Radiant; My Treasure

By Shaquelle Whyte

Everyone has a box of treasure that they keep close to them. No matter the monetary value; sentimental value triumphs all. Whether it is a mother keeping her child’s first tooth or a father keeping the football cards that he kept as a boy, all are special to the individual.

For myself my treasure boxes contain things that remind me of home, all the things to keep those who are special to me close. From pictures of the family, of friends to pebbles on winding walks in local parks. Each one brings back a memory, a moment in time if you will.

Treasures also allow us to connect to the unknown; that unknown person, that unknown place. Our ability to connect ultimately dictates what we are able to do with our future as well as what we place value upon. This is very much true, in terms of the long heritage of the Rothchild family. As collectors, dating back 16th and 17th century, they have curated a hoard of valuable items that the family has taken care of over many generations. 

The family started collecting gold boxes. The intricate, flowing design., only a true master of his craft could create something so exquisite. Each box shows its connections to the 18th-century courts (one even being associated with Madame de Pompadour). Gravitas is added to the history of the golden boxes when considering their theft in 2003- in turn, this will be the first time they will be on display since 2003.

The treasury boasts more than just gold boxes; the array of jewels at their disposable left by both the French and English sides of the family, demonstrate the rich tapestry of finery that the collection boasts. From pear tiaras, as commissioned by Barron Edmond, to archaeological finds there ‘treasure chest’, so to speak, is imperative to the preservation of heritage and the continuation of a long-held tradition.

This grouping of truly unique pieces tells the story of generations of Rothschild collecting family interests and relationships. rare and personal objects are on show such as James de Rothschild’s coin collection, Baron Ferdinand’s watch chain, and Miss Alice’s seal and a bracelet given to her by Queen Victoria. Also, there are some startingly stunning pieces of jewellry, one collection which was created by the house Bulgari. Rich deep emeralds of enormous proportions very rarely seen encased with diamonds.

The intimate gallery space has on show items from 100AD to the 20th century, made from rare and precious materials. The new yet permanent gallery houses more than 300 objects made from rare and precious materials, many of which are on display for the first time.

Highlights include an amber casket made in the 17th century, a mounted nautilus shell that once belonged to the renowned collector William Beckford, an 18th-century Mughal jade vase encrusted with precious stones and the Nelme Cup, a unique gold standing cup made in England in 1727.

From a 1st-century cameo of Augustus Caesar’s grandson, to a microscope used by entomologist and flea expert Charles Rothschild, via jewellery given as presents from Queen Victoria, to objects bearing Nazi inventory numbers, gold boxes, silver and jewellery – this new gallery displays items that celebrate the Rothschild family as collectors of extraordinary objects.

Treasure is important to all those who give it value; the Rothchild collection boats an ever-expanding collection of objects and artifacts everyone must-see. Take yourself down to Waddesdon Manor to behold all that the collection has to offer.

Open Sat 7 September-Sun 27 October 2019

Permanent gallery, normal house and grounds admission applies

More information on their website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/waddesdon-manor/

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