Likely Rudolf Meyer Riefstahl (1880-1936), method of acquisition unknown 
Sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, Charles Vignier, "Liquidation de Biens Meyer-Riefstahl: Ayant fait l'objet d'une mesure de séquestre de guerre, première vente," April 23-24, 1923, part of lot 209 
Henri Vever (1854-1942), method of acquisition unknown 
1942 to 1947
Jeanne Louise Monthiers (1861-1947), bequest of Henri Vever 
Francois Mautin (1907-2003), bequest of Jeanne Louise Monthiers and Henri Vever 
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery purchased from Francois Mautin 
 See Hôtel Drouot, Charles Vignier, "Liquidation de Biens Meyer-Riefstahl: Ayant fait l'objet d'une mesure de séquestre de guerre, première vente," [auction catalogue] (Paris: Hotel Drouot, April 23-24, 1923) lot 209. In inventory prepared in 1986 reportedly based on an appraisal prepared by M. A. Densmore, this book cover came from the Meyer Riefstahl Collection as part of a group of "four bindings with geometric designs in gold and blind." See book cover file for copy of appraisal. Rudolf Meyer Riefstahl was a German-American art historian specializing in medieval Islamic art. At the beginning of World War I, Meyer Riefstahl relocated from Paris, France to New York City, where he eventually became a professor at the Institute of Fine Arts. Meyer Riefstahl left his art collection in Paris and the French government sequestered the collection as an "Enemy Alien Asset." The collection was sold in two auctions, the first in 1923 and the second in 1925.
 See note 1.
 An accomplished French jeweler and collector, Henri Vever (1854-1942) amassed a large and impressive collection of works of art during his lifetime. His holdings in Japanese prints and Islamic arts of the books, especially from Iran and India, were among the most important assembled in the early twentieth century.
It is unclear if Vever acquired the book cover from the Meyer-Riefstahl sequestration sale (see notes 1 and 2) or if he purchased from an intermediary. Regardless, Vever had this book cover by 1927, when he loaned it to Gemeente Museum in the Hague, see Gemeente Museum, "Catalogus: Tentoonstelling van Islamische Kunst" [exhibition catalogue] (s-Gravenhage, 15 May--3 July 1927), no. 42.
 Upon Henri Vever's death on September 25, 1942, his wife, Jeanne Louise Monthiers inherited the book cover. See exhibits F and G of Agreement of Purchase and Sale of the Henri Vever Collection, January 9, 1986, copy in object file.
 Upon the death of Jeanne Louise Monthiers, as stipulated in the will of Henri Vever, the family's assets were divided evenly between his two grandchildren. His only grandson, Francois Mautin inherited the collection known as "The Henri Vever Collection of Oriental Art and Manuscripts Including Persian and Indian Art and Manuscripts." This book cover is part of that collection. See exhibits F and G as cited in note 2.
 The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery purchased the entirety of the collection from Francois Mautin on January 9, 1986. See purchase agreement, copy in object file.
Research Completed June 4, 2022
- Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)
Henri Vever 1854-1942
Jeanne Louise Monthiers 1861 - 1947
Rudolf Meyer Riefstahl 1880-1936
Francois Mautin 1907 - 2003
- Published References
- The Hague. Catalogus tentoonstelling van Islamische kunst. cat. 42, p. 23.
- Glenn D. Lowry, Milo Cleveland Beach, Elisabeth West FitzHugh, Susan Nemanzee, Janet Snyder. An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 468, pp. 369-370.
- Collection Area(s)
- Arts of the Islamic World
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
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