Lot #2
Thomas Jefferson Autograph Letter Signed

A 'lost' Jefferson letter to a Philadelphia merchant, regarding an order for fine olive oil and marble slabs for renovations at Monticello

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Estimate: $15000+
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A 'lost' Jefferson letter to a Philadelphia merchant, regarding an order for fine olive oil and marble slabs for renovations at Monticello

ALS signed “Th: Jefferson,” one page, 7.25 x 8.75, November 12, 1795. Handwritten letter to Joseph Mussi, a merchant in Philadelphia, penned from Monticello. In part: "Your favor of the 2d inst. came to hand by the last post. I had not for some time had the pleasure of writing to you, and particularly had not intended you should know that another effort of yours to supply me with oil had miscarried, because you had been sufficiently inquieted in your repeated endeavors to forward me that article. I am however obliged to you for still sending on a box, on Mr. Pollard's information, and as you say it is the best Florence oil, if you forward another, it will not be an over-supply for without the formality of a draught, which I cannot inclose for want of knowledge of the sum.—I intended ere this to have troubled you with a commission for some marble slabs, but I have been so much slower than I expected in beginning the alterations of my house, that the demand for them could be postponed a while. Should peace in the meantime become general, they will come the safer. If you should hear how the tobaccos I furnished you are approved at the market you sent them to, I shall be obliged to you for the information. By this time I imagine you are beginning to shiver with the winter of Philadelphia." Addressed on the integral leaf in Jefferson's hand. In fine condition, with a professional repair to seal-related paper loss on the integral address leaf. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from noted bookseller Warren R. Howell, dated June 28, 1958.

Although four pieces of correspondence between Jefferson and Mussi are recorded in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, published by Princeton University Press, this letter was not found at the time of publication; it is recorded only in a footnote, based on Jefferson's 'Summary Journal of Letters' sent and received ("TJ and Mussi exchanged 15 additional letters between 2 Feb. 1795 and 10 May 1800, none of which has been found"). This letter has resided in the same collector's family since its sale in 1958, leading to its unpublished status.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts Featuring Gangsters, Outlaws & Lawmen
  • Dates: #656 - Ended January 11, 2023

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