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Artefacts: furniture

New Court historic furniture collection. A collection of historic pieces of furniture, used at the four New Court buildings. Much of the furniture consists of late George III and Victorian pieces of office and domestic furniture, together with some good examples of 1960s designer furniture. The most important pieces, and those with a distinct Rothschild connection are described below.

Many pieces are still in use or displayed at New Court. Most items are not owned by the Archive, but are curated by the Archive on behalf of the business.

New Court: artefacts, furniture collection: the 'Music Table', c.1790-1800

000/2697, 1 item

A George III harewood, satinwood and rosewood serpentine Side Table, further inlaid with fruitwoods and ebony, in the manner of Pierre Langlois, possibly attributable to John Cobb, the top with an oval satinwood panel of musical instruments and sheet music within rosewood and satinwood anthemion borders within a trellis pattern centred by flowerheads and with flowerheads at the interstices, banded in tulipwood and with serpentine shaped corners, the frieze centred by a ribbon-tied swag of harebells, the sides with oval flowerheads, on cabriole legs with gilt-metal rams' head and pendant husk mounts and scrolling sabot and goat’s hoof feet. With a modern bevelled glass protective top. . 89 cm high, the top 193 x 84 cms (known as the 'Music Table').

New Court: artefacts, furniture collection: The 'Mentmore Dresser', c.1840

000/2669, 1 item

In 1850, Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1874) bought the Manor of Mentmore for £12,400 and commissioned Joseph Paxton and his son-in-law George Stokes to build him a house.  The resulting plans, while Jacobean in style, incorporated the most modern features, including a huge central grand hall with glazed roof, plate-glass windows and central heating. Mayer died in 1874 leaving Mentmore to his only child, Hannah.  Hannah later married Lord Rosebery, and the estate and its contents passed into the Rosebery family. Following the death of the Albert Edward Harry Meyer Archibald Primrose, 6th Earl of Rosebery (1882-1974), the Rosebery family offered the house and much of its contents to the Government for £2 million but the Government declined.  After three years of fruitless discussion, the campaign to 'save' Mentmore failed and the executors of the estate sold the contents by public auction, and the collection was dispersed. 

The 'Mentmore Dresser': a German stained field maple kneehole Dressing Table, inlaid throughout in brass and pewter, (c.1840) was in the Austrian Long Room at Mentmore; it was purchased from the Mentmore sale (Lot 940) for New Court in 1977. The rectangular top is centred  by a circular panel depicting the Rothschild crest and motto Concordia lntegritas lndustria, within a border of scrolling foliage and shells, the three frieze drawers with conforming inlay, the pedestals with foliate lozenges to all sides, the back similarly veneered and brass strung, on plinths and short tapered feet, 78 cm high, the top 105 x 62 cms. 

New Court: artefacts, furniture collection: pair of Console Dessertes , c.1850

000/2697, 2 items

A pair of Napoleon III mahogany Console Dessertes in Louis XVI style. Each with a rounded oblong white and grey-veined marble top above foliate gilt-bronze mounted recessed panels with a long central drawer, on fluted columnar supports, the blocks and lower platforms with shuttered gilt-metal panels and frieze on toupie feet ending in white porcelain castors, 102 cm high, 144.5 cm wide, 54 cm deep. Note: these pieces were at New Court for many years in the Partners' Room and can be seen in the painting 'The Conversation Piece', 1962.

New Court: artefacts, furniture collection: desks from the Partners' Room , c.1850-1880

000/2489, 2 items

Desks from the Partners' Room, the second New Court. These pieces were at New Court for many years in the Partners' Room and can be seen in the painting 'The Conversation Piece', 1962.  

A Victorian mahogany rectangular writing table (Partners' Desk), the red leather-lined top and brass moulded edge above fluted taperied legs headed by gadrooned bulbous sections, with later inset panel containing bell-pushes, lock stamped J.Bramah Piccadilly, 76 cm high, on white porcelain castors stamped C&C patent, the top 182 x 121 cms, the red leather probably original. In 1875, Lionel de Rothschild (1808-1879) is said to have signed the authorisation for the loan from the Rothschilds to the British Government to purchase the Khedive of Egypt’s shares in the Suez Canal at this desk. This desk was later used by Edmund de Rothschild (1916-2009), at whose request a push button panel was added.

A second desk from the  Partners' Room, matching the description above.