SAMUEL CHARLES PHILLIPS, ISAAC COHEN, Deception > fraud, 28th February 1876.

Reference Number: t18760228-197
Offence: Deception > fraud
Verdict: Guilty > no_subcategory; Not Guilty > unknown
Punishment: Imprisonment > no_subcategory
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197. SAMUEL CHARLES PHILLIPS' (29) and ISAAC COHEN (20), were indicted for unlawfully conspiring to obtain from Matthew Vehovar, a quantity of china, of the value of 5,000l. Other Counts—varying the form of charge.

MR. POPE, Q.C., with MR. BESLEY conducted the Prosecution; MR. SERJEANT

BALLANTINE appeared for Phillips, and MR. MONTAGU WILLIAMS with

MR. STRAIGHT for Cohen.

MATTHEW VEHOVAR . (The, evidence of this witness was given partly in English, and partly in French, interpreted). I am an Austrian, I have been residing at the Belle Vue Hotel, Norfolk Street, Strand—I was a professor of literature at Vienna—I came to England, about 17th March, 1874——I brought with me 105 pieces of Sevres china, a complete dessert service, the property of Prince Repnine, a Russian nobleman—I was employed to sell the service, the price was fixed at Vienna, at 12,000l., and coming here at 15,000l. in English money—I was promised a commission by the prince, his word was sufficient for me; I had authority in writing to sell—the agreement with the prince was in conversation, and in a letter; it was spoken about generally, he promised me a remuneration—in August, last year, I was still in possession of the Sevres service, and with the exception of some few pieces I had the service at the hotel in Norfolk Street, where I was residing—the defendant came to me there—I had never seen him before; he came alone, without any introduction—he sent in his card by a waiter, and on going into the drawing-room I found him there—he commenced speaking in English—I asked him if he spoke French—he said he was educated in France, and we then conversed in French, with several words in English—he asked me whether he could see that beautiful service of which he had heard so much—I said "With the greatest pleasure, wait a moment," because I was going to fetch the key, as I had the service in a small room, downstairs on the ground floor; I then showed him fourteen pieces which had been taken out as a sample, he examined them with great attention and with the appearance of a great connoisseur—he asked me the price of the whole collection—I said the lowest price would be 8,500l."—he asked

me whether the collection could be divided—I said that could be done, into two groups, viz., one group for twelve persons, and the other for ten persons, the first consisting of fifty-five pieces, and the second of forty-nine pieces, and in this way one of the plates would remain over—the price I fixed for the first group was 5,000l., and for the second 4,500l.—he was looking at the pictures which were in my room, and he particularly looked at one of Nicolas Poussin, and he told me that he also had a Poussin in his possession, together with other old pictures, and he begged me to call upon him in the afternoon at 4 o'clock—he said that one of his friends, a lord, had already offered him 2,000l. for that picture, but that he had asked 3,000l. for it, and therefore he could not give it to him for 2,000l.—I believed him to be really the son of a lord, in consequence of his way of talking, at all events that he was a distinguished person—I went to the Albany next day, but I made a mistake and went to the wrong door; I left my card—after that I had quite forgotten him, but about three weeks after he came to the hotel again and left a card; I was not at home, and he wrote for me to come to him to-morrow—I wrote to him saying I would come at 10 o'clock the following day—I then went to the rooms, I 3, on that occasion the servant I think opened the door—I do not remember if Phillips or the servant did, but the servant opened it most often when I went there, by the servant I mean, Cohen—I saw Phillips there that morning; I don't remember the date exactly, it was between the 15th and the 20th, it was about the 15th; he received me in a large room furnished with simple elegance—there were several large pictures in it hanging on the walls—our conversation was principally in French, but also several phrases in English; after a little conversation he took me into another room, and showed me the Poussin which was hanging over his bed—he then said "I wish first of all to buy the smaller group containing forty-nine pieces for 4,500?. in this manner; I shall give you first of all the Poussin picture, and I will bring to you the lord on the day following, who no doubt will buy it for 2,000?., and on that occasion you can sell your own Poussin as well, because the lord is an amateur, and a very passionate or very great admirer of pictures by Poussin, and as to the remaining 2,500?. I shall in the mean while cede or transfer, or give to you as guarantee five other ancient pictures," without selling them, only as guarantee—he said, "When I have the smaller group in my possession I shall obtain a loan from my father of 5,000?. to 6,000?.; my father is a man of fortune and lives at the present moment at Ryde, with his family because he has the intention to go on a long tour in the Mediterranean, and has a yacht, because he is a member, of the yacht club, and the owner of one yacht," and when once he had obtained this loan he would pay me 4,000?. in cash which would make with the price for the Poussin 6,000l. for me, and as to the rest 2,500?. he should beg me to give him credit till the end of January or the commencement of February, leaving to me as a guarantee, the five other pictures—he said "To have still a larger security or guarantee you will do me the pleasure of residing at my apartments during my absence, instead of living at the hotel, and then you can make use of my servant and housekeeper"—I told him I should consider all this—he mentioned the names of the artists who had painted the pictures that were to be left as a guarantee, and the names were on the frames—he said those pictures had cost him 10,000l., and that he would never sell them, except the Poussin—on 22nd September, I went again to the Albany and saw Phillips, but we

