Lot 121: Rare 1928 Autograph Letter by Polish-American Cosmetics Queen Helena Rubinstein
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Rare Autograph Letter by Polish-American Cosmetics Queen Helena Rubinstein********** RUBINSTEIN, HELENA. (1872-1965). Polish-American businesswoman whose eponymous cosmetic empire made her one of the richest women in the world. ALS. (“Helena Titus”). 1p. 4to. New York, December 26, 1928. On her illustrated Art-Deco “Helena Rubinstein” letterhead with the “Valaze” logo. To Mrs. Welsh. ********** “I am looking forward with much pleasure to meet you. As Mr. Welsh is now so much one of our ‘big family’ here, I almost feel as if you, too were part of it. Accept my best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year.” ********** Rubinstein left Poland after refusing an arranged marriage at the age of 16. She founded Valaze beauty institute in Australia where she became a financial success selling her Crème Valaze. In 1908, she used her wealth to move to London where she met and married Polish-American journalist and publisher Edward William Titus (best remembered as the publisher of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover). At the outbreak of World War I, she relocated to the United States where she employed her marketing and business savvy to reach new levels of success. In 1928, the year of our letter, she sold the American branch of her business to Lehman Brothers for $7.3 million and bought it back for less than $1 million during the Great Depression. A fan of the avant-garde, Rubinstein emphasized nonconformity and personal style, revolutionizing the cosmetics industry with such innovations as mascara in a tube and sun screen. ********** Flamboyantly penned in dark, black ink; folded with some creasing and wear, but in good condition. Rare!