History In Ink®  Historical Autographs



J. Pierpont Morgan

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John Pierpont Morgan, 1837-1913.  American banker and financier.  Beautifully framed Manuscript Letter Signed, J. Pierpont Morgan, three pages, 5¾" x 8½", on stationery of the Grand Ḥtel de la Ville, Florence, [Italy], March 29, 1905.

Morgan's letters are rare.  Our search of auction records has found only 13 of his letters that have been sold in more than 30 years.  We have not found another Morgan letter in current dealer inventories. 

In this letter, Morgan apologizes to My dear Mr. Keene for not yet seeing him while in Florence.  In full:  "I am deeply mortified that I have not been able to see you today and to explain to you the dilemma in which I am—I am only here for a day or two.  I have a large party entirely dependent upon me, several of whom have never been here before, and I have been busy from morning to night showing them what they wanted to see.  Under these circumstances it has been impossible for me to carry out my intention to call first upon you, also of attending the Concert which you allude to, & to which the Committee were kind enough to invite us.  /  I can offer you no apology, but as you no doubt have been similarly placed you will understand me.  /  I still hope to see you in the morning tomorrow, as I leave in the afternoon for Leghorn en route for Palermo on my yacht.  I shall always remember your great kindness, and hope in some way I can show my appreciation of it. 

Morgan was a giant in American finance in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.  He founded both J. P. Morgan & Company and Chase Manhattan Bank; arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomas-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric Company; and merged the Carnegie Steel Company with a number of other steel and iron companies to form United States Steel Corporation. 

This framed piece was originally sold by Paper Treasures, Inc., a gallery in Palm Beach, Florida.  The framing appears to be archival.  We have not examined the letter out of the frame, but it appears to be in fine to very fine condition.  

The piece is striking in black moiré silk, silver, and marbled matting.  The first sheet of the letter is matted in moiré and framed in a small, double-sided silver wood frame so that both sides show.  That piece then hangs over the third page of the letter on the larger piece.  Alongside the letter is a 1903 Edward Steichen portrait of Morgan holding a large knife. The moiré matting on the larger piece is not under the glazing and has faded a bit from exposure to light, but the piece nevertheless is very attractive.  It is finished with a black and silver engraved identification plate and is framed in a black and silver wood frame to an overall size of 22" x 32".



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