were together twice or three times previously, he called on me and I had been to the Albany—on the several occasions of my going there I saw Cohen, whether he was there on all occasions I can't say, but I have seen him often there—on 22nd I went to see Phillips at 10 o'clock in the morning—he then told me that his mother and sisters were coming to town from Ryde, to make purchases for the long tour, and he had also heard from the lord who was to come either that evening or the next morning, and there-fore this would be the best opportunity to give him the smaller group to show to his mother and sisters; I said why should they not come to my place, to which he replied that they had so much to do that they could only come for a few minutes or a little while to London before returning to Ryde—I told him I should bring him the smaller group; he begged me not to come before 4 o'clock—I went to the Albany after 4 o'clock, and took the box with forty-four pieces—I had prepared two agreements in French; this (produced) is one of them, but it had not been finished at that time because I did not know the names of all the pictures, and the names that are in blue ink here were written at the Albany; I mean the description of the subjects of the pictures and the names of the artists—Phillips told me those; he dic-tated them to me, and I wrote it in his presence—I then gave it to him to copy and sign—he read it in my presence and commenced copying it. (This was translated as follows: "London, 22nd Sept., 1875. I. 3, Albany Street, Piccadilly. I, the undersigned, declare of having received of Mr. Matthew Yehovar, of 21, Norfolk Street, Strand, the following pieces of ancient Sevres dessert service, paste tendre, turquoise, forming the first group, forty-four pieces. I declare at the same time to have given to him in gua-rantee till the payment of the sum of 4,500l. sterling, the price of this first group, the following pictures belonging to me: 1, the Bacchante of Nicolas Poussin; 2, the Amphion, Salvator Rosa; 3, the Triumph of Galatea, by Annibal Carracchi; 4, the Procession of Cupids, by Andrea del Sarto; 5, Sleeping Figure, by Perugini; 6, Queen Elizabeth Naming her Successor, by Smirke.") I also wrote this paper in blue ink there—I showed it to Phillips. (Read: "London, 22nd Sept., 1875. I 3, Albany, Piccadilly. I, the undersigned, declare that I have bought from Mr. Vehovar, of 21, Norfolk Street, Strand, a quantity of old Sevres dessert service of 1766 and 1767, paste tendre, turquoise, birds and flowers painted by (enumerating names), consisting of 104 pieces, belonging to his Highness the Prince Nicolas de Kieff of Russia, for the sum of 8,500l., and oblige myself to pay him this sum of 8,500l., at the handing over of the collection, in cask" Phillips said that all these contracts were useless and were too long, as it was only a question of a few days, when he would be in a position to purchase the whole collection; then he said "I shall do that much shorter," and then he sat down to write this receipt, which' I signed—the paper was on the table; there was other similar paper there—I myself copied it on another sheet of similar paper—it has a coat-of-arms and a motto on it. (Read: "I 3, Albany, Piccadilly. Received of Professor Vehovar, the accredited agent of the Prince Repnine, of Kieff, Russia, the owner of the said dessert service, forty-nine pieces (five pieces short) Sevres china, in exchange for six old paintings, my property, namely and ascribed to (naming the artists). And I hereby declare to buy the remaining portion of the Sevres service. Signed, Samuel C. Phillips.") He had written out a receipt also for me, which I copied and signed—I gave Phillips a receipt for the six pictures, which were described to me as a guarantee—I have not seen the

