Please note that the dimension of this lot should read: 12 3/8 in. (31.5 cm.) high.
Nicholas Monsarrat, who originally acquired this rare pair of vases during the 1870s, was born in London, Ontario in 1839, of Irish and French heritage. He has been described as a "tall, distinguished-looking man with a fine mind and great executive ability." He attended the University of Toronto and became an attorney and barrister, but like other young men of the time he decided that he would have more of a future in America and moved here in his early 30s. This was the beginning of a period of enormous growth in the United States, much of it spurred by the expansion of railroads, and while first working in one of the banks of the financier Collis Huntington, Monsarrat learned about railroads, and saw this as his future. In 1872 he obtained his first position in the railroad business at the Paducah and Memphis Railroad. After resigning from this position in 1881 he continued to advance within the railroad business holding various positions at various railroads until in 1899 he was made president of the Hocking Valley Railroad as well as the Kanawah & Michigan Railroad, which was based in Columbus, Ohio. It was twelve miles outside of Columbus that Monsarrat created a 200 acre estate, Mount Air, where he and his wife, the former Corinne Blanche Henry whom he met in Kentucky during his early years in the railroad business, and six children lived, and where he enjoyed his collections of fine books, paintings and furniture. Mount Air was his retreat from the world of business, with its own railroad siding to accommodate his private railroad car that he would take from Columbus.
Since the death of Nicholas Monsarrat in October 1910, the present pair of vases has remained in the family, and has been passed down through several generations.
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTION