France, Italy, New York City, and Peru, Indiana: 1917-1962. Unbound. There are over 200 items in this archive including signed letters, telegrams, invoices, box office and royalty receipts, hotel and restaurant tabs, cancelled checks, bank tickets, a copy of Porter’s 1930 will, and more. All are in nice shape.
There are twelve letters, one cancelled check, and one bank withdrawal with Porter’s distinctive printed signature. Some of Porter’s comments in these letters include:
“Linda and I are tooting off on a slight cruise to Venezuela over the holidays.”
“The four books of Gaar Williams’ cartoons arrived from Chicago and . . . they are wonderful.”
“I go West next week to do a picture for Fred Astaire. . ..”
“I purchased this painting from the British War Relief Association and am having it sent on to New York for my apartment there, in the Waldorf.”
“Beside the Thousand dollars that I asked you to send me this morning, could you send me another thousand as I have quite a few cash presents I want to give for Christmas, and in spite of the fact that the money rolls in like water, it rolls out like lightning. . ..”
“How much more money could I borrow in case of a crisis? These taxes are something incredible and there are days I haven’t even enough money to pay the barber.”
“I am sure that I have never met Mr. Estler, ad if I didn’t receive outrageous demands every day from so-called ‘fans’ I should be outraged by his great nerve. . ..”
Other items include:
Itemized bills from stays at the Ritz-Carlton and Waldorf-Astoria Hotels.
Kate C. Porter’s (Cole’s mother) copy of the 1930 “Last Will of Cole Porter”,
Payment document for the “Motion Picture Rights” to "Fifty Million Frenchmen",
Box Office Statements for Porter’s first Broadway hit, “Irene Bodoni in Paris” that elevated him into the ranks of upper echelon Broadway composers, An “English Royalties” statement for "The Gay Divorce, The “Final Return” and royalty document for "Nymph Errant",
Box Office Statements for Anything Goes,
Request from “the Oldsmobile company” to perform a parody corporate performance of "Kiss Me, Kate",
The previously mentioned French and Italian invoices for perhaps more than 500 objets d'art and antiques (including a 22,000-franc Steinway piano, the equivalent of about $22,000 2020 dollars) as many invoices list multiple items. Very good. Item #009489
Unique. In addition to the objet d’art and antique invoices are especially significant and the a likely the only complete record of what was actually in the Porter’s legendarily extravagant European apartments. Cole Porter donated his personal papers to Yale University, but that collection holds nothing like this archive.