paper since—this is it. (Read:" 22nd Sept. 21, Norfolk Street, Strand. Received from Mr. Samuel C. Phillips the following pictures in exchange for a dessert service belonging to Prince Repnine (naming them). Signed, Matthew Vehovar, accredited agent of the Prince Repnine.") When 1 brought the bos there I immediately took the pieces out and put them on a sideboard—Cohen was not in the room at the time; he brought the box into the room—I don't remember whether he was in the room when the china was placed out on the sideboard, I paid no attention to him—this paper (produced) was written by Phillips, and I copied it—he asked me to keep the service till he had received the necessary money from his father—I said "You ought to undertake to purchase it," and on that Phillips wrote and signed this paper. (Read: "London, 22nd Sept., 1875. 21, Norfolk Street, Strand. Dear Sir,—It is at all times understood between us that the remaining portion of the dessert set of the old Sevres china is at your disposal. Matthew Vehovar, accredited agent of his Serene Highness Prince Repnine.") Phillips then said "Now, as I have the smaller group, I can now have the loan from my father, and I shall bring the lord to you tomorrow to buy the Poussin, and I hope in four or five days we shall have concluded the whole affair"—I was then going away, and he asked me whether I could not take the Poussin with me—I was a little surprised to see that the picture had been taken down already when I entered there—I said the picture was too large, and it was already very late, and I preferred to call to-morrow morning at 9 o'clock to take the picture, because he could not come with the lord before 12 o'clock at noon—there never was a question about taking the other pictures with me; nothing was said about that—it had been arranged that the lord was to pay me 2,000l. next day for the Poussin—as to the word "exchange" in that paper I have to observe that I always spoke of a provisional exchange, as I had written in my first contract and guarantee till he should have paid me—now, I well understand the word "exchange," but at that time, in the great haste in which he made me sign, I did not observe that the word "provisional" had been omitted; it never was my intention to exchange the service against the pictures—I had been authorised to give credit for one-third of the sum by selling the service against security; that was verbally—I left the box and the forty-four pieces at the Albany in the possession of Phillips—it was a wooden box covered with leather, made expressly for the china—Cohen and the workmen helped to carry the box from the cab to Phillips' rooms—after my return to the hotel, and after dinner, a waiter called me out, and to my great surprise I saw four men with a cart, and the pictures outside—Cohen was there—I spoke to him in English—I asked him "For what reason have you brought all these pictures here?——he said "When you left Mr. Phillips, the lord arrived, and he thought it was the best to send you immediately the pictures, because he will call to-morrow between 11 and 12 o'clock with the lord"—I had only a small room for the china and for the other pictures, and I could not put all the pictures in that room—I was angry at receiving the pictures; I had not desired it, and it never was arranged between me and Phillips—Cohen left the pictures with me—I went to the Albany next day before 9 o'clock; I rang the bell many times, and nobody opened the door; I could not get in; the old housekeeper came and said that Phillips was out of town—I gave orders to the housekeeper to send Cohen immediately he returned—I saw Cohen that evening—Phillip did not come with any nobleman that morning—when Cohen came I

