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Lot 129

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Hetty Green ALSs at Age 15

Autograph Letters Signed, “Hetty”, “H.H. Robinson”, 4 pp. (2 unlined sheets, front and verso), 4” x 6.375”, ca. 1850, Massachusetts. Small floral embossing on top left corner. Light toning, minor creasing and edge chips, else VG to Fine.

These pages have been removed from a handmade Manuscript booklet which contained social invitations and replies, all believed to be written in Hetty’s hand. The invitations are juvenile in nature and suggest a boarding school setting. One letter here presented is signed “Susie”, another unsigned but with “Miss Robinson’s” in the body of the letter. Autograph material from Hetty Green is extremely rare, especially during her teenage years.

The letters read: “My dear Susie, / Will you be so kind as to lend me your French dictionary, Fleming & Tibbon’s, for my cousin has taken mine and I have a long lesson to learn. / Your’s truly, Hetty.”

“My dear Hetty, / I am very sorry to say that mine is at school but I have another one I think full as good which I send with great pleasure. / Your’s truly, Susie.”

“I have been expecting to see you for some time, my dear friend, and now begin to think that it is quite too long since I last had that pleasure. If you will come in, and dine with us socially today, at three o’clock, we shall be truly glad of your company. / Very sincerely yours / H. H. Robinson / Saturday, Nov. 1st.”

“Miss Arnold regrets that a previous engagement obliged her to decline Miss Robinson’s polite invitation for Thursday evening, October 30th. / Eighth St - / Thursday.”

Provenance: This book was acquired from the descendant of a caretaker at Round Hill, the Green estate in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Henrietta “Hetty” Howland Robinson Green (1834-1916) was an American businesswoman and financier who was reputedly the wealthiest woman of her time in the United States. She was born to a wealthy family of Massachusetts Quakers. As her fortune grew, Hetty Green, sometimes called the “witch of Wall Street,” continued to live with her son and daughter in inexpensive lodgings, avoiding any display of wealth and virtually all society. She was known for her wealth and was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the "World’s Greatest Miser". Her eccentricities made her a favorite for newspaper gossip. Perhaps the most widely repeated story about Hetty was that of her supposed refusal to hire a doctor to treat her son’s injured leg, resulting eventually in an amputation. She often appeared publicly in shabby dress and was known to seek medical treatment for herself at charity clinics. She lived for much of her later life in a small apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey. Upon her death, Hetty Green left an estate worth more than $100,000,000.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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