The super-rich are notoriously under-represented in household expenditure surveys (see here), which can lead to biased inequality estimates. The budget of Filippo Massimiliano del Drago Biscia Gentili, Prince of Mazzano and Antuni, and his family, for the year 1881, is an example of how the HHB project overcomes this issue.
The Prince, born in Rome in 1824, was a descendant of Augustus III King of Poland and of Louis IX King of France. His wife, María Milagros Muñoz y Borbón, was the daughter of María Cristina de Borbón, Princess of the Two Sicilies and Regent of Spain between 1833 to 1840. A noble family indeed, even if the house of del Drago had been ennobled only in 1832, with Filippo’s father, for the services rendered to the Pope.
The household accounts of the Prince – compiled by the Maestro di Casa Attilio Bedini, bursar of the family – clearly document his conspicuous wealth, with household expenditures amounting to 234,000 Italian lire per year in 1881 (more than 1 million euros, at current prices). The noble family spent almost 6 times as much as the richest household recorded so far by HHB for 1881 Italy.