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Rothschild family photographs

Descriptions of discrete collections of Rothschild family photographs, from a variety of sources. Other collections of photographs will be found in the Named Collections.

Private family papers: Rothschild family photographs, c.1845-c.1890

000/889, 1 volume

Rothschild family photograph album. Glass fronted with an original watercolour of a rustic scene inset into the cover. The album contains portraits (many unidentified) and postcards. Origin unknown.

Private family papers: Rothschild family photographs, 'Disdéri' album, c.1859-1863

000/689, 1 volume

A photograph album containing images of the Rothschild family, their relatives, friends and associates (including financiers and politicians), c.1859-1863. The album contains over 350 photographs, salt-prints and albumen prints, the majority in the carte du visite format, many of these coated and on unprinted mounts; 31 larger photographs (approx 7 x 5 in), including four with oval blindstamp of Herbert Watkins and two signed on recto in ink Mayer Frères & Pierson, variously mounted up to six per page, ink manuscript titles and occasional dates, additional notes in pencil in a presumed later hand. The album is bound in brown morocco, lined with royal blue silk, and the initials ‘H.D.’ in gilt metal within a gilt metal border with knotted rope relief.

The photographer in many instances is Eugène Disdéri. André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri (1819-1889) was a French photographer who started his photographic career as a daguerreotypist but gained greater fame for patenting his version of the carte de visite, a small photographic image which was mounted on a card. Disdéri, a brilliant showman, made this system of mass-production portraiture world famous. 

The album was purchased by Archive from the collection of Erich Sommer, from the Christie's Fine and Rare Photographs sale, South Kensington, 7 May 1999. 

List of names of sitters available

Private family papers: Rothschild family photographs, Gramont family album, c.1860-c.1870

000/1571, 1 volume

Album of photographs of members of the Rothschild family, c.1860-1870.  The album cover is decorated with mother-of-pearl and bears the monogram ‘MG’, Margarethe Gramont.  Margarethe Gramont was born Margerethe Alexandrine von Rothschild (1855-1905), daughter of Mayer Carl von Rothschild and Louise. She married Antoine Alfred Agénor, Duc de Gramont (1851-1925) in 1878. Most of the photographs in the album are of Margarethe's sisters, and their children, and there is one photographs of Baron James de Rothschild, similar in style to the two cartes de visite by Disderi.

List available

Private family papers: Rothschild family photographs, photographs from Prégny, c.1860-c.1870

000/1586, 9 volumes

A collection of Rothschild family photographs (arranged into nine modern archival volumes) from the Château de Prégny, Geneva.  The majority of the images are of the branch of the family descended from Edmond and Adelheid, and include Rothschild family members and their friends and acquaintances, and images of subjects including Alpine scenes; shooting parties; the Caribbean; yachts; Prégny (exterior views of the Château); Japanese garden; Middle East scenes; winter sports; pets.

List available

Private family papers: Rothschild family photographs (from New Court), 1797; 1841; c.1895-1930

000/211/1-25, 000/1400/3, 26 items

Items from the New Court vaults transferred to the Archive. Mainly Rothschild family photographs and pictures, including photographs of portrait paintings. It is possible that some or all of these items were displayed at New Court. Includes: black and white mounted photographs of Lord Rothschild (1840-1915), Emma Lady Rothschild (1844-1935), Charlotte Louise Adela (Evelina) Behrens née Rothschild (1873-1947), Clive Behrens (1871-1935), and their three children, Peggy Abigail Behrens (1900-1947), John Nathaniel Behrens (1903-1935) and William Edward Boaz Behrens (1908-1989), c.1914; black and white mounted portrait photograph of Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915) by J. Russell & Sons. Signed by Natty; black and white mounted portrait photograph of Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915) wearing a top hat, by Elliott & Fry, undated, black and white mounted photograph of Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915) on horseback by S.G. Payne & Sons, Aylesbury, undated; black and white mounted full length photograph of Lionel Nathan de Rothschild (1882-1942) by Lafayette, London, undated; black and white photograph of Alfred Charles de Rothschild (1842-1918) seated at a desk, undated; black and white mounted photograph of Miriam Rothschild (1908-2005) as a child, milking a cow, by S.G. Payne & Sons, Aylesbury, undated; watercolour of a building in the grounds at Gunnersbury Park entitled ‘View at Gunnersbury Middlesex’, by H. G. Oldfield, undated; black and white photograph of a portrait of Arthur Cohen, aged 10, by Louisa de Rothschild, 1841; black and white mounted portrait photograph of Lionel Nathan de Rothschild (1882-1942) by Lafayette, London, undated; black and white portrait photograph of Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917), undated; black and white mounted photograph of Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915) and his brother Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917) dressed in hunting pink, on the steps of Tring Park. By Elliott and Fry. On the reverse is the inscription 'This photograph was taken on November 1st 1895. Lord Rothschild & Mr Leopold de Rothschild at Tring Park on the opening week of the staghounds.' Signed 'ELR' (Emma Louise, Lady Rothschild), 1895; large framed photogravure plate after the portrait of Nathaniel Charles Rothschild (1877-1923) by Sir Hubert Herkomer, 1908; engraving 'Gunnersbury House in Middlesex, the seat of Walter Stirling Esquire. Published as the Act directs, November 1st 1797 by W. Angus No 4 Gwynnes Buildings, Islington.' 1797. 000/1400/3 is black and white photograph of Walter Rothschild (1868-1937) riding in a carriage drawn by zebras, c.1910. 

List available

Private family papers: Rothschild family photographs (from New Court), 1837-c.1915

000/429/3-11, 9 items

Items from the New Court vaults transferred to the Archive. Mainly Rothschild family photographs believed to have been displayed at New Court: small print of a painting of Gutle Rothschild, undated; copies of an engraving of Nathan Rothschild, mount carrying his signature and the details, ‘private plate, excudit June 1, 1837 by Wm Walker, 64 Margaret Street, Cavendish Square, London’,  1837; mounted photograph of Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917) in top hat, undated; mounted photograph of Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917), signed, April 1912; mounted photograph of Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918), seated at desk, undated; mounted photograph of Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918), with book on lap, undated; mounted tinted photograph of Lionel de Rothschild (1882-1942) in uniform of Hussars, by H. Walter Barnett, undated; mounted photograph of a painting of Lionel de Rothschild (1882-1942), seated with paper in lap, undated.

Private family papers: 'Devonshire House Ball' photographs, 1899

000/2590, 8 items

Modern reproductions on art paper of photographs from the collections of The National Portrait Gallery of members of the English Rothschild family in costume for the Devonshire House Ball, 1897, was an elaborate fancy dress ball hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, held on 2 July 1897 at Devonshire House in Piccadilly to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Due to the many prominent royals, aristocrats, and society figures who attended as well as the overall lavishness of the ball, it was considered the event of the 1897 London Season. While the Queen herself did not attend, almost all of the British royal family attended the ball and nearly every other European royal family was represented. The Duke of Devonshire invited the photographic firm of James Lafayette, along with other photographers such as John Thomson to set up impromptu studios in the garden behind the house to photograph the guests in costume during the Ball. The Times reported "... it would, however, be impossible ,to name a tithe of the interesting and successful dresses, whether of men or women; let it suffice to say that the 'Courts' were one al all triumphant displays, while such dresses as those of Lady Rothschild. after Holbein's Lady Vaux, or Messrs. Ferdinand and Alfred Rothschild, as an Austrian and French noble of the 16th Century, were of extraordinary truth and beauty." In 1899, the studio of Walker & Boutall published many of the photographs.

  1. 0002590/1 Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917) as Duc de Sully, by John Thomson; photogravure by Walker & Boutall (NPG ref: NPG Ax41120)
  2. 000/2590/2 Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918) as King Henry III, by John Thomson; photogravure by Walker & Boutall (NPG ref: NPG Ax41237)
  3. 000/2590/3 Marie de Rothschild (née Perugia) (1862-1937) as Zobeida by Alice Hughes; photogravure by Walker & Boutall (NPG ref: NPG Ax41119)
  4. 000/2509/4 Evelyn Achille de Rothschild (1886-1917) as a page to the Doge's Wife by Alice Hughes, photogravure by Walker & Boutall (NPG ref: NPG Ax41174) 
  5. 000/2509/5 Anthony Gustav de Rothschild (1887-1961) as a page to the Doge's Wife by Alice Hughes, photogravure by Walker & Boutall (NPG ref: NPG Ax41175)
  6. 000/2509/6 Emma, Lady Rothschild (1844-1935) as Lady Vaux (after Holbein) by Henry Van der Weyde, photogravure by Walker & Boutall (NPG ref:  NPG Ax41192)
  7. 000/2509/7 Ferdinand James Anselm de Rothschild, Baron de Rothschild (1839-1898) as Casimir Count Palatine by Lafayette, photogravure by Walker & Boutall (NPG ref:NPG Ax41231)
  8. 000/2509/8 Cyril Flower, 1st Baron Battersea (1843-1907)  as Lord Hunsdon in the Elizabethan Procession by Elliott & Fry, photogravure by Walker & Boutall (NPG ref: NPG Ax41073)

Note: Original contemporary copies of some of the images above, plus further images of Rothschild guests at the ball in other poses, and other family members will be found in the collection of photographs from Ascott in 000/360.