said "How is it that your master has gone away"—he said "I do not know at all"—I said "You, as his servant, do not know anything about it?"—he said "I have passed the night at the house of one of my relations, who had some fete or party"—I said "No doubt you will get a letter from Mr. Phillips explanatory of his sudden departure, please bring it to me"—he came next evening without any news; he said he had received no letter—the next day was Sunday—he did not return any more, but on the Monday he brought be a letter, without giving it to me; he read it to me that Mr. Phillips was at a hunting party at Beckenham, and that he charged him (Cohen) to tell me that he would be back by Tuesday or Wednesday—after that I never saw Phillips or Cohen again until they were in custody—on the Tuesday night I went to the Albany, and every day two or three times, but found nobody but the housekeeper—I also addressed a letter to Phillips, but got reply—after the prisoners were before the Magistrate I saw in the possession, of the police the box in which. I had carried the forty-four pieces to the Albany—I have some pieces of the china here now (produced).

Cross-examined by MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. I am an Austrian by birth—I know what a bankrupt is; a bankruptcy is a failure—I was a bankrupt in 1864 at Vienna—I gave up all that I possessed—I had property in Styria, the fortune of my wife—I gave up all I possessed, about 27,000 florins to my creditors—Prince Repnine entrusted me with this china at the exhibition at Vienna; that was after my bankruptcy—I was employed at the exhibition, I was inspector of the pavilion of amateurs, where they exhibited works of ancient art and also modern—here is my document (producing a paper)—I had the surveillance of that pavilion, it was entrusted to me—this china was exhibited there and then I had to sell it for the prince—he gave me no written directions then, but when he came to Vienna an agreement was arranged between us, he gave me his authority, I had a letter of authorisation from the prince; it must be here, it was at the police-court—my duty was to sell the china—I brought it from Vienna to London in the same state in which I received it, 105 pieces—after a year I pledged several pieces—I did not pawn some of it within three months of my arrival in London, it was about a year—I cannot remember whether it was within six months—the first amount I raised was in October; I have given this explanation to Mr. Wontner—I spent the money for my own purposes and also in expenses for the service—I pawned two pieces in October to Mr. Young and some to Mr. Bierstoff—my intention was never dishonest—I pawned some of the china to Young in October, 1874, for 200l.—I spent that 200l. for myself and my 'expenses in England and for my children in Vienna—I redeemed those two pieces after two months—I pawned it afterwards at Mr. Bierstoff's for 400l.—I have thirty-seven pieces of the china now in my possession—I have entrusted it to the London Joint Stock Bank—the forty-four pieces are in this box, which was seized by Sergeant Reimers in Mr. Cook's office—the manager of the bank was so kind as to receive during many months the whole service in deposit—I gave it to him to take care of—I did not get any money from the bank for it—in April last year I went to Paris and took with me fourteen pieces—I pledged one piece there by an agent, it is at Paris now—when I have the liberty to go to Paris, for 60l. I can have it back again—I did not pawn it, it was a very bad action of the agent; he was not my agent—I did not myself pawn any in Paris; I gave a piece to a dealer in Pans and he gave me 500 francs, and I gave a receipt for it, that was to enable me to return to London—the prince has since taken out a

