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Photo of the Month
June 2010
See Previous Photos     Unknown Faces and Places

Matilda (Langdon) Hayden, daughter of Jane Ann (Duff) Langdon Minor, and step-daughter of Daniel Minor Jr. of Columbus, OH, married the heir to an industrial empire who later expanded the businesses even more significantly, and they retired as multi millionaires in New York City. The Haydens also owned their own island for many decades in the Alexandria Bay area of the Thousand Islands in upstate New York, called "Fairyland," where they spent their summers. 

Perhaps starting during their Columbus years, but probably mushrooming after their move to a new home at the southwestern edge of New York's Central Park, Matilda built a substantial private library of rare books and manuscripts. Just before her death, Matilda's collection was sold at auction by the American Art Association, on Nov. 20, 1924, in Manhattan. The image here is the cover of the catalogue that the association published for prospective buyers, with detailed listings that are summarized on a special page on Minerd.com. 

In previewing the collection, the New York Times noted Matilda's books " with types designed by Bruce Rogers, an extensive collection of the writings of authors, mainly in morocco bindings, comprising Ainsworth, Balzac, Browning, Burroughs, Carlyle, Daubet, Dickens, Eliot, Bret Harte, Hawthorne, Hugh, Macauley, Molliere, Parkman, Poe, Sand, Ruskin, Scott, Shakespeare, Tennyson, Thackeray, Bronte, Hardy, Whittler, Swift, and books with colored plates by Cruikshank and Rowlandson and others." 

There is no known record of who bought what, but the prices for each item were published in American Book Prices Current: A Record of Books, Manuscripts and Autographs Sold at Auction in New York and Elsewhere, From July 1 1925, to July 1, 1926: Being the Season 1925-1926: And of Manuscripts and Autographs of the Season, 1924-1925, published by E. P. Dutton.. The following year, the Times mentioned Matilda among "famous bibliophiles whose libraries have been dispersed this season by the American Art Association."

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