Back to All Events

Secrets & Scandals of The Archives Season 2, Episode 1: The Mysterious Maurice de Bosdari

From the department of "You can't make it up...." This talk reveals the European antics of swindlers and convicted felons who masqueraded as art connoisseurs and dealers in order to permeate the highest social circles at the end of the nineteenth century.

It was most likely during the Exposition of 1900 that Bardini met Maurice de Bosdari (1857-after 1935), an Italian from Ancona who moved to London c.1895 following the crash of his banking venture in Constantinople. Material from the state archive of Bardini reveals Bosdari’s machinations to buy objects from Bardini with the intent to sell them to J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913). He was successful, but he was also shady. Bosdari retained a check from Morgan from which he counterfeited Morgan’s signature on more checks. When found out, Bosdari went on the lam—but only sort of—he actually stayed local in London under the assumed name of Bremont. If Bosdari was sly, Bardini was more so, and he succeeded in secretly garnering Morgan as a client via two of his own “agents,” both with strong network ties to New York. Drawing upon archival material, this talk examines the intricacies of the various agents and double-agents involved in the market competition for Morgan’s business and for the promise of providing the decoration for the soon to be built Morgan Library.

Tuesday, October 23rd

Time: 18.30, followed by aperitivo

Pre-cocktail talk: 
Free for CSF members
Donation €10 for public 

€15 (CSF members) €25 (public)
One Drink and special snack from the chef

Place: Relais Santa Croce, Via Ghibellina 87

RSVP here