great many of the pieces that I pawned—I have none at all in my possession now—those I had in my possession I have deposited with the bank; that is one of the boxes containing those pieces which were pledged with Jacob-sun; that is in the hands of Mr. Robins, the other box which was seized by Renners is in Scotland Yard—eighteen or nineteen pieces were seized at Jacobson's on 28th August—I received 600l. for them, signing a letter for three months to the amount of 700l.—that sum was paid to Jacobson at the time when Mr. Robins and I took back the pieces—I did not pay anything to Jacobson out of my own pocket, the time for repayment had not expired; it has expired now, it expired in November—this is a business between myself and the prince—Magner has made nearly all these transactions him-self under a fictitious sale—I never in reality in writing sold any of the pieces to Magner—I gave a declaration that I could have it back again at the time fixed—I got 700l. for it—Mr. Robins has the writing—I have received 600l. and gave 700l.—Mr. Robins has obtained all these pieces back again—he paid the money I had obtained—I had 850l. from Jacobson altogether—the pictures I had from Phillips are at my hotel, the landlady will not let them go till my account is paid; my account is about 200l.—I have many pictures, my property—Phillips did not offer to give up the china when he found it belonged to Prince Repnine and not to me—he never offered me that, because he knew very well that the china was not my property at the first visit—a reward of 400l. was offered upon the steps which Magner and Jacobson took—they asked 500l., I refused that—I refused to give my signature to make the prince suffer such a sacrifice; at last I was obliged to sign it to give 400l. to Magner and Jacobson also—Mr. Cooke gave me a letter or declaration which had to sign for that purpose, to withdraw from the prosecution——Magner, Jacobson, and Mr. Cook proposed that—Mr. Cook was my solicitor in this case—the 400l. was to be given to get back the box—I don't know what was to be done with the 400l., it was probably to be divided between Jacobson, Magner, &c.—I don't know whether by &c. I mean Mr. Cook—I had nothing to do with the 400l., I had nothing to do but to sign this declaration to desist from the prosecution—I said that all the expenses that I had in this proceeding and the other expenses should be paid, and I would not deliver up the pictures before—I did not stop the prosecution—I signed this decalration, but instead of giving it to Mr. Cook I gave it to Mr. Robins—I do not know the English laws—it was 12 o'clock at the police-court when Mr. Cook came to me with Magner and Jacobson, and said "You must sign a declaration to desist from the prosecution"—I replied "I don't take any steps without Mr. Robins, it is too short a time"—Mr. Cook, Jacobson, and Magner told me I must cease from the prosecution; Jacobson at the last moment came to intimidate me—I was obliged to sign the paper, because the arrangement was made already—after having signed it I immediately returned to Bow Street police-court and told it to Mr. Reimers—the box was there and he seized it—the 400l. was not paid, it was only promised—the three persons who intervened were to have had it; it was not to be for my expenses—I have never asked for the 400l.—Jacobson asked for 500l.—I told Mr. Robins not to pay anything at all of that sum, at the utmost 100l.—I was only made acquainted with the arrangement that 400l. should be paid at the time I was asked to sign the paper—I don't know what was to be done with the 400l., for me not a penny, because in the beginning I refused a payment for the box—the 400l. was to be paid at Mr. Cook's

office and I was to go there to check the pieces to see that they were right—Mr. Robins is solicitor for Prince Repnine—he was authorised to make the sacrifice of 400l. to get the box back—I did not know anything of this arrangement, it was made by Magner, Cook, and Jacobson—I suppose Mr. Cook knows all about it—I don't know whether Phillips has returned all the china—Mr. Cook is still my solicitor in another case—he gave me the paper to sign, and he knows all about it.

Cross-examined by MR. M. WILLIAMS. At the different meetings at the Albany, the door was for the most part opened by Cohen—the interviews then took place between Phillips and I alone—I said before the Magistrate that I always looked upon Cohen as the servant, and that when he brought the pictures to Norfolk Street I gave him Is.—I have given him a 1s. two or three times, believing he was acting as the servant.

