Artifacts from J.P. Morgan’s Corsair megayacht up for grabs

Andrea Divirgilio / April 28, 2011

j p morgan yacht

Commissioned by American financier, banker and art collector J.P. Morgan in 1890, the 241-foot “Corsair II” megayacht had been host to some of the influential men of that time, including Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, George Westinghouse, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Mark Twain and light bulb inventor Thomas Edison. Although the Corsair II was decommissioned and scrapped long back, the items from the yacht that speak well of J.P. Morgan’s high life at sea will be hitting the auction block this Sunday in Boston.

On May 1, 2011, Boston Harbor Auctions will offer around 220 pieces from the John Pierpont Morgan’s yacht in an historic sale of nautical curiosities from the various Corsairs. Some of the lots are expected to sell for in excess of $200,000. The artifacts include a silver Tiffany & Co. cigar cutter, Morgan’s mahogany poker set complete with ivory chips, Boston-made brass ship’s clocks, embroidered table linens, specially bottled Scotch whisky and engraved tumblers and canvas-covered wicker provisions trunks.

A major highlight of the sale is a fully restored 30-foot launch boat from the Corsair III. Larry Lannan, owner of Boston Harbor Auctions, said…

The man loved poker and was known to play high stakes with all the heavyweight industrialists, financiers and politicians of the day. Imagine the hands that have touched these chips — the likes of Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford. Just imagine all the late-night cigar-fueled drama in the middle of the sea, the fortunes won and lost!

J.P. Morgan (April 17, 1837 – March 31, 1913) dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation during his time. These personal items from his yacht reveal how Morgan enjoyed life on the high seas.


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