon her engagement to Béatrice's younger brother, Édouard Alphonse James de Rothschild (1868-1949). It is one of the few significant Fabergé eggs that were not made for the Russian Imperial family, and until its sale in 2007, it had been in the Rothschild family since it was first purchased. It was one of the most expensive eggs that Fabergé had ever made and sold, one of only four Fabergé eggs with an ornamentation surprise and a clock, Upon the hour, a diamond-set cockerel pops up from the top of the egg, flaps its wings four times, then nods his head three times, crowing all the while. This lasts for fifteen seconds, before the clock strikes the hour on a bell.

It was sold by Christie's, London on 28 November 2007, for £8.9 million (including commission). The price achieved by the egg set three auction records: it is the most expensive timepiece, Russian object, and Fabergé object ever sold at auction, surpassing the $9.6 million sale of the 1913 Winter egg in 2002. The egg was bought by Alexander Ivanov, the director of the Russian National Museum. The Rothschild egg was eventually displayed at Ivanov's Fabergé Museum in Baden-Baden, Germany. On 8 December 2014, the Rothschild egg was given to the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. This occurred during a reception to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the museum. The presentation of the egg was made by Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, who also gave another item by Fabergé to the museum. As of January 2019, the Rothschild egg is on display in Room 302 of the Hermitage's General Staff Building.