Postal Art and the Hope Diamond

Here’s an example of my Great Uncles’ correspondence during the early 1900s. The envelope below was posted at 2:15 pm on March 9, 1903 from London. It was from Matthew Deegan, aged 21 at the time, and addressed to his brother Ernest Deegan c/o Lord Francis Hope. Does that name sound familiar? Think diamond!

 

Hope_Diamond
Hope Diamond

According to Wikipedia, Henry Francis Hope Pelham-Clinton-Hope, 8th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne (3 February 1866 – 20 April 1941) was an English nobleman. He was educated at Eton College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He inherited the estate of his grandmother, Anne Adele Hope (widow of Henry Thomas Hope) in 1884, upon condition that he assume the name and arms of Hope upon reaching his majority; he did so in 1887 and became known as Lord Francis Hope.This bequest included the well-known Hope Diamond. He was Sheriff of Monaghan for 1897 and 1917.

Lord_Hope
Lord Francis Hope

He married American actress May Yohé in November 1894. She had gained fame on the London stage in 1893 and 1894, especially in the burlesque Little Christopher Columbus. He led an extravagant lifestyle, which the two continued together, and was discharged in bankruptcy in 1896. One journal wrote: “Pecuniary troubles, however, embarrassed the two but slightly. A future Duke and Duchess can always beg or borrow, and they did.

In 1900 they made a tour of the world, and on their way home fell in with Captain [Putnam] Bradlee Strong, at that time one of the handsomest and most popular men in the United States Army, and a special favourite with President McKinley. The actress fell head over ears in love with him. She refused to return to England with Lord Francis”. Hope divorced Yohé in 1902; at this time, he obtained court permission to sell off the Hope Diamond to pay some of his debts. After lengthy litigation in the Court of Chancery, he was able to break the entail on most of his grandmother’s trusts, and sold off The Deepdene in Surrey and Castleblayney in County Monaghan, Ireland.

Hope_BankruptLord Francis married Olive Muriel Owen, née Thompson, in 1904. They had 3 children:

  • Henry Edward Hugh Pelham-Clinton-Hope, 9th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne (1907–1988)
  • Lady Doria Lois Pelham-Clinton-Hope (1908–1942)
  • Lady Mary Pelham-Clinton-Hope (1910–1982)

He inherited the dukedom from his brother in 1928 and died in 1941 at Clumber Park.

If only my great Uncle had traded these cool postal art envelopes for that diamond … then again I understand it brings bad luck. Better to have the envelopes!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Matthew Deegan, Artist: Seeking Information

My grandmother’s brother, my grand or great uncle depending on who you ask, was an artist. He was born in London, following his parents’ move from Dublin, Ireland, in 1882 or so as the 1901 census lists him as being 19. The firstborn of nine children, his name was Matthew Deegan, after his father, making him Matthew Deegan Junior. Other than the fact he eventually married a woman by the name of May, and had two daughters, Eileen and Mary, little is known of Matt.

I have documented some of his mail art in several other posts that can be accessed here. Below are a few of his paintings that have been handed down within the family.

Curious duck that I am, I’m trying to find out information regarding Matt and his family, but have not come up with anything thus far. If, by chance, you know anything about him or his art I’d love to hear from you!

Matthew Deegan
Come One, Come All Matthew Deegan 1915
Matt Deegan
Matthew Deegan 1913
Matt Deegan
Matthew Deegan 1938
DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Hand-drawn envelopes; works of art that probably wouldn’t be delivered today

My maternal grandmother’s brother, which I believe makes him my Great Uncle, Earnest Deegan, was a well traveled man. During the early part of the last century he was what was then known as a “Gentleman’s Gentleman” – a butler or valet. This profession took him to places far and wide, exotic and remote. His brother Matthew Deegan was a skilled artist and draughtsman. The two brothers kept in contact by mail (email and texting were still about a century off). Matthew was fond of using his skills when addressing envelopes. Below are several examples.

EnvelopeCairo

This one was delivered in Cairo c/o  H. Gutmann for whom Earnest was working.

According to Wikipedia, Herbert Gutmann was the son of the Dresdner Bank Chairman Eugen Gutmann and studied economics, then also worked at the Dresdner Bank . He was a co-founder, director and later president of the German Orient Bank and played a role in the economic activities of the German empire in the Orient in the period before the First World War . As part of this business longer trips led him in the years 1905-1910 under others to Morocco , Egypt , Syria , Asia Minor and Persia . In 1910 he was elected to the board of Dresdner Bank.

The address, 26 rue Sherif Pasha should have been Cherif Pacha and may have looked like this in 1903

Mail art with updated history: Part two

Recently I posted about some mail art that my great uncle created while corresponding with his brother during the early 1900’s. One brother, Matthew, was an artist who painted or sketched lovely envelopes that he sent, along with a letter i assume, to his brother Ernest who was a much traveled valet, or Gentleman’s Gentleman. One reader suggested I should post the envelopes individually along with any background information I may have been able to garner. So over the next little while I will be pleased to do so!

Milwaukee

When this letter was sent it appears Ernest was working for Captain I. M. Bean in Milwaukee. Bean was an important player in the development of Milwaukee and was its provost marshal during the Civil War.

But a conundrum  exists; the letter above appears to have been postmarked at London on 7:00 a.m. on May 29, 1939 if I am reading it correctly. Yet as the Milwaukee Sentinel article below tells of Captain Bean’s death in November of 1910.

Bean_Obit

 

Mail art with updated history

Recently I posted about some mail art that my great uncle created while corresponding with his brother during the early 1900’s. One brother, Matthew, was an artist who painted or sketched lovely envelopes that he sent, along with a letter i assume, to his brother Ernest who was a much traveled valet, or Gentleman’s Gentleman. One reader suggested I should post the envelopes individually along with any background information I may have been able to garner. So over the next little while I will be pleased to do so!

This was a good idea to re-post as it presented me with the opportunity to do a little more research and correct a mistake I made when originally posting. Originally I  thought Ernest was working for the photographer H. Guttmann, but in fact he was valet to Herbert H. Gutmann, a German banker of some renown.

Below is an envelope sent to E. Deegan c/o H. Gutmann. Esq.

EnvelopeCairo

GutmannAccording to Wikipedia, Herbert Gutmann was the son of the Dresdner Bank Chairman Eugen Gutmann and studied economics, then also worked at the Dresdner Bank . He was a co-founder, director and later president of the German Orient Bank and played a role in the economic activities of the German empire in the Orient in the period before the First World War . As part of this business longer trips led him in the years 1905-1910 under others to Morocco , Egypt , Syria , Asia Minor and Persia . In 1910 he was elected to the board of Dresdner Bank.

The address, 26 rue Sherif Pasha should have been Cherif Pacha and may have looked like this in 1903

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexandria_eg/2083002782/in/pool-oldalexandria
http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexandria_eg/2083002782/in/pool-oldalexandria

As for the Shepeard’s Hotel in Cairo, was that the return address? Were both brothers in Egypt at the same time?

ShepeardsHotel