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HomeContentsOnline exhibitions > The Second Empire through the Lens of A.A.E. Disdéri

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André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri 
Baron James de Rothschild 
Carte de visite 
Paul Frecker 
James Mayer de Rothschild was born on 15 May 1792 in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, the fifth son and youngest child of Mayer Amschel Rothschild. In 1811 he moved to Paris and in 1817 he expanded the family banking empire to the city, opening Rothschild FrÞres. An advisor to two Kings of France, he became the most powerful banker in the country. In addition to funding loans to European governments, Rothschild played a major role in financing the construction of the railroads and the mining business, thus contributing to the transformation of France into an industrial power. In the process, he amassed a vast personal fortune, becoming one of the richest men in the world. In 1822, he and his four brothers were created barons by Austria's Francis II, the Holy Roman Emperor.
In 1868, just three months before his death, James de Rothschild purchased château Lafite, one of France's most outstanding vineyards. Located in the Bordeaux region, it is a business that remains in the family to this day. Baron James de Rothschild died on 15 November 1868. His sons Alphonse and Gustave took control of the French arm of his business empire. 
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