Maurice Ephrussi (first from left) with M. du Bos, Siegfried Lehndorff and Georg von Lehndorff as members of a referee committee at a horse-racing track in Baden-Baden in 1902
|Died||29 October 1916 (aged 66)|
|Occupation||Financier, Racehorse owner/breeder|
|Board member of||Banque Ephrussi|
|Spouse(s)||Béatrice de Rothschild|
|Parent(s)||Charles Joachim Ephrussi|
Léon, Ignaz, Michel, Thérèse, Marie
Maurice Ephrussi was born on November 18, 1849 in Odessa, Russian Empire. He was a member of the Ephrussi family. His father, Charles Joachim Ephrussi (1792-1864), was a trader in wheat who founded a bank, Ephrussi & Co., and his mother was Henriette Halperson (1822-1888). His elder half-brother, Ignace von Ephrussi, founded a branch of the family bank in Vienna, Austria.
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Maurice Ephrussi and his brother Michel were both involved in the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing. Maurice owned Haras du Gazon, a breeding farm in Bazoches-au-Houlme, Orne, Normandy where he bred the outstanding runner and champion sire, Perth. Perth's sire was the Ephrussi stallion War Dance who also sired the brilliant filly Roxelane.
Horses raced by Maurice Ephrussi won a number of important races in France and England, including the
- Cambridgeshire Handicap - (1) - Alicante (1907)
- La Coupe - (1) - Bariolet (1882)
- Prix de la Forêt - (2) - Seymour (1879) Alicante (1889)
- Prix du Cadran - (1) - Bariolet (1882)
- Prix du Jockey Club - (1) - Mordant (1907)
- Prix Gladiateur - (1) - Bariolet (1882)
- Prix du Nabob - (2) - Alicante (1890), Chapeau Chinois (1893)
- Prix Royal-Oak - (1) - Alicante (1890)
- Prix Jean Prat - (1) - Alicante (1891)
Ephrussi married Béatrice de Rothschild, the daughter of Alphonse de Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild banking family of France. The wedding took place on June 5, 1883 in Paris. They maintained a home in Paris, a villa in Monte Carlo called "Rose de France", and in the early 1900s built Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
The marriage quickly turned to disaster for Béatrice, as she caught a serious illness from Maurice which prevented her from having children. Maurice was a big gambler and in 1904 his debts amounted to more than 12 million gold francs, the equivalent of 30 million euros today. Worried about the future, the Rothschild family decided to take Maurice to court to demand a separation. They won the case and, in June 1904, after 21 years of marriage, Béatrice de Rothschild and Maurice Ephrussi were separated.
Maurice Ephrussi died in 1916. Béatrice lived the rest of her life in Monte Carlo where she died in 1934.
- Pinçon, Michel. Grand fortunes: dynasties of wealth in France (1998) Algora Publishing ISBN 978-0-9646073-5-4
- Information on Haras du Gazon in the 14 May 1922 (edition 1) of the Daily Racing Form[permanent dead link]
- La Lettre de l'Académie des Beaux-Arts : La Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild" (numero 59 - janvier 2010) Friends of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild