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Signed Letter
Near Fine. One page Letter Signed ("L.P. de Cesnola") on Metropolitan Museum stationery dated 12 December 1883. The body of the letter, extending membership in the museum to a Mr. Epiphalet W. Tyler and requesting the $10 annual fee, is probably in a secretarial hand. Light wear to the extremities, folded as mailed, near fine, housed in an older cardboard letter folder. Cesnola was a wildly controversial and fascinating figure. Born the son of an Italian Count, he gained his military training in the Italian Revolutionary Army. Moving to America, he ran a private school for officers during the Civil War, later enlisted as an officer, won a Medal of Honor, was captured and incarcerated in Libby Prison, and served out the war as a Brigadier General. Lincoln appointed him Ambassador to Cyprus on the condition he become an American citizen. While there he engaged in very important, self-financed and self-taught archeological expeditions, eventually selling his collection to the Metropolitan Museum for a fraction of its worth. He became first Secretary, then Director of the Museum, and was involved in several high profile lawsuits involving the authenticity of the Museum's collections, which Cesnola invariably won. He has been the inspiration for several books. His autograph does not appear to be common.
      [Bookseller: Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABA]
Last Found On: 2017-10-10           Check availability:      Biblio    

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