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Jules S. Bache

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Bache asks fellow financier S. R. Bertron to bring an associate to “join our little party” at dinner

Jules Semon Bache, 1861–1944.  American financier.  Typed Letter Signed, Bache, one page, quarto, on personal stationery, New York, [New York], October 24, 1921. 

Bache’s letters are extremely rare.  Our searches of auction records have found none at all that have been sold at auction.  While signed stock certificates are occasionally available, Bache’s correspondence seems to be all but nonexistent.

Bache responds here to fellow Wall Street financier S. R. Bertron, asking him to bring a business associate to join them at dinner.  He writes, in part:  “As Naphen informs me that he is bringing his partner, Mr. Cunniff, to dinner on Wednesday, I wonder if you would care to bring Mr. Benoist with you.  I shall be very glad to have him join our little party . . . .”

In 1881, Bache, a German immigrant, went to work for a New York stock brokerage that his uncle founded.  Just 11 years later, he took control of the company and renamed it J. S. Bache & Co.  He built it into a powerful brokerage house, the second largest in the United States at the time, behind only Merrill Lynch, and became extremely wealthy.  He acquired interests in a number of corporations and amassed a large art collection that included works by or attributed to Rembrandt, Titian, Dürer, Velázquez, David, Bellini, and Botticelli.  Parts of the collection were later donated to the Detroit Institute of Arts and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Samuel Reading Bertron (1865–1938), to whom Bache wrote this letter, was president of the New York international banking firm Bertron, Griscom & Company.   He was also a director of the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce, which promoted economic, commercial, and industrial relations between the United States and the Soviet Union.  In the early 1920s, Bertron was one of several financiers who sought to develop commercial airship operations in the United States after the United States seized German patents on rigid airships during World War I.

Bache has signed this letter in green ink.  The letter has intersecting mailing folds not affecting the signature, a small stain in the blank area at the upper left, and light soiling.  It is in fine condition.


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