The Red Book

Rothschild, Baron Ferdinand de (b.1839, d.1898)
November 1897
dated on dedication page
Place of production:
London?, England, United Kingdom
ink on paper, bound in red leather
Type of object:
Accession number:


The "Red Book" is a privately printed album of text and photographs recording the building, interiors, and collection assembled by Ferdinand de Rothschild at Waddesdon Manor. Ferdinand dedicated it to his friends, stating that he had written it to meet enquiries about 'the persons and means' employed to create his home. Scroll through the images to look at the complete volume. It is an important document, not only for Ferdinand's own tastes, but also for the history of collecting and display.

Physical description

Dimensions (mm):
360 x 440 x 50


Made for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (b.1839, d.1898); inherited by his sister Alice de Rothschild (b.1847, d.1922); inherited by her great-nephew James de Rothschild (b.1878, d.1957); inherited by his wife Dorothy de Rothschild (b.1895, d.1988); bequeathed to Waddesdon The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust) in 1988.
Waddesdon (National Trust)
Bequest of Dorothy de Rothschild,1988



Bruno Pons, Geoffrey de Bellaigue; Waddesdon Manor Architecture and Panelling: The James A. de Rothschild Bequest at Waddesdon Manor; England; Philip Wilson Publishers; 1996; pp. 33, 35, 40, 55, 60, 65, 77, 95, 209, 367, 452, 473, 557, 641.
Dora Thornton, From Waddesdon to the British Museum: Baron Ferdinand Rothschild and his cabinet collection, Journal of the History of Collections, 13, 2001, 191 - 213; pp. 196-204
Ulrich Leben, The Waddesdon Manor Nautilus Shell and Trition: A masterpiece from the William Beckford Collection, The Magazine Antiques, October 2003, 114-121; p. 118
Matthew Hirst; Les décors XIXe à Waddesdon; Les collections exceptionnelles des Rothschild: Waddesdon Manor (Hors-série de l'Estampille/l'Objet d'Art, No. 14), Dijon, Éditions Faton, 2004; 4-9; pp. 6
Matthew Hirst, Step into the Baron's Room, Country Life, 17 March 2005; pp. 86-91
Angus Trumble, Andrea Wolk Rager; Edwardian Opulence: British Art at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century; Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven (28 February 2013 to 2 June 2013); Yale Centre for British Art, Yale University Press; 2013; pp. 247-48.
Dora Thornton; A Rothschild Renaissance: Treasures from the Waddesdon Bequest; London; The British Museum Press; 2015; p. 21, fig.9, p. 35, fig.20, p. 36, fig.21, p. 37, fig.23, p. 38, fig.24, p. 154, figs. 7 & 8, p. 203, fig. 7.; views of the Smoking Room.

Indexed terms