Social Victorians/People/Ephrussi

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Also Known As[edit | edit source]

  • Family name: Ephrussi
  • M. Ephrussi

Demographics[edit | edit source]

  • Nationality: Russian-French
  • Religion: Jewish

Residences[edit | edit source]

  • Michel Ephrussi: Sivry, near Melun (1888–)
  • Maurice Ephrussi: near Chantilly (1892–)

Colors for Horse Races[edit | edit source]

  • Michel Ephrussi, dark blue[1]

Family[edit | edit source]

  • Charles Joachim Ephrussi (1792–1864)[2]
  • Belle Levensohn ( – 1841)[3]
    1. Number and sequence of children uncertain
    2. Baron Ignace von Ephrussi (1829–1899)[3]
    3. Leonid Ephrussi ( – 1877)[2]
  • Henriette Halperson (1822-1888)[4]
    1. Number and sequence of children uncertain
    2. Michel Ephrussi (10 May 1844 – 5 January 1914)[5]
    3. Maurice Ephrussi (18 November 1849 – 29 October 1916)
    4. Therese Ephrussi ()[3]
    5. Marie Ephrussi ()[3]


  • Michel Ephrussi (10 May 1844 – 5 January 1914)
  • (Liliane) Amélie Wilhelmine Liliane Beer ()[5]
    1. 3 children
    2. possibly an E. Ephrussi
    3. possibly a Jules Ephrussi, who was married by 1900 or so


  • Maurice Ephrussi (18 November 1849 – 29 October 1916)[4]
  • Béatrice (Charlotte Béatrice) Ephrussi de Rothschild (14 September 1864 – 7 April 1934)[6]

Relations[edit | edit source]

  • Charles Ephrussi (1849–1905), son of Leonid Ephrussi, was a well-known art collector and expert, was "a model for the character of Charles Swann in Marcel Proust's novel In Search of Lost Time."[2]
  • (Liliane) Amélie Wilhelmine Liliane Beer was the niece of composer Jacob Liebmann Beer.[5]
  • Béatrice de Rothschild was the daughter of Alphonse de Rothschild.[4]

Acquaintances, Friends and Enemies[edit | edit source]

Acquaintances[edit | edit source]

Friends[edit | edit source]

  • The Rothschilds
  • French painter, Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry (7 November 1828 – 17 January 1886)[7]

Enemies[edit | edit source]

Organizations[edit | edit source]

  • Ephrussi & Co., banking house, their branch was in Paris[4]
  • Thoroughbred horse racing and breeding, both Michel Ephrussi and Maurice Ephrussi
  • Art collecting, especially Maurice and Béatrice Ephrussi

Timeline[edit | edit source]

1872 December 23, Michel Ephrussi and (Liliane) Amélie Wilhelmine Liliane Beer married.[5]

1883 June 5, Maurice Ephrussi and Béatrice de Rothschild married in Paris.[4]

1891 May 11, Monday, the Toronto Daily Mail reported that the Ephrussi firm was "in a shaky condition" because of a loan to Portugal and that "a member of the firm had fled or committed suicide."[8]

1891 November 19, Thursday, the Clifton Society newspaper reprinted "What the World Says," the society column from The World, about a party hosted by Michel Ephrussi and its context:

Considering the furious manner in which the Russian Jews have been persecuted by the Imperial Government, it is exceedingly remarkable that the Grand Duke Alexis and his cousin, the Duke of Leuchtenberg, should have been recently the guests of Baron Rothschild's son-in-law, M. Michel Ephrussi, at his château of Livry, near Melun, where there was a chasse for their amusement, and a choice party to meet them. M. Ephrussi is himself the son of an Israelite trader at Odessa; and as the Russian princes would not have ventured to accept his hospitality without obtaining permission from their Emperor, it seems probable that a change of policy is impending at St. Petersburg.[9]

Who was the "choice party to meet" the princes from Russia? 1892 February 8, Monday, Maurice Ephrussi and Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild were present at a fashionable wedding in Paris:

Prince de Tarente, son of the Duke de la Trémoille, was married to Mlle. Pillet-Will, daughter of Count Pillet-Will, at the church of Saint-Pierre de Chaillot last Monday. The choir was decorated and reserved for the wedding party—the Duke de Chartres, Duke and Duchess de la Trémoille, Count Duchâtel, Count Pillet-Will, Viscount and Viscountess de la Rochefoucauld, Count and Countess de Villeneuve Guibert, Count Louis d'Harcourt, M. and Mme. Martel, M. and Mme. Froissard, Viscount and Viscountess Cornudet, and Monsieur and Madame Brialte. In the nave of the church were ex-King Milan, Duke de Dondeauville, Marquis and Marquise d'Harcourt, Baron Gustave de Rothschild, Marquis de Dreux-Bréze, Marquise de Ganoy, Duke and Duchess de Noailles, Marquis and Marquise de Virieux, Prince Orloff, M. and Mme. Maurice Ephrussi, Count Louis Cahen d'Anvers, Edouard Detaille, Viscount and Viscountess de Dampierre, Marquis and Marquise de Massa, &c.[10]

1893 March 5, Sunday, Maurice Ephrussi was at a concert that was socially newsworthy:

Sir Arthur Sullivan is still enjoying the balmy air of Roquebrune, with occasional visits to Monte Carlo. On Sunday afternoon he conducted in person the International Concert at the Casino Theatre, and gave selections from his works to a truly cosmopolitan audience, among whom were the Princesse de Monaco, M. Ephrussi (son-in-law of Baron de Rothschild), Lady Wilton, Mrs Lennox Browne, and Mrs Bernard-Beere.[11]

1894 June 3, Sunday, Ephrussi's horse Gospodar won unexpectedly in the Prix du Jockey Club, or French Derby, at Chantilly, and the trainer, jockey, and Ephrussi were threatened with violence; by the evening the threats against him had moved to the Jardin de Paris, including explicit anti-Semitic hate speech. This story was carried by Reuters[12] and reported almost identically in a number of regional British newspapers (e.g., the South Wales Daily News[13] among others). The newspapers are not clear about who owned the horse, Michel or Maurice, but Michel seems likely. 1896 May 16, Saturday, the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News reported some fashionable people at a polo game in France with Maurice Ephrussi and Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild:

The final [match] was played off between Lord Shrewsbury's and Mr. McCreery's teams, when the blues won, after some smart play, by four goals to one, the other players being Baron E. de Rothschild, Mr. Charles Wheeler, and M. Maurice Ephrussi. There was a brilliant attendance at the play on each occasion, and among the ladies present I noticed the Duchess of Manchester, Lady Randolph Churchill, Madame Maurice Ephrussi, and Miss Barron.[14]

1897 May 4, Tuesday, beginning at 4:20 p.m., a fire at a charity bazaar in Paris killed a number of people, including "Madame Porges, wife of M. Porges, of the firm Porges and Ephrussi."[15]

1897 May 8, Saturday, the funerals of prominent victims of Tuesday's fire in Paris. Maurice Ephrussi was present at the funeral of "Mrs. Kann, cousin of Mrs. / Faudel-Phillips, the wife of the Lord Mayor of London."[16] Her brother was M. Steibel, who is sometimes mentioned in stories about the Ephrussi banking businesses.

1897 June 24, Thursday, Maurice Ephrussi was invited to a State Evening Party given by command of the queen but hosted by the Prince and Princess of Wales; he is listed among the invited "members of the Corps Diplomatique and other foreigners of distinction" in the Morning Post.[17]

1897 July 1, Friday, M. Ephrussi attended the dinner party for members of the Queen Elizabeth procession for the Duchess of Devonshire's ball the next night. This dinner party was hosted by Lord Edward Marjoribanks, 2nd Baron Tweedmouth, and Lady Fanny Spencer-Churchill Marjoribanks, Lady Tweedmouth.

1897 July 2, a Mr. Ephrussi attended the Duchess of Devonshire's fancy-dress ball.

1902 March 26, The Sketch published a gossipy story about fashion and gambling in Monte Carlo with a mention of Maurice Ephrussi and Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild:

The tables have not afforded any excitements of importance during the past few days, except that of M. Maurice Ephrussi, the well-known Paris millionaire, who is staying at the Metropole with Madame Ephrussi. Red turned up fourteen times running, and M. Ephrussi had the maximum on each time. There were many long-drawn Ah's of satisfaction that the dear green tables had to pay such substantial forfeit. But it is, of course, only rich people that ever have a chance here. Seeing that it does not matter to them whether they win or lose, they can plank on large sums without fear, and the tables are accordingly kind. Baron Edward de Rothschild, for instance, hardly ever stands up a loser; and there is a lady here whose income runs into many figures — the result of a well-advertised liniment — and it is averred by her friends that she has taken £20,000 from the tables in four years.[18]

1904 June, Maurice Ephrussi and Béatrice de Rothschild divorced.[6] The Rothschild family sued for a separation in court, in part because of his gambling debts, which had risen to "more than 12 million gold francs, the equivalent of 30 million euros today."[4]

Costume at the Duchess of Devonshire's 2 July 1897 Fancy-dress Ball[edit | edit source]

At the Duchess of Devonshire's fancy-dress ball, a Mr. Ephrussi (at 320) was in costume as the Spanish Envoy in the Queen Elizabeth procession; he and H. E. M. de Courcel (at 133) as the French Ambassador walked on either side of the Countess of Tweedmouth as Queen Elizabeth.[19]

This Mr. Ephrussi could easily be M. Maurice Ephrussi, who was married to a Rothschild, was in England a good deal, and because of his wealth and horse breeding and racing, was in contact with this segment of society. M. Michel Ephrussi's wife would have been less connected to this set, but except for that, he had essentially the same credentials as his brother. Maurice took part in a number of duels and seems to have been more of a risk-taker and more flamboyant, perhaps, than his brother, and he is mentioned in newspaper stories with the titled people who attended the ball.

