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"Captains of Industry" Letters and Check Collection: P. T. Barnum, Andrew Carnegie, William Randolph Hearst, and J. Paul Getty.

  • Sold For: $711
  • Year: 1900
  • Auction: 2012 spring
  • Lot #: 1445
  • Auction Category: Historical/Political

This collection is comprised of three letters and a check, signed, respectively, by four of the most influential and powerful business leaders of their time: P. T. Barnum, Andrew Carnegie, William Randolph Hearst, and J. Paul Getty. 1) P. T. Barnum (1810-1891). One-page handwritten letter, dated March 20, 1871. In full: "Mr. O. D. Bynon - Dear Sir: When you say Barnum's New Museum will you please say 'Barnum's New Traveling Show.' & much oblige. Yours Truly, P. T. Barnum." Both the text and signature have been scripted in black ink and grade "10." 4.5 x 7 inches. Vg-Ex, with two horizontal folds, a few small areas of very light toning, and two tiny pencil notations (top corner; front and back) displaying numbers. 2) Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). One-page typed letter (on a fold-over sheet), dated December 7, 1916, on stationery featuring his New York address ("Two East Ninety-First Street"). Signed "Andrew Carnegie" in black fountain pen (with some minor brushing; otherwise "10"). Written to Dr. Kunz, thanking him for a book. 5.25 x 6.5 inches. Vg-Ex, with a horizontal fold, staple hole, light soiling, and the letter "S" written at the top in pencil that was later erased. Together with the original mailing envelope, postmarked December 7, 1916 (Vg-Ex). 3) William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951). One-page typed letter, dated December 20, 1920, on Chicago Herald and Examiner letterhead. Signed "W. R. Hearst" in black fountain pen ("7"). Written to Mr. Geldhof and wishing him a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 7.25 x 10.5 inches. Ex, with two horizontal folds and a small pencil notation along the upper border (dealer notation providing description and asking price). 4) J. Paul Getty (1892-1976). Personal check, dated November 22, 1944, signed "J. Paul Getty" in black fountain pen ("10"). The check, drawn on the Security-First National Bank of Los Angeles, California, bears Getty's preprinted name at the top and is made out to M. May Walters in the amount of $12.24. 8.25 x 3.5 inches. Vg-Ex, with two notebook holes along the top, a small tear at the base, and normal bank cancellation stamps and perforations. Total: 4 items (three letters and a check). LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $711

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