PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF GWENDOLYN ROSE MACKAY
Gwendolyn Rose Mackay of Locust Valley, who died in February of this year at age 96, was through marriage descended from one of the most illustrious names in the history of American capitalism, John William Mackay.
Born in Dublin in 1831, Mr. Mackay came to America with his parents in 1840 and later sought his fortune in California. In 1859 he joined the rush to Nevada, where silver had been discovered, and in 1873, with several partners, discovered the great Bonanza vein in the legendary Comstock Lode, yielding him a great fortune. In 1883, with James Gordon Bennett, he founded the Commercial Cable Company that laid two submarine cables to Europe, thus thwarting the monopoly of Jay Gould and the Western Union Telegraph Company. Throughout his life Mr. Mackay gave generously to the charities of the Roman Catholic Church. He died in London in 1902.
By family history, the sapphires in the following lots were acquired by John William Mackay in Paris in the late 19th century. They have descended in the family ever since.