Williamson, George Charles
Catalogue of the Collection of Jewels and Precious Works of Art,
the Property of J. Pierpont Morgan
London: Privately printed at the Chiswick Press, 1910.
Large quarto (14¾ x 11¼ in.). No. 40 of 150 copies thus (there were an additional 40 numbered copies on japon and 20 on vellum with hand-coloring to the plates). Collates [3 ll.], 1 l. (colophon), xxi, 183 +  pp., [3 ll.] (errata slip bound in), with 95 heliogravure plates, printed rectos or versos only, each with a guard-leaf with printed title, and 13 text illustrations, all on heavy hand-made paper. Dark green half morocco and green bookcloth over boards, spine gilt in six compartments, mottled green endpapers, top edge gilt, other edges uncut, in a velvet-lined cloth-covered slipcase. Fine, in unopened condition within.
This substantial volume, one of the finest collection catalogs of all time, was produced in keeping with the extraordinary objects described within. It includes illustrations and descriptions of notable selections from Pierpont Morgan’s vast collection, including jewels, carved woodwork and gold and silver plate.
Morgan’s passion for collecting began to blossom in his youth, but
only later in life, his monumental fortune amassed, did he collect on the
colossal scale he finally achieved. He was able to purchase renowned collections
entire and thus acquired such troves as James Toovey's library of leather
and literature, the James A. Garland collection of ancient glass and oriental
porcelains, the George Hoentschel collection of decorative arts and the
Marfels collection of watches. George Williamson, an art historian who often
advised Pierpont Morgan on his purchases, produced three catalogues of Morgan's
collection, and of the three this present production excels.
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