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Join Senior Curator Juliet Carey to explore the beautiful boxes in which some of Waddesdon’s most precious objects live when out of the public eye.

We still use the boxes that Baron Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934) commissioned for the storage of Sèvres porcelain and small sculptures and antiquities. Their unusually sophisticated fabrication relates to bookbinding, the covers of scientific instruments, etuis for princely treasures, and longstanding Parisian expertise in the protection and transportation of precious things.

Far from being neutral or invisible spaces, Edmond’s boxes construct new ways of experiencing their contents – from those that help one to study and categorise vases, Roman glass, and even furniture, to a box that transforms into a stage, creating a private drama of enclosure and revelation around a little marble nymph

For all their aesthetic and tactile appeal, the protective role of these boxes is underlined by the turbulence of the times that they survived, from revolutions and siege in 19th-century Paris to the Nazi occupation. A recent work by Edmund de Waal responds to this history and provides an intriguing postscript.

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Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 0JH

01296 820414


Opening times

Waddesdon is open Wed-Sun, 10am-5pm (last admission 3pm). Advance booking essential.

Safety is our priority, please respect other visitors by maintaining social distance and regulations about household mixing.

All visitors, including Art Fund members who have free admission, need to book an arrival time slot.

Please visit the Waddesdon website for full opening details.

For all up to date information on the measures we have put in place in order to welcome visitors safely, please see:

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