Copyright © 2011-2017 John N. Lupia III

Julius Caesar Morgenthau (1858-1929).

Julius Caesar Morgenthau (1858-1929), was born on August 2, 1858, at Mannheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, son of Lazarus Morgenthau (1815-1897), an insurance agent, and Seline Babette Guggenheim Morgenthau (1826-1892). His brother Henry Morgenthau (1856-), a lawyer, was the U. S. Ambassador to Turkey. Henry's son, Henry, Jr., was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by president Roosevelt. His brother Mengo L. Morgenthau (-1927) was a member of the ANA.

In 1878, he received his B.A. from the City College of New York. According to the U. S. 1880 Census he was a professor teaching at college. There he taught Latin and Logic for about ten years.

In 1893, he moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he first began to trade as a stamp dealer. With Ludwig Wolf and Eustace B. Power and other Chicoan collectors they formed the Chicago Stamp Company. At Chicago he married Regina L. .

In 1895, with Eustace B. Power he moved to New York.

From 1897 to 1929 he was the director of the J. C. Morgenthau & Co., Inc., auction house in New York City. The 1897 origins of the firm at 87 Nassau Street, New York, were in a stationery store owned by Morgethau who also sold stamps and philatelic literature and material and held auctions. He was still at that address when he was honorary president of the Board of Directors, and chairman of the Executive Committee for the 1913 International Philatelic Exhibition in New York.

Morgenthau sold many important collections including: George H. Worthington of Cleveland, Ohio, Brunet de l'Argentiére of France, Alfred F. Lichtenstein, who had purchased the first two named collections selling off parts of them, William Wolters, and John F. Seybold of Syracuse, New York. Seybold's collection was almost exclusively comprised of philatelic cover postal history, one of the first of that genre of significance in philatelic auction history. The firm's sales totaled about $4 million USD.

The March 1910 Seybold auction was held in three parts. Morgenthau issued a booklet of photographs to illustrate the covers, which was the first in American philatelic history for an auction sale. The numismatist specializing in coins will find this late date a surprise or shock since Ed Cogan used photographs of coins in the Mortimer MacKenzie coin auction sale back on June 23-24, 1869, over forty years earlier. This difference is due largely to the nature of stamps not essentially requiring photographic illustrations, whereas coins do -- simply for the fact they are metalic that reacts to the atmosphere, and in relief can wear or be weak or poorly struck, take gashes, scratches and other mishaps far more than a two-dimensional postage stamp. Also, the standards for condition reports were worked out very early among the stamp dealers and collectors whereas with coins it wasn't until very recently that a clear standard has been worked out. Moreover, the Seybold collection was largely of covers, i.e., envelopes franked and cancelled requiring the illustration to see those features in order to more fully understand and appreciate them and the philatelic item for bidding.

About mid April 1929, he became seriously ill from cancer. He died of cancer on May 22, 1929, New York City, New York. Services were officiated by Rabbi Isaac Landman, held at Morgenthau's residence 161 West 91st Street, New York City. He was buried at Salem Field Cemetery. He was survived by his two brothers Henry and Maximilian, his wife Regina, and their daughter Lucy Rose Heineman, and three grandchildren.

The Estate of J. C. Mogenthau sold rights of the J. C. Mogenthau & Co, Inc. to Scott Stamp & Coin Company as its subsidiary in April 1932.

In 1978, the American Philatelic Society inducted him into the APS Hall of Fame.

Bibliography :

1880 U. S. Census- New York

The New York Times, Sunday, April 4, 1897, page 16 stamp ad.

The Post Office, Vol. VII, No. 82, January (1898) : 115, Morgenthau purchases stock of late Henry Gremmel.

Daily Illinois State Register, Sunday, December 28, 1902, page 1

Charles J. Phillips, "The History of Stanley Gibbons, Ltd.," Gibbons Stamp Weekly, Vol. III, No. 8, February 24 (1906) : 115-120

Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, Friday, May 31, 1929, page 8 obit

The Numismatist, April (1932) : 266, full page ad announcing the subsidiary of Scott Stamp & Coin Co.

Dr. Stanley M. Bierman, Julius Caesar Morgenthau Sales 1905-1950. Philatelic Literature Review (1986) : 35:41-46.