Friday, August 8, 2014

While this picture alone...

...would be blogworthy, it's only one piece of a classic New York Times obituary.

Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, who was "called Bobby by his friends," died at age 85. Mr. Ellsworth, "who never graduated from high school" was "devoted to Chinese art" and apprenticed under a woman named "Alice Boney" who "took him under her wing." (A bony one?) "Mr. Ellsworth reportedly paid about $12 million for [one] collection" and had another "of 70 Chinese bronze mirrors." His "apartment on Fifth Avenue ... had more than 20 rooms." In addition, Mr. Ellsworth published “Later Chinese Painting and Calligraphy: 1800-1950,” a three-volume work that weighed "38 pounds" and "sold for $850."

But wait, there's more:

Robert Hatfield Ellsworth was born in Manhattan on July 13, 1929. His mother was an opera singer; his father, a dentist, was descended from Oliver Ellsworth, a colonial-era lawyer who was one of Connecticut’s first two senators, helped establish the federal judiciary and served as chief justice of the United States.

Mr. Ellsworth traveled in high-society circles and was known for his decades-long friendship with the actress Claudette Colbert, who died in 1996. In 1977, after the theft of an estimated $300,000 worth of objects from Mr. Ellsworth’s apartment, an article in The Times referred to him as the “king of Ming.”

You can't make this stuff up. It's why I love the Times.

No comments: