Marsden J. Perry

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Marsden Jaseal Perry (1850-1935) was a financier and banker with a deep interest in collecting items of cultural value. This included furniture, porcelain, American Colonial art, and Shakespeareana. In 1897, he purchased the core of the Shakespearean collection belonging to noted scholar J.O. Halliwell-Phillipps. The collection included items of great value that Halliwell-Phillipps had spend his lifetime assembling, including the Blackfriars Bargain and Sale, a large quantity of valuable quartos, and Shakespeare's Final Concord with Hercules Underhill. Phillipps, who passed away in 1889, originally bequeathed this collection to the Birmingham Corporation, provided that they purchase it for £7,000 in order to support his wife and daughter. The Birmingham Corporation unfortunately was unable to raise the funds, and so the collection languished in the care of his nephew until 1887, when Perry purchased it.

In 1908, Henry Clay Folger became aware of the items in Perry's collection, and offered to purchase the core items that had come from Halliwell-Phillipps for $60,000. Perry was initially reluctant to part with the Halliwell-Phillipps items alone, and pressured Folger to purchase the entirety of his Shakespearean collection. Folger eventually convinced Perry to part with the Halliwell-Phillipps items alone for a final total of $69,000, or what would be approximately $1.7 million in 2015.