Lenox, James (1800 -1880)

American philanthropist and bibliophile, James Lenox, collected principally books, but also fine painting and sculpture, which he housed in his New York home on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 12th Street. Overcrowding persuaded Lenox to build his own library in 1870, on Fifth Avenue between 70th and 71st Streets. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, it was an impressive fire-proof building, with external walls of Lockport limestone. It contained four spacious reading rooms, a gallery for paintings, and another for sculpture. The library opened to scholars in 1877. Among the great strengths of Lenox’s collections were his Bibles, considered superior to collections at Oxford, Cambridge, and the British Museum. It included a Gutenberg Bible – the first to enter the New World. Lenox also had impressive collections of Shakespeare, Milton, and Americana. In 1895 the plan to build the New York Public Library on 42nd Street was launched, and was to incorporate the Lenox Library, as well as the library formed by John Jacob Astor. The New York Public Library opened its doors in 1911. The following year, the Lenox Library was demolished.
Stamp(s) Stamp Information
Motto: Auctor pretiosa facit
Crest: A lion passant gardant crowned
Arms: A saltire engrailed between four roses
Heraldic Charges: lion passant gardant, Heraldic Charges: roses (4), Heraldic Charges: saltire engrailed between
Motto: Auctor pretiosa facit
Crest: A lion passant gardant crowned
Arms: A saltire engrailed between four roses
Heraldic Charges: lion passant gardant, Heraldic Charges: roses (4), Heraldic Charges: saltire engrailed between