Benjamin Altman Signed Check to W.W. Astor, Worth $500,000 in Today's Money

Benjamin Altman Signed Check to W.W. Astor, Worth $500,000 in Today's Money


Benjamin Altman Signed Check, 6.5" x 2.75", drawn on the bank of "Astor Trust Company". Dated "October 30, 1909" and made payable to "W.W. Astor" for "Eighteen thousand, seven hundred and fifty", written additionally as "18,750". Signed by Benjamin Altman in full signature "Benjamin Altman". The value of the check in today's money is about $500,000.00. Cancellation holes not affecting the signature. Fine condition.


Benjamin Altman, American merchant, art collector, and philanthropist, established one of the world’s great department stores, B. Altman & Co. Altman had little formal schooling, but at the age of 25 he opened his first dry-goods store in Manhattan and in 1906 moved it to the uptown section, pioneering the movement of business there. With additions in 1913–14, the store occupied the entire block bounded by Madison and Fifth avenues and 34th and 35th streets. The Astor Trust Company was a financial institution at 5th Avenue and 36th Street headed by John Jacob Astor IV, William Waldorf Astor's cousin. Benjamin Altman was a director and a stockholder in the Astor Trust Company. After Altman acquired property owned by W.W. Astor in 1910 on a long lease, he owned outright more than half of the block bordered by Fifth and Madison Avenues, between 34th and 35th Streets. What he did not own was held on long leases from Astor. This check most probably was payment for property leased by Altman from Astor. In today's terms, this check would be valued close to $500,000.00.


The department-store chain Altman founded eventually numbered seven stores in New York and other cities. The chain closed in 1989.


This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.



Item: 67430

Price: $400.00
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