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Subseries 1.6 | A Finding Aid to the Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974 | Digitized Collection

Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974

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1.6: Legal Correspondence Files, 1924-1978

This subseries consists of correspondence and other material that focuses on the legal affairs of the firm. The bulk of the correspondence with the two law firms representing Jacques Seligmann & Co., Inc., reflect fairly routine legal matters, such as taxes, real estate, investments, corporate filings, license renewals, etc. The remaining files concern specific legal actions or issues, such as asset liquidations, lawsuits, and a partnership with Georges Seligmann. A particularly interesting subseries houses correspondence and other documents associated with the firm's attempts after World War II to recover the stolen artwork and assets of the Paris office and the Seligmann family.
1.6.1:Correspondence with Attorneys, 1924-1978
This section of Subseries 1.6 includes correspondence with the New York law firms that represented the gallery in its legal affairs: Rose & Paskus; Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins; and Melvin C. Robbins. The files containing correspondence with the firm of Rose & Paskus, dating from 1924 through 1929, document fairly routine legal matters such as real estate transactions and leases, insurance, taxes, corporate filings, and debt collection. The correspondence with the U.S. law firm of Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins dates from 1938 through 1978 and also concerns routine legal affairs. In this set of correspondence files, however, researchers will also find revealing information about sales, consignments, family legal affairs, a partnership liquidation with Georges Seligmann, and the estate settlement of René Seligmann. The correspondence portrays a close legal and business relationship with Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins. Between 1963 and 1978, Melvin Robbins, formerly of Rose & Paskus, and Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, handled certain affairs of the firm exclusively; there are two folders of correspondence with Robbins only.
DescriptionContainer
Rose & Paskus, 1924-1925
139
13
Rose & Paskus, 1926-1927
139
14
Rose & Paskus, 1928-1929
139
15
Rose & Paskus, 1934
139
16
Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, 1938-1940
140
1
Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, 1941
140
2
Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, 1942-1943
140
3
Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, 1944-1945
140
4
Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, 1946-1947
140
5
Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, 1948
140
6
Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, 1949
140
7
Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, 1950
140
8
Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, 1951
140
9
Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, 1952
140
10
Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, 1953
140
11
Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, 1954
140
12
Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, 1955
140
13
Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, 1956-1958
140
14
Benjamin, Galton, & Robbins, 1959-1962
140
15
Robbins, Melvin C., 1963-1974
140
16
Robbins, Melvin C., 1975-1978
140
17
1.6.2:Liquidation of the Paris Office, 1939-1940
This small section of Subseries 1.6 consists of inventory lists and correspondence concerning the liquidation of the Seligmann's Paris galleries, known then as Jacques Seligmann & Fils, Germain Seligmann & Cie., en Liquidation, Paris. Most of the remaining stock was either returned to family members or became part of the inventory of the New York based Jacques Seligmann & Co., Inc.
DescriptionContainer
Stock in Paris, 1939-1940
141
1
1.6.3:Partnership with Georges Seligmann, 1941-1954
This small section of Subseries 1.6 includes contracts, agreements, financial statements, and supporting correspondence concerning the legal status and rights of Georges Seligmann, cousin to Germain Seligman. When the Paris firm liquidated its assets in the early 1940s, Georges claimed he owned a share of the stock and desired either commissions or a portion of the sales profits from the Paris inventory. These files document the numerous agreements between Jacques Seligmann & Co., Inc., and Georges Seligmann following the liquidation of the Paris office and the establishment of the "French Company" (in legal contracts this term was used to designate Jacques Seligmann et Fils and G. Seligman & Cie, S.A., Successors in Liquidation), also known as the "Nouvelle Society.") All materials concern the percentages of Georges's commissions, ownership of particular stock and inventory, and the employment of Georges by the firm. Additional financial information about the inventory, sales, and commissions is arranged in Miscellaneous Financial Notes and Files (Series 7.18).
DescriptionContainer
Drafts of Contracts and Agreements, 1942-1944
141
2
Agreements and Correspondence, 1941-1943
141
3
Agreements and Contract, 1948-1949
141
4
Correspondence, 1941-1954
141
5
1.6.4:Recovery of Assets in Paris, 1940-1952
This section of Subseries 1.6 includes mostly letters to the U.S. State Department and Paris attorneys J. A. Tout, M. Chauveau, M. Besson, François Bazin, and Claude Perles concerning the recovery of family and company financial and art assets either frozen or stolen during World War II. The 1940 correspondence is with the U.S. State Department and concerns the filing of documents and affadavits in order for the State Department to afford protection to the firm's assets in Paris. The remaining files postdate World War II and concern the very complicated recovery of art stolen from the Paris office. Found here are interesting letters regarding the European state of affairs at the time, comments and notations about other dealers, names of individuals associated with the sales of stolen art, and detailed information about works of art belonging to the Seligmann family. The 1952 file also contains an interesting letter that outlines the firm's previous liquidations and family financial settlements. Two files at the end of the subseries provide further information regarding the recovery of specific works of art. They contain detailed lists of assets and relate to the importation into France of artwork from other European countries such as England and Switzerland. Much of the correspondence is in French.
DescriptionContainer
Recovery of Paris Assets, 1940
141
6
Recovery of Paris Assets, 1943-1944
141
7
Recovery of Paris Assets, 1947
141
8
Recovery of Paris Assets, 1948
141
9
Recovery of Paris Assets, 1949
141
10
Recovery of Paris Assets, 1950
141
11
Recovery of Paris Assets, 1951
141
12
Recovery of Paris Assets, 1952
141
13
Recovery of Specific Paris Assets, 1944, 1948-1949
142
1
Recovery of Specific Paris Assets, 1949-1950
142
2
1.6.5:
The Story of Griselda
Frescoes, 1923-1955
This section of Subseries 1.6 includes correspondence and legal documents concerning the ownership and ensuing lawsuit over a series of Italian frescoes known as
The Story of Griselda.
The frescoes were originally acquired by the firm in the mid-1930s from Gabriel Dereppe and Ignatio (Ignace) G. Pollak in a very complicated legal agreement. Because the Italian government refused to let the frescoes leave the country, the firm entrusted their care to Mrs. Nanni Carla Politi and entered into a false sales transaction with her. Although Mrs. Politi did not actually buy the frescoes, documentation existed that made the transaction appear legitimate. Mrs. Politi then sold the frescoes to a Mr. Pelosi of Italy and kept the funds. These files document the complex trail and lawsuits surrounding the frescoes.
DescriptionContainer
Correspondence and Agreements, 1932-1934
142
3
Correspondence and Agreements, 1935-1937
142
4
Correspondence and Agreements, 1946-1948
142
5
Correspondence and Agreements, 1949
142
6
Correspondence and Agreements, 1950-1952
142
7
Correspondence and Agreements, 1953-1955
142
8
Correspondence and Agreements, 1946-1949
142
9
1.6.6:Miscellaneous Legal Files, 1927-1959
DescriptionContainer
Agreement between Germain Seligman and Christopher Grey, Baron Glennconner, regarding Raeburn's
Leslie Boy,
, 1927
142
10
Customs Warehouse Fire, 1931
142
11
Insurance Stock/Asset Valuations, 1955-1959
142
12
Jacqueline Seligmann v. Germain Seligman and Jacques Seligmann & Co., Inc., 1954-1955
142
13

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.