[McCormack, John. (1884-1945)]
Gold Propelling Pencil with Diamond Accent
A wonderful and amusing item from the great Irish tenor, a propelling pencil by Baker's Pointer, designed as an engine turned case applied with a panel engraved "Count John McCormack", further accented by a circular cut diamond accent, mounted in 9K gold, with English hallmarks, early 20th century. Provenance: John McCormack – Mrs. John McCormack (gifted by her to the Metropolitan Opera Guild; Memorabilia Committee minutes for 1959-1960).
"Being by his own admission a poor actor, he decided to abandon the stage...His concert work revealed him to be a remarkable interpreter, not only of Handel, Mozart and the Italian classics, but also of German lieder....McCormack's numerous recordings show the singular sweetness of his tone and perfection of his style and technique in his prime - for example, in his famous version of Mozart's 'Il mio tesoro' and in Handel's 'O Sleep' (Semele) and 'Come, my beloved' (i.e. 'Care selve' from Atlanta) - while later records of lieder and of Irish folksongs illustrate other aspects of his versatile art. He was always, according to Ernest Newman, 'a patrician artist...with a respect for art that is rarely met with among tenors.'" (Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Grove Online)