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J. P. MORGAN: The Financier as Collector by Louis Auchincloss (Harry N. Abrams: $37.50; 144 pp.).

April 21, 1991|Sonja Bolle

The image by which J. P. Morgan would wish to be remembered, writes Louis Auchincloss, is as "the massive and formidable old man, hunched over his game of solitaire in the great library gleaming with the treasures of the Renaissance, while from the antechamber the nervous captains of industry, summoned to avert the Panic of 1907, came in, one by one, each to propose his plan for saving the banks." Many of the jewels of the Morgan collection documented here have been distributed to various American museums, but the illuminated manuscripts are still housed in New York's Pierpont Morgan Library. "Sawfish Flying Over a Boat," above, is from "The Workshop Bestiary," illuminated in England before 1187.

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