Re-examined. I was unfortunate with my boarding school at Trieste in 1859—my establishment was destroyed by the Italian hostilities because my Italian pupils for the most part did not return—I was then employed as professor of German literature at the Commercial Academy at Vienna during six years, till 1867—after that I gave lessons in German literature and in the French and Italian languages, and in 1873 I was employed as surveyor at the exhibition in the department I have mentioned—I was a bankrupt at Vienna in 1864 in consequence of my failure in 1859—I was then professor at the Academy—I had to arrange with my creditors, and gave up 27,000 florins—I was introduced to Prince Repnine by my position at the exhibition—this is my letter from Prince Repnine, which I showed to Phillips. (This was dated 10th September, 1873, and purported to be an authority from Prince Repnine to the witness to sell the china service on his behalf.) I showed that to Phillips on the second or third call—this document of the 22nd September is Phillips' writing. (This described the witness as the accredited agent of Prince Repnine, the owner of the china.) The Prince was to find money for the expenses of myself and family while I was in England—he was also to pay any expenses incurred in exhibiting and disposing of the china—I had an apartment in Jermyn Street for that purpose—I appropriated the money that I raised in the way I have described for my personal expenses, and for that of my family, and also for the china service, journeys to Paris, and so on, and insurance—ten pieces wore at one time pledged—the greatest number pawned was in November, when we redeemed them, then there were twenty-one—that included Jacobson's—three are still in pledge now at Mr. Bierstoff's—when I saw Mr. Robins, I communicated with him, on behalf of the Prince, where they were, and they were redeemed immediately afterwards—there are at present 100 pieces existing; one has been stolen, one is at Paris, and three are at Bierstoff's, that makes 105—I was present when Phillips was taken into custody—not when he was taken by the policemen, but when he was taken before the Magistrate—it was after he was taken before the Magistrate that the offer of 400l. was talked about, because that was on 1st December or 30th November, and he was taken into custody on 15th November—an offer was made to return the china before he was taken into custody—Mr. Jacobson told me that he knew where Phillips was, and he would get it returned if I gave 50l., and I cousented with pleasure; that was before he was arrested, before 1st December—Mr. Robins was to pay the 400l. in the name of the prince—I know now what was to be done with the money; but before I signed that paper I did not know—the arrangement was mentioned to the Magistrate, and he

refused to sanction it—the pictures that Cohen brought to me are with others at the hotel in Norfolk Street; the landlady holds them all.

By MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. Until August, 1874, the prince had made me an allowance; but after, when the things were put into the bank, that ceased; but as I have still occupied myself with the service, having other business in hand as well, I remained in London.

MARTIN COLNAGHI . I am an expert in works of art by the old masters—I am very well acquainted with the value of paintings—more especially of the old masters—I saw eleven pictures this morning at the Belle-vue Hotel—one was a copy of very little value—it purported to be by Perugini—its value was 30l. or 50l. at the outside—it is impossible to say how much exactly—the Amphion of Salvator Rosa is old, but of very little value; from 15l. to 20l.—it is not by Salvator Rosa—the Triumph of Galatea is a copy, probably at the time a very respectable copy, but of very little value—it is certainly not worth 50l.—the Procession of Cupids I should think is a copy of some 200 years old; very much restored, of very trifling value; it is not worth more than 15l. or 20l.—when pictures are of importance and valuable pictures, you can at once say what they are worth, but these things which are by inferior masters, it is most difficult to estimate—the picture of a sleeping figure is of very little value—I should think it would not fetch 10l. at Christie's—then there is Queen Elizabeth by Smirke—it is an original in the time of Smirke, but of very little value—it' is not worth 50l.—taking all six together about 190l. would be the outside sum for them.

Cross-examined by MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. I am generally consulted upon these matters—other people are kind enough to say I am a first-rate judge—I do not doubt that you would not know a Poussin—a man who is not a first rate connoisseur is very easily deceived—there are men who make collections who are connoisseurs, but very few—some original pictures have fallen very much in value—if this picture was a real Poussin I dare say it would be worth 3,000 guineas—I do not think it possible that there are a dozen people who collect pictures who would mistake this for an original Poussin—I think people could make a mistake about Salvator Rosa—he is not at all known, only by his landscapes—his works are of common commercial value—I should be very sorry to give 30l. for the Galatea picture—it is a nice picture for a man to hang up who has no knowledge or judgment—the value of pictures is not uncertain—there is a market price for all things—there is a market value that connoisseurs know very well, and there is another value that purchasers have to pay—no doubt a man buys and makes money out of his purchase—I simply come here to give my opinion professionally—I have a small collection of china—I do not sell china—I do not pretend to be a connoisseur, and I do not know about other people, but I think I should not be very well deceived in Sevres china or old china.

