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The Looram Papers

Papers collected by Bettina, Mrs Matthew Looram, (née von Rothschild). Bettina von Rothschild was born on October 31 1924, the elder daughter of Baron Alphonse von Rothschild and his English wife Clarice, née Sebag-Montefiore. With her sister Gwendoline she grew up mostly in Vienna, in the grand house built by a Rothschild great-uncle on Theresianumgasse, and also at country estates at Schillersdorf, and the estate in Silesia. 

Together with her mother Clarice, Mrs Looram undertook a long campaign to reclaim the family estate and treasures taken during the Second World War The restitution campaign had begun in 1947, when Bettina accompanied her mother and uncle Louis to Vienna, to see what could be salvaged of their former property. However it was not until 1998 that through Bettina’s persistence, 250 items (taken by the Nazis from the Austrian Rothschild houses and later deposited in Austrian national museums) were returned to her. Keeping back only a few mementoes, Bettina and her fellow beneficiaries (her two children and her late sister’s two children) sold the remainder at Christie’s in London. 

Bettina’s mother Clarice, had kept Alphonse’s estate at Langau, returning there in 1952. In the 1970s, Bettina and her husband Matthew Looram retired there to live in a house that they built for themselves. Matthew Looram died at Langau in 2004. Bettina Looram died in November 2012.

Access to some of these collections is restricted at the request of the donors and depositors. All papers later than 1945 are currently closed to researchers; for further information please contact The Rothschild Archive »

The Looram Papers I: papers concerning the estates and collections of the Viennese Rothschild family, [1874]-1999

000/793/1-8, 3 boxes

Papers collected by Mrs. Bettina Looram (nee von Rothschild) (1924-2012) in the course of her campaign for restitution of collections stolen from the Viennese Rothschild family during the Second World War. Items from these collections were restituted to the Viennese Rothschild family in the 1990s following a lengthy campaign by Mrs Looram.

The papers include items concerning the collections of Barons Nathaniel (1836-1905) and Albert von Rothschild (1844-1911): original inventories of collections of the Viennese family. For further information abvout these volumes, see Estates: Palais Rothschild, Vienna »

The papers include a number of contemporary items relating to the sale of items from these collections by Mrs Bettina Looram in 1999 in the sale Works of art, silver, glass, Old Master paintings, furniture, arms and armour from the collections of the Barons Nathaniel and Albert von Rothschild, 8 July 1999, Christie’s, London: prints, photographs and transparencies of lots; copies of the sale catalogue, 8 July 1999; copy of Christies Magazine, July/August 1999; copy of The Telegraph Magazine, 3 July 1999 featuring the sale. 

The Looram Papers II: papers concerning the estates and collections of the Viennese Rothschild family, 1908-1968

000/2135, 14 boxes

Papers collected by Mrs. Bettina Looram (nee von Rothschild) (1924-2012) in the course of her campaign for restitution of collections stolen from the Viennese Rothschild family during the Second World War. Items from these collections were restituted to the Viennese Rothschild family in the 1990s following a lengthy campaign by Mrs Looram.

The papers include sundry files from the Nazi administration relating to the collections of art looted from the Rothschild family; lists of pensioners and rules of pensions funds for the Viennese bank and for estates in Austria and Schillersdorf; a description of the works of art in the collection of Louis von Rothschild in the form of schedules, inventories and index cards; photographs of the items in the collection; sample share certificates.

List available