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Scarisbrick, Diana

Elihu Yale : merchant, collector & patron / Diana Scarisbrick and Benjamin Zucker.

Additional Title(s):

Merchant, collector & patron

New York, New York : Thames & Hudson, 2014.
Physical Description:
288 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), maps ; 24 cm
Reference Library
DA497.Y3 S37 2014 (LC)
Accessible in the Reference Library [Hours]
Note: Please contact the Reference Library to schedule an appointment [Email ycba.reference@yale.edu]

Includes bibliographical references (page 278) and index.
SMLYAL copy is gift from B. Benjamin Zucker, March 10, 2015.
"Elihu Yale's name is famous for the great educational institution, Yale University, of which he was an early benefactor. He made his fortune in India, mostly through trading in diamonds. Arriving in Madras in 1672, through his outstanding abilities he rose through the hierarchy of the East India Company from clerk to governor. When he returned from India in 1699 he brought with him Indian gems, furniture, and textiles. In the milieu of portrait painter Sir Godfrey Kneller and physician Sir Hans Sloane he established a fashionable household in which, by the end, he had assembled a collection of some ten thousand items, including fine English furniture. Yale's collection was dispersed at seven auction sales after his death in 1721, and the catalogues of those sales survive, providing information about the lively London art market of the period. Hitherto neglected by historians, the Yale sales prove to be a landmark in the history both of collecting and of auctioneering art in early 18th-century England. In addition, the detailed analyses of the various categories bring Yale's personality and interests to life: he is revealed as a Fellow of the Royal Society, a dedicated churchman, and a philanthropist, totally in tune with the English Enlightenment. The authors explore Elihu Yale's life in the society of Madras and London, and his interests in musical and scientific instruments and books, and then turn to a study of Yale as a dealer (particularly in gems) and a collector of diamonds and jewelry and works of art--some of which are now at Yale University, and some in national collections around Britain. His story sheds light on many subjects: the society of the East India Company and of early 18th-century London; the fashion for Oriental objects in the West; and the collecting of gemstones, jewelry, and art"--Book jacket.
Subject Terms:
Benefactors -- England -- Biography.
Great Britain -- Civilization -- 18th century.
Merchants -- England -- Biography.
Yale, Elihu, 1649-1721 -- Art collections.
Yale, Elihu, 1649-1721.
Zucker, Benjamin, 1940- author.

  • Merchant, gentleman, philanthropist. Boston to Fort St. George
  • London life
  • At home
  • Gentleman of fashion
  • The pleasures of music, books, and science
  • Philanthropist
  • Dealer & collector in London. A fortune from jewels
  • The new Western taste for the East
  • Yale and the art world in England.