THE COLLECTIONExplore the collection

Works on paper

Over 1,500 mainly French 18th-century architecture, ornament and design drawings, as well as some landscape and figural works by noted artists. Collection of over 700 18th-century trade cards (advertisements). Prints relating to the French Revolution. Board games.

Works on paper are one of Waddesdon’s hidden treasures as only a limited number can be displayed for short periods due to their fragile nature. Most significant are the 1,500 drawings collected by Baron Edmond de Rothschild in Paris. These are mainly French 18th-century designs for architecture, ornament and the decorative arts, but also include some figure and landscape drawings by prominent 18th-century French draughtsmen.

Baron Ferdinand also collected drawings and prints reflecting his interest in French 18th-century history and social life. These were pasted into albums and kept with his books in the Morning Room. Catalogues of two of the largest groups – over 700 trade cards (small prints advertising products, shops and services) and caricatures and printed works relating to the French Revolution – can also be accessed through the Special Collections section of the web site. Paper board games offer an unusual glimpse of 18th-century social activity.