Browse the Collection

With over 15,000 works of art and objects, the collection ranges widely in date, materials and techniques, and places of production. Waddesdon is especially renowned for the quality and depth of its French 18th-century collections, particularly furniture, porcelain and textiles. The passion for this period in French art, shared by the various members of the Rothschild family who were and are associated with the Manor, extends to other areas such as books, drawings, paintings, clocks, architectural elements, sculpture and costume accessories. The collections of 18th-century British portraiture and 17th-century Dutch paintings are also significant.

The collection is divided into 12 categories. Some represent specific object types (Books) while others are classified by medium (Glass). At present, only a fraction of Waddesdon’s collections are online, but more objects are being added on a regular basis. To see a representative selection of important works drawn from all the categories, go to Highlights.

Architectural Elements

Architectural Elements

French eighteenth-century panelling from distinguished Parisian townhouses. Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century fireplaces and overdoors with some twentieth-century additions.

Arms and Armour

Arms and Armour

Predominantly sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European swords, daggers, firearms and powder-flasks with an emphasis on ornate decoration. Pieces from the collections of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Henri II of France.

Books, Manuscripts and Portfolios

Books, Manuscripts and Portfolios

Superlative bindings by leading craftsmen characterise the collection of 800 mainly French seventeenth- and eighteenth-century books, many with illustrations by important artists and engravers and with illustrious provenances. Smaller collection of sixteenth-century illuminated manuscripts.

COMING SOON

Ceramics, enamels and glass

Ceramics, enamels and glass

Internationally renowned French eighteenth-century Vincennes/Sèvres collection. Meissen porcelain, including two white animal sculptures. Maiolica, Saint-Porchaire and Valencia earthenware. Limoges enamels by distinguished makers. Late sixteenth- to early eighteenth-century glass.

Clocks and automata

Clocks and automata

A large collection of French eighteenth-century clocks by leading clockmakers with cases by important cabinetmakers and bronze casters, mostly in working order. Some earlier German examples. A famous musical automaton in the shape of an elephant and several smaller examples.

Costume, lace and accessories

Costume, lace and accessories

A wide-ranging collection with an eighteenth-century French focus. Significant collection of 600 eighteenth-century European buttons in a variety of materials. Venetian, Brussels and Alençon lace of the seventeenth , eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Fans and some items of clothing.

Furniture

Furniture

Major collection of French furniture spanning the eighteenth century, by leading makers, including important royal pieces, mainly by Riesener and furniture with Sèvres porcelain plaques. Other eighteenth-century pieces from Turin and Augsburg. nineteenth-century seat and servants’ furniture.

Metalwork, Coins and Jewellery

Metalwork, Coins and Jewellery

Late eighteenth-century royal silver dinner service by Auguste, sixteenth- and seventeenth-century silver and silver-gilt Kunstkammer objects including rare auricular cup by van Vianen, early eighteenth-century German pieces, some by Dinglinger and Permoser, Renaissance jewellery, antique coins.

Paintings

Paintings

300 paintings with strong holdings in eighteenth-century British portraits, seventeenth-century Dutch landscapes and genre paintings and eighteenth-century French fêtes galantes and portraits. Also Italian eighteenth-century scenes, fifteenth- and sixteenth-century religious paintings, and some contemporary works.

Sculpture

Sculpture

Sculpture in the house is predominantly eighteenth-century by prominent French sculptors: Caffieri, Pajou, Pigalle, Lemoyne, Falconet, Marin and Clodion. Outside, eighteenth-century French, Italian and Flemish figures and vases as well as contemporary sculpture.

Textiles

Textiles

Exceptional collection of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Savonnerie production; tapestries and seat covers from Gobelins, Beauvais and Brussels workshops; original nineteenth-century curtains, trimmings and upholstery

Works on paper

Works on paper

Over 1,500 mainly French eighteenth-century architecture, ornament and design drawings, as well as some landscape and figural works by noted artists. Collection of over 700 eighteenth-century trade cards (advertisements). Prints relating to the French Revolution. Board games.