CHRISTIAN MACLE . In September last I was a waiter at the Belle-vue Hotel, Norfolk Street—Mr. Vehovar was stopping there—I remember one evening a van coming with some pictures in it, and I called Mr. Vehovar from the dining room—I saw Cohen and heard what passed between him and Mr. Vehovar—Mr. Vehovar asked Cohen what did he want with the pictures here already—Cohen said because when he went away from his master's house he told him a man came who was going to buy the pictures—he said "The prince came and master sent me away with the pictures directly, and he told me he would be up with the gentleman to-morrow to buy the pictures."

Cross-examined by MR. M. WILLIAMS. I was standing in the hall—this conversation took place just outside the room where the pictures were taken in—all the conversation I heard was what took place upon the stairs—in substance what was said by Cohen was that he went away from his master's house, and that the man came who was going to buy the pictures, and that, according to his master's orders, he brought the pictures on.

CHARLES HENRY MOULSON . I am managing clerk to Mr. Hensley, who is secretary to the Albany—I know Phillips—he occupied apartments in the Albany No. I 3—there was no agreement existing between him and the trustees—the previous tenant was Prince Rodecanacci, and previous to him was Mr. Corbett—the Albany is rested in trustees—there was a lease between Mr. Corbett and the trustees—I have it—Phillips came in some time in 1874, and occupied them until the latter end of 1875—after Phillips was tenant, I was present when something was done about the rent—I had nothing whatever to do with the termination of the tenancy, or his leaving.

ERNEST ROBINSON . I am a clerk in the Court of Bankruptcy—the date of Phillips' petition for liquidation is 1st June, 1874—debts owing, 6,266l. 16s.; assets, consisting of furniture, stock-in-trade, and book debts, 350l.—a resolution was adopted by the creditors for an instalment over so many months, and the last would be in 1876—I also produce proceedings in the case of Phillips Brothers, which terminated in a bankruptcy—Mr. Waddell was trustee, and Messrs. Lumley were solicitors—the petition was the defendant Phillips' own.

Cross-examined by MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. It does not appear over what length of time he was trading—it was as a commission agent and trimming manufacturer in Ely Place.

Tuesday, February 29.

ST. JOHN WONTNER . I am the solicitor acting in this prosecution—I know Mr. Edward Lumley, a witness in this case—I am aware that he is suffering from a serious disease, which renders it improper that he should be a witness '—he was examined and cross-examined before the Magistrate. (The deposition of Mr. Edward Lumley was read as follows:" I am a partner in the firm of E. & H. Lumley, of St. James Street, brother to Lumley & Lumley, solicitors. In consequence of instructions I received, I went over the chambers 13, Albany, in February or March, 1874. I took a cursory glance and formed on opinion of the value. We advertised the chambers to let, and the contents for sale. I had known Phillips for two or three years. I knew him in business in Ely Place. I knew-nothing of his liquidation at that time. He was a gentleman wanting chambers. About June or July I sold him the contents of the chambers. I cannot say what I asked for the furniture. An inventory was made in two parts; the books by Sotheby & Co., and the rest of the effects were made an inventory of by one of my clerks, named Sims, who has left us now. We could get no more than 300l. from the friends of Prince Rodecanacci, and as Phillips had offered 350l., I consulted with Mr. Waddell, and I sold to Phillips the whole contents of the chambers. I saw some pictures in the rooms. I got the money from Phillips. I have seen Cohen at Phillips' chambers. He has opened the door to me. I have seen Cohen also at Ely Place. I can't say in what capacity. 25, Ely Place, was like an office, two rooms, the back like a warehouse, the front room as an office and sitting room. I do not