Benjamin Zucker

 THE LIFE JOURNEY OF 'FATHER YALE' FROM BOSTON TO LONDON TO MADRAS: A discussion of Elihu Yale — Merchant, Collector & Patron
Date: 05 November 2014

About the talk: In a colourful presentation rich with many detailed photos of artifacts and paintings, Benjamin Zucker, along with co-author Diana Scarisbrick, discussed Elihu Yale’s life in trade and commerce in the late 17th, early 18th century.  As a dealer and collector in diamonds, he rose through the ranks of the East India Company in Madras, starting as a clerk and eventually becoming governor.   The story of how his fortune was made - and importantly how a portion of it became the founding endowment of the university - as well as many of his varied interests, which included collecting art, jewelry, musical and scientific instruments, and books from the Orient, were thoughtfully and thoroughly examined.  Yale’s astute business practices and managerial prowess made him wealthy in his lifetime, but it is his endowment to the university that is his lasting legacy.

NB  The publishers, Thames & Hudson, have offered a special discount to members of the Yale Club of London for purchases of this book (RRP £24.95).  To avail of this offer (£18.00 for the book including UK mainland delivery), please call the distributor Littlehampton Book Services on 01903 828503, quoting reference: TH248.  

About the speaker: Benjamin Zucker is a graduate of Yale College (SM ‘62) and Harvard Law School.  He is one of the world's leading gem dealers, based in New York City.  He has written extensively on gemstones, coloured stones, and the history of ring collecting.  Diana Scarisbrick is an historian specializing in jewelry and engraved gems.  She has curated exhibitions in the UK and abroad and has written many books, including Rings: Jewelry of Power, Love and Loyalty and Portrait Jewels: Opulence and Intimacy from the Medici to the Romanovs.  She is a Research Associate at the Beazley Archive, Oxford, and recently collaborated with Professor Sir John Boardman on The Marlborough Gems.

For more information about the book and the authors, please see:

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