Surrealist iLLUMiNATi Party
Party Animals: The Rothschild Surrealist Ball
The Rake revisits the Surrealist Ball of 1972, hosted by Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and her husband Guy at the Château de Ferrières.
If your family has the largest private fortune in history, the least you can do is hold a party at the most lavish Château in France with costumes designed by Salvador Dalí, Audrey Hepburn in a birdcage hat and an interactive maze filled with butlers pretending to be cats.
The family who did just that is the Rothschild’s. In 1957, after a brief first marriage to a horse breeding count, Baroness Marie-Hélène Naila Stephanie Josina van Zuylen van Nyevelt van de Haar wed her third cousin Guy de Rothschild, head of the de Rothschild Frères bank. Their romance broke various barriers. As it was the first time a leading Rothschild had married a non Jewish spouse, Guy was forced to resign his presidency of the Jewish community in France and Catholic Marie-Hélène had to receive special dispensation from the Pope. The pair’s social life showed a similar liberalism.
Le Chateau de Ferrieres en Brie (foto Catawiki)
Château de Ferrieres (foto Catawiki)
Their home, and venue for their now mythical Surrealist Ball, was Château de Ferrières, said to be the biggest and most luxurious nineteenth century chateau in France. On seeing his cousin’s impressive Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire, Guy’s ancestor Baron James de Rothschild told its architect Joseph Paxton: “Build me a Mentmore, but twice the size”. Ferrières boasts eighty guest bedrooms, thirty square kilometres of forest, a 120 foot central hall, atlas columns and caryatids sculpted by Charles Cordier, a library of over eight thousand volumes and a neo Renaissance Italian garden.
Occupied during the Franco – Prussian War and again by the Germans in World War II, Chateau de Ferrières remained empty until 1959 when Marie-Hélène decided to refurbish it. It soon became a hedonist epicentre for EUropean high society, a rigorous mix of nobility, Hollywood stars, Artists, musicians and fashion designers, Yves Saint Laurent cheek by jowl with Brigitte Bardot and Grace Kelly. Such was the parties’ allure that one prominent social figure threatened to commit suicide if she wasn’t invited to the next one.
And so to 12th December 1972, the year of Luis Buñuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and the night of Marie-Hélène’s own surrealist masterpiece. Invitations were sent out with the cryptic dress code “black tie, long dresses & surrealist heads”, the instructions typed backwards so they had to be read in a mirror. As guests arrived, the front of the chateau was flood lit as if it were on fire. Along the main staircase, servants and footmen dressed as cats pawed at each other and pretended to be asleep. On entry, guests were led into a maze, an immersive theatrical experience in a forest of cobweb ribbon full of dark surprises. If you got lost, you could call a cat to “help” you.
Invitation iLLUMiNATi Party (1)
Invitation iLLUMiNATi Party (2)
Menu iLLUMiNATi Party
Eventually your cat butler would show you through to dinner, where plates were covered in fur, tables decorated with taxi dermied tortoises and food served on a mannequin corpse on a bed of roses. Forks were replaced with dead fish. Omni lingual cannibalistic puns littered the menu, “sirloin” here, “extra lucid” soup and (my favourite) goat’s cheese roasted in “post coital sadness”.
We mustn’t forget the costumes. Marie-Hélène herself wore a giant stag’s head studded with tears of diamonds (real diamonds). Audrey Hepburn sported a relatively innocent cage filled with birds. Aesthete Baron Alexis de Redé wore an astonishing quadruple decker four masks in one number freckled with scarab beetles, an Egyptian twist on Titian’s Allegory of Prudence. Salvador Dalí designed several of the costumes, but didn’t wear one himself. Perfumer Hélène Rochas wore a gramophone on her head. Art references were two a penny. One guest wore an apple in front of her face, a nod to René Magritte’s The Son of Man; another wore a chopped up collage of Mona Lisa’s. The presence of supermodel Marisa Berenson, star of Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, foreshadows Kubrick’s final film Eyes Wide Shut and its dreamlike mists of secrecy, opulence and sex. Three years after their unrepeatable Surrealist Ball, the Rothschild’s donated the Chateau to the Chancellery of the Universities of Paris (now a gastronomic school) and moved to the house they had built in its woods.
Few parties are genuine works of Art, but the Rothschild’s’ 1972 ball sounds and looks like it came close. Semi curated by the founder of surrealism and played out by the leading ladies of the day, it was (like Buñuel’s seventies films) a self satirizing social labyrinth, a Garden of Earthly Delights in a secret forest, endless immersive theatre avant la lettre. Thank God for the rest us someone took a camera.
The Rake, december 2016
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A Glimpse Into A Disturbing Rothschild Masquerade Ball
Published on 12 dec. 2018
An exclusive and mysterious surrealist party took place at a Rothschild‘s mansion in 1972. As it was a private ball, attended only by favored rich and influential people, it has provoked speculation among the masses. What is really happening behind closed doors in these parties of the privileged? These theories have plenty of foundation.
Remember the film ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ by Stanley Kubrick? There are some really bizarre connections and unsolved mysteries.
Could this ball be an iconic example of the iLLUMiNATi gatherings? Or is it all just the tall tales of conspiracy theorists?
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The Secret Parties Billionaires Don’t Want You To Know About
Published on 20 mei 2019
Billionaires: they’re not just like us. Something happens when you reach a certain level of wealth. The jets become private. The apartments become penthouses. And the parties get real epic real fast. Here are the secret parties billionaires don’t want you to know about.
In the hanky panky filled parties of Silicon Valley, dinner comes first, usually prepared by the host to avoid the prying eyes of cooks and cleaners. Social Media is strictly forbidden, for obvious reasons. Then the drugs come out. MDMA seems to be the top choice, although it’s far from the only offering. The guests break off into groups of two, three, or more, usually for “cuddle puddles,” a cute way to describe a gang of groping millionaires and billionaires. From there things get really freaky.
The mostly male bigwigs of Silicon Valley have these drug fueled love parties on the regular, bringing in a bevy of young women from anywhere they can get their hands on them. And get their hands on them they do, often with their wives and girlfriends right beside them. These men tend to be the wealthy tycoons behind some of the biggest brands in the World. As Emily Chang, author of the book Brotopia, describes it, they like to treat these parties as extensions of their World changing professional philosophies by overturning traditions in their private lives. In the end, that means a boatload of hookups in private mansions, estates, and yachts the World over.
Watch to learn more about the secret parties billionaires don’t want you to know about!
#Billionaires #Politicians #Business
Silicon Valley debauchery | 0:18
Billionaire birthday bashes | 1:21
Henry Nicholas’ shag lair | 2:21
The secret side of Cannes | 3:14
A Wall Street bacchanal | 3:57
Burning Man for the rich | 4:59
Prince Faisal‘s Halloween Party | 5:59
Bohemian Grove | 7:03
President Club Charity Dinner | 8:05
Sean Parker’s wedding | 9:17
#Billionaires #Politicians #Business