A superb set of four volumes of the Pierpont Morgan Collection of Miniatures, compiled by G. C. Williamson, no.2 of 20 copies, illustrated (by Hallett Hyatt), including 129 hand-colured plates (by Arthur Samuel Greenway Finney); original vellum with silver clasps (some hall-marked), folio, Chiswick Press, 1906-1908

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Lot 1
A superb set of four volumes of the Pierpont Morgan Collection of Miniatures, compiled by G. C. Williamson, no.2 of 20 copies, illustrated (by Hallett Hyatt), including 129 hand-colured plates (by Arthur Samuel Greenway Finney); original vellum with silver clasps (some hall-marked), folio, Chiswick Press, 1906-1908

Sold for £ 25,095 (US$ 34,805) inc. premium
A superb set of four volumes of the Pierpont Morgan Collection of Miniatures (De luxe edition)
compiled by G. C. Williamson, no.2 of 20 copies, illustrated (by Hallett Hyatt), including 129 hand-colured plates (by Arthur Samuel Greenway Finney); original vellum with silver clasps (some hall-marked), folio, Chiswick Press, 1906-1908 (4)

Footnotes

  • These rare and important volumes were purchased by the present owner's family in the 1930s, the same decade that J. Pierpont Morgan's "famous" collection of portrait miniatures was sold over three days at Christie's. A group of craftsman were employed over three years to produce the sets of presentation volumes, which were destined to be sent to the crowned heads and museums of Europe, thus making it rare for a set to appear on the open market.

    One of these craftsman was an Englishman, Arthur Samuel Greenway Finney, who was working as a photographer's assistant in New York when the Pierpont Morgan collection of Miniatures arrived on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was then that Morgan first employed Finney in making copies of his miniatures. Many of these copies formed part of Finney's only exhibition in London in 1929 and were then sold at Sotheby's in 1948. For a comprehensive article on Finney, cf. Everybody's Weekly; 26 June, 1948


    J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), one of the world's foremost financial figures during the two pre-World War I decades. During "the depression" he formed a syndicate that resupplied the U.S. government's depleted gold reserve with $62,000,000 in gold in order to relieve a Treasury crisis. Three years later he began financing a series of giant industrial consolidations that were to reshape the corporate structure of the American manufacturing sector. Morgan successfully led the American financial community's attempt to avert a general financial collapse following the stock market panic of 1907. He headed a group of bankers who took in large government deposits and decided how the money was to be used for purposes of financial relief, thereby preserving the solvency of many major banks and corporations. Morgan was a great art and book collector, and donated many works of art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. His book collection and the building that housed them became a public reference library in 1924. Called a "Medici" of his time, Pierpont Morgan lavished his wealth and enthusiasm on amassing beautiful things. He sought only the best, regardless of price and this catalogue is of singular interest both in its Collector and Collection.
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