George R. Thorne Calligraphic Presentation, 1900-1918? | Lake Forest College Library Archives and Special Collections
This consists of one book-shaped and leather-bound calligraphic presentation to George R. Thorne by fellow members of the Midlothian Country Club, south of Chicago. It was prepared and presented as an expression of gratitude to Thorne for his having retired the debt of the club, originally $125,000, according to an Outing article (see Midlothian as a subject, below).
The calligraphy is signed, at the frontispiece medallion of the Midlothian Country Club, by C. L. Ricketts, Chicago--Coella Lindsay Ricketts, 1859-1941. On the cover of the book is a bronze medallion of Thorne's intitials, presumably by Ricketts.
After the eclectic frontispiece page (Art Nouveau and pseudo-heraldic elements), the title-page is in the manner of a Gothic embellished manuscript page, and also including a repetition of the initials device. The page is in gold leaf, blue, green, and red.
There are two and a part of a third pages of text with flourishing, and on the third page, the beginning of four pages of signatures of fellow members. The first name is that of John G. Shedd.
Thorne was the co-founder with Montgomery Ward of the mail order house bearing the name of his associate. His son Robert J. Thorne, who had a Lake Forest estate, was president of the firm in the 1910s and 1920s. A daughter of Robert's in turn was Ellen Thorne Smith, Mrs. Hermon Dunlap Smith. When Mr. Smith, a widower, died in the mid 1980s, this item went to the Lake Forest Library sale, and then was acquired here.