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Sacred Stitches: Ecclesiastical Textiles in The Rothschild Collection

Start Date 27 March 2013
End Date 27 October 2013
Venue Waddesdon Manor
Location Aylesbury, UK

The Rothschild family have been a banking dynasty since the late 1700s, and as a result have amassed a considerable art collection over the years. Thanks to the visionary Nathan Rothschild, who installed his five sons in different cities across Europe, they had direct access to the continent’s blue chip painters and craftsmen and now many of these works of art reside at the Rothschild’s estate, Waddesdon Manor.

Perhaps less well known is the collection of ecclesiastical textiles bought by Baron Ferdinand, Miss Alice and Baroness Edmond de Rothschild in the nineteenth-century. Exquisitely crafted robes, cassocks and altar frontals were purchased from across Europe and used as upholstery material for furniture or made into hangings or draft excluders. This is the first time these extraordinary objects go on display and reveal the radical tastes of the Rothschilds in an era when plush velvet was all the rage.