Updated Dec 21, 2007
Mackay Stories, p.19
A very rare Mackay art history book found!  This book is one of only 100 published.
Nov 20, 2007

Dear Sir,
I found myself lost in your fabulous website for a couple of hours after searching for any reference to "The C. H. Mackay Collection" by
W. Valentiner, a very large privately printed custom-made book by Arthur Story Witherspoon.  I inherited one of these books from my father.  If you have any interest in knowing more about this, please feel free to contact me.
                                                                                        Russell Joseph Buckingham
An email, such as this, usually leads to a interesting story.  Such is the case here.  Unfortunately, Clarence Mackay's huge, world class art collection was never completely documented.  The process was begun in the 1920s.  His tapestry collection is documented in a very large, privately published book by George Leland Hunter titled Tapestries of Clarence H. Mackay. Only 250 of these books were published in 1925.  Professional photographs were taken, under the auspices of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, of the Mackay arms and armor collection but were never formerly published in a catalogue.  I knew that W. R. Valentiner was in the process of cataloging many of the other items in the Mackay art collection to include paintings by "old masters", sculptures, antique  furniture, and various other objects of art, but I have never come across a copy of any published work by Valentiner.  Thanks to Russell Joseph Buckingham, this has changed.  Please read on...
Nov 21, 2007

...I am not sure where my dad picked this [book] up, he was an art enthusiast and worked selling antiques in NYC during the early thirties so possibly he came across it at auction.  This book is a massive, custom made listing, essentially all of Mackay's collection of paintings and sculpture with some important objects added.  I will forward you some pictures of the book by separate e-mail.  Apparently, it was limited to 100 copies, this one un-numbered, but saying in the frontispiece that it belonged to Julie Ransom Witherspoon, daughter of the publisher of the book, Arthur Storey Witherspoon.  I am an artist myself (russellbuckingham.net and russellbuckingham.com) so I was somewhat familiar with the exceptional contribution to American museums that the Mackay collection had, but most of the info on your website was new and very interesting as well...
                                                                                                                         All the best,
                                                                                                                         Russell Joseph Buckingham,  NYC and PA
Readers, do not miss clicking on the two websites above belonging to Russell Joseph Buckingham.  Here you will find a wonderful, large body of work comprised of portraits, marinescapes and murals.
Below is the Table of Contents and a few sample pages from the Valentiner book. The illustrated objects are products of the Italian Renaissance.  Valentiner placed special value on items from this period. But it should be noted that the Mackay collection included many objects from other countries and periods as well.
Click here to read comments of Royal Cortissoz to elaborate on the eclectic but very well thought out nature of the Mackay collection at Harbor Hill.
Book is massive: 20 x 14 x 4.  Publication date is 1926.
Click on this link for a Valentiner cross-reference on this website.