Le Goût Rothschild comes to Salisbury Furniture and Works of Art sale

Le Goût Rothschild is the name given to an elaborate and opulent style of interior decoration and living which had its origin in France, Britain, and Germany during the 19th century.

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A late 19th century German or Austrian rock crystal, lapis lazuli, silver and enamel model of a youthful Bacchus astride a barrel. Estimate £1000-1500.

The lavish aesthetic, that championed furnishings in the Renaissance and pre-revolutionary French style, became the preferred ‘look’ for many who amassed a serious fortune in the pre-war era.

In truth, it has never really gone out of fashion.

The sale of Furniture and Works of Art at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury on August 11 includes a consignment from Exbury House, the country house on the edge of the New Forest acquired by Lionel Nathan de Rothschild (1882-1942) in 1919 and remodelled in 1927.

He was himself a collector but most of these pieces entered the family via his uncle Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918), builder of a mock French chateau on the 1400-acre Halton estate in Buckinghamshire. The 18 lots, that together are typical of Le Goût Rothschild, have come by descent to the Trustees of Exbury House.

The financial highlight of the sale, with an estimate of £20,000-30,000, is a pair of Louis XVI white marble and gilt bronze mounted vases. Made in the final days of ancien regime France c.1790, these copy the famous Borghese vase, a massive Roman krater acquired by the Borghese family shortly after its rediscovery in 1566 and displayed in the Louvre since 1811.

They are illustrated in Charles Davis’s 1884 publication A Description of the Works of Art Forming the Collection of Alfred de Rothschild. 


A pair of Louis XVI ormolu and white marble vases after the Borghese Vase. Estimate £20,000-30,000. 


A pair of late 19th century Viennese silver, enamel and mother of pearl jesters in Commedia dell'arte style, each stamped 'KB' possibly for Karl Bohm or Karl Bender. Estimate £2000-3000.


A set of eight 19th century French gilt wood fauteuils in the Louis XVI style covered with mid-18th century Beauvais tapestry depicting scenes from the fables of Jean de la Fontaine. Estimate £8000-12,000. 

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