First-Ever Rothschild Sales in North America at Christie’s

Christie’s has recently announced an exceptional event that will take place this autumn – the first-ever North American sales of Rothschild Masterpieces.

This historic occasion presents an unprecedented opportunity for collectors and connoisseurs to acquire objects from one of the most esteemed collecting families in history. The selection of decorative and fine art on offer reflects the discernment, art de vivre, and exquisite taste synonymous with the Rothschild dynasty.

With over 600 lots comprising furniture, enamels, maiolica, Renaissance jewels, silver, and paintings of exceptional quality, the estimated total value of this remarkable collection exceeds $20 million. The auctions will be held at Rockefeller Center, with an evening sale on the 11th of October, followed by two-day sales on the 12th and 13th of October, as well as a concurrent online sale.

Le Goût Rothschild: A Legacy of Exquisite Taste

First-Ever Rothschild Sales in North America at Christie's
LIVE AUCTIONS: 11-13 October, 2023
ONLINE AUCTION: Concurrent with live sales
International touring exhibition Hong Kong, 24-28 May and London, 1-7 July

For generations, the Rothschild family has epitomized a passion for the finest things in life, paying meticulous attention to even the smallest details. Their distinctive style, known as le goût Rothschild (Rothschild taste), encompasses a philosophy of cherishing and indulging in the highest quality objects. The works presented in these auctions are a testament to the essence of this refined taste.

Baron James Rothschild, his wife Betty, their son Baron Alphonse, and his wife Leonora acquired these exceptional pieces for their opulent Château de Ferrières, located outside Paris. The château, which opened its doors in 1862 with a magnificent gala attended by Napoleon III, served as the perfect setting for the Rothschilds to showcase their acquisitions.

Additionally, their houses in the city of Paris also adorned these masterpieces. In line with the family’s tradition of philanthropy, the Rothschilds generously donated the Château de Ferrières to France in 1975, and it is now under the ownership of the town of Ferrières.

The Rothschild taste, characterized by its sumptuous domesticity, exerted a profound influence on the prominent Gilded Age families in the United States, including the Vanderbilt, Astor, and Rockefeller dynasties. These wealthy families sought to emulate the Rothschilds‘ refined aesthetic by acquiring and installing entire interiors from grand homes in France and England into their own residences.

The legacy of Rothschild’s taste continues to resonate in contemporary times, inspiring renowned designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, who drew inspiration from the interiors of the Château de Ferrières when decorating his own home.

First-Ever Rothschild Sales in North America at Christie's
A DUTCH SILVER-GILT MOUNTED NAUTILUS CUP MARK OF CORNELIS JANSZ VAN DER BURCH, DELFT, 1607 13¼ in. (33.7 cm.) high
Estimate: In the region of $125,000

It is a huge honor for us at Christie’s New York to be chosen as the venue for the first Rothschild sale to be held in America. Characteristically, both scholarly and sumptuous, the objects we are bringing to sale have been treasured by generations of the family and demonstrate the very essence of the term goût Rothschild.

Jonathan RendellDeputy Chairman of Christie’s Americas

The Rothschilds and Christie’s: An Illustrious History

For well over a century, the Rothschild family has placed their trust in Christie’s, entrusting them with the sale of numerous prestigious collections. Notably, Christie’s had the privilege of presenting the sale of fifty masterpieces from a Rothschild Collection in London in July 2019, achieving an impressive £23.8 million, surpassing the low estimate by an astonishing 280%.

First-Ever Rothschild Sales in North America at Christie's
AN URBINO OR TURIN ARMORIAL ISTORIATO OVAL DISH CIRCA 1563-65, BY ORAZIO FONTANA WORKSHOP 26 3/8 in. (67 cm.) wide
Estimate: In the region of $50,000

Some of the notable Rothschild sales previously conducted by Christie’s include:

  1. London, 1999 – The Collection of Barons Nathaniel and Albert von Rothschild
  2. London, 2000 – The Collection of the late Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild
  3. Geneva, 2000 – Magnificent Jewels (Formerly from the Collection of the late Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild)
  4. Paris, 2003 – Succession baron Fould Springer et objets d’Art provenant de la succession de Cécile de Rothschild
  5. Geneva, 2014 – Magnificent Jewels (formerly in the Collection of Baroness Edouard de Rothschild)
  6. London, 2019 – Masterpieces from a Rothschild Collection

Through these remarkable auctions, Christie’s and the Rothschild family have forged a storied history, celebrating the Rothschilds‘ extraordinary collections and showcasing their enduring influence on the world of art and culture.

In conclusion, the upcoming Rothschild Masterpieces sales at Christie’s Rockefeller Center represent an unprecedented opportunity to acquire objects of exquisite beauty and historical significance.

First-Ever Rothschild Sales in North America at Christie's
A CIRCULAR LIMOGES ENAMEL CHARGER DEPICTING THE PUNISHMENT OF NIOBE BY DIANA AND APOLLO BY PIERRE COURTOYS, AFTER GIULIO ROMANO, THIRD QUARTER 16TH CENTURY (FL. 1544-1581) 18 in. (45.7 cm.) diam.
Estimate: In the region of $200,000

With the Rothschild taste acting as a timeless symbol of refined living, these auctions continue a tradition of excellence established by generations of the Rothschild family.

As the first-ever North American sales of Rothschild objects, this event is set to captivate collectors and connoisseurs alike, perpetuating the legacy of one of the greatest collecting families in history.

Images: Christie’s

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