Historical Staircase Within No. 5 Hamilton Place

Rothschild & Barbetti

No. 5 Hamilton Place stayed in the Conyngham family until 1878 when the 3rd Marquess Conyngham sold the house, and the family dropped out of the public eye. The following year Leopold de Rothschild bought the house to use as his London residence marking a new chapter in the history of No. 5. The son of Baron Lionel de Rothschild, Leopold was a city banker with a taste for extravagant living. In addition to No. 5 Hamilton Place, Rothschild also owned Gunnersbury Park in West London, a villa near Ascot and Palace House at Newmarket.

With Leopold's arrival, Hamilton Place became known as 'Rothschild Row' and was soon the centre of the Mayfair social scene. Rothschild drastically remodelled the mansion to suit his extravagant tastes. The overall style was heavily influenced by fin de siècle Louis XV with Renaissance flourishes.

Leopold de Rothschild commissioned the world famous Florentine master wood carver Chevalier Rinaldo Barbetti to create the magnificent library and staircase, which remains one of the world's best examples of Barbetti's work.

Contained within the intricate carvings and wry epigrams carved in Latin and Greek “A learned man always has riches in himself”, “He posseses wealth he who knows how to use it,” and “Virtue rejoices in temptation”. Equally impressive is the ceiling in the Marble Room, depicting The Four Seasons by Edmund Parris.

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