Detail from the coat of arms granted to Nathan Mayer Rothschild by the English College of Heralds, 1818 (The Rothschild Archive).
The First World War marked a change of fortune and emphasis for Rothschild.
After the First World War, merchant banks yielded their traditional place in raising finance for governments to new international funding institutions.
The Rothschild banks now began a steady transition towards the raising of finance for commercial and industrial concerns. British clients between the wars included the London Underground.
In 1919, in a new page in the long history of Rothschild involvement with gold, N M Rothschild & Sons took on the role of Chair for the new daily fixing of the world gold price, a City tradition which continued at New Court until 2004.
The crash of 1929 brought problems, not least in Austria where Louis von Rothschild struggled hard to shore up the Creditanstalt, Austria's largest bank, to prevent collapse. Less than a decade later a darker tide arrived; the Austrian Rothschilds' interests were seized in 1938 by the Nazis, bringing to an end more than a century at the heart of middle European banking. In France and Austria, the family was scattered for the duration of the war.
© 2011 Rothschild