Questions and Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. In 1893, the Globe says that Michel Uphrussi was "well known in fashionable circles."[20]
  2. The Ephrussi brothers engaged in a number of duels in France, sometimes with swords, occasionally injured but never fatally.
  3. In February 1900, the Sporting Gazette says that Maurice Ephrussi "spends a good deal of his time in England."[21]
  4. It may be that, in some newspaper articles at least, M. Ephrussi would be Michel (or perhaps Ignace) and M. M. Ephrussi would be Maurice, analogizing from how the honorifics are handled in British practice for children of someone with a title. But I can see lots of examples where M. just means Monsieur, assuming we know who they are talking about. On the other hand, an article in the Sketch (06 August 1902) distinguishes between M. Ephrussi and M. Michel Ephrussi, suggesting a greater familiarity with Maurice, perhaps.[22]
  5. M. Maurice Ephrussi who seems to have owned Alicante is mentioned in a story with a number of fashionable people.[23]
  6. Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild is mentioned in an article in the 10 December 1886 Civil & Military Gazette (Lahore) "for her incomparable rubies."[24]
  7. Neither wife of M. Ephrussi is mentioned a having been present; perhaps they were there but not recognized or described?

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. "Our Racing Colours." Sporting Life 16 February 1900 Friday: 3 [of 4], Col. 5c [of 6]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000893/19000216/076/0003.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Ephrussi family". Wikipedia. 2021-02-11. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ephrussi_family&oldid=1006204369. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Ignace von Ephrussi". Wikipedia. 2020-12-14. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ignace_von_Ephrussi&oldid=994264422. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 "Maurice Ephrussi". Wikipedia. 2021-01-25. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Maurice_Ephrussi&oldid=1002737837. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Michel Ephrussi". Wikipedia. 2020-10-19. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Michel_Ephrussi&oldid=984247590. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild". Wikipedia. 2021-01-03. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=B%C3%A9atrice_Ephrussi_de_Rothschild&oldid=997987719. 
  7. "Widow and Executor." Tavistock Gazette 29 June 1888 Friday: 6 [of 8], Col. 5b [of 6]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0002345/18880629/063/0006.
  8. "The Money Markets." Toronto Daily Mail 11 May 1891 Monday: 7 [of 8], Col. 1a [of 7]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0002933/18910511/178/0007.
  9. "What the World Says. (From The World.)" Clifton Society 19 November 1891 Thursday: 10 [of 16], Col. 2b [of 3]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0002164/18911119/044/0010.
  10. "The Gentlewoman Abroad." Gentlewoman 13 February 1892 Saturday: 36 [of 48], Col. 3c [of 3]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0003340/18920213/165/0036.
  11. "Social Scraps." Hull Daily Mail 09 March 1893 Thursday: 2 [fo 4], Col. 6c [of 7]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000323/18930309/002/0002.
  12. "The French Derby." Morning Post 05 June 1894 Tuesday: 6 [of 10], Col. 5c [of 7]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000174/18940605/075/0006.
  13. "The French Derby." South Wales Daily News 06 June 1894 Wednesday: 7 [of 8], Col. 7b [of 8]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000919/18940606/176/0007.
  14. "Circular Notes." Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 16 May Saturday: 6 [of 40], Col. 3b [of 3]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0001857/18960516/005/0006.
  15. "The Paris Horror. Further Details. Searching for the Dead. Agonising Scenes. Traces of the Duchesse d'Alencon. Narrow Escape of an English Lady. Personal Narrative." Sheffield Independent 06 May 1897 Thursday: 5 [of 8], Col. 5a-8c [of 8]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000181/18970506/110/0005.
  16. "The Awful Catastrophe at a Charitable Bazaar in Paris. Over a Hundred Noble Ladies Burned to Death. The French Aristocracy Thrown into Mourning. Full Details of the Heart-Rending Calamity." Illustrated Police News 15 May 1897 Saturday: 3 [of 8], Cols. 1a–5c [of 5]. British Newspaper Archivehttps://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000072/18970515/009/0003.
  17. "The Queen's State Evening Reception." Morning Post 25 June 1897 Friday: 5 [of 10], Cols. 4a–6c [of 7]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000174/18970625/039/0005#.
  18. "Our Ladies Page: Frocks and Furbelows." The Sketch 26 March 1902 Wednesday: 37 [of 40], Col. 2a [of 2]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0001860/19020326/036/0037.
  19. "Fancy Dress Ball at Devonshire House." Morning Post Saturday 3 July 1897: 7 [of 12], Col. 4a–8 Col. 2b. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000174/18970703/054/0007.
  20. "The French Club Scandal." The Globe 29 April 1893 Saturday: 3 [of 8], Col. 1b [of 5]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0001652/18930429/017/0003.
  21. "Polo Notes." The Country Gentleman [now called Sporting Gazette?] 03 February 1900 Saturday: 11 [of 33], Col. 2c [of 3]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0002525/19000203/064/0011.
  22. "Racing Notes." "Register | British Newspaper Archive". www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  23. "Newmarket Houghton Meeting. The Chambridgeshire Day." "Register | British Newspaper Archive". www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  24. "Continental News." Civil & Military Gazette (Lahore) 10 December 1886 Friday: 2 [of 14], Col. 4b [of 4]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0003221/18861210/014/0002.