In a historic event, the private collection of the renowned Rothschild banking dynasty has captivated art enthusiasts and collectors alike, achieving an impressive $62.6 million in sales through multiple auctions at Christie’s New York. This landmark event signifies the first dedicated auction in North America of works from the French branch of the Rothschild family, offering a glimpse into a treasure trove of art, furniture, silver, ceramics, and jewellery.
Most lots in this extraordinary collection were acquired in the 19th century by Baron James Mayer de Rothschild and have remained in the family’s possession, preserving a rich legacy of artistic patronage. The showcased pieces reflect the Rothschilds’ unique taste, blending sumptuousness and domesticity.
One of the standout stars of the auction was Gerrit Dou’s masterpiece, “A Young Woman Holding a Hare with a Boy at a Window,” which fetched an impressive sum exceeding $7 million. The sale was not limited to paintings; it also featured ancient artefacts, including a first-century AD Roman Sardonyx cameo portrait of the Roman emperor Claudius, which garnered almost $116,000.
As these treasures change hands, the Rothschild collection’s auction showcases the family’s discerning eye for art and adds another chapter to the narrative of art history and cultural heritage.
The auction spanned several days, featuring an evening sale followed by day sales and a concurrent live auction with some lots starting at prices as low as $100. The auction’s success highlights the enduring fascination with the Rothschild family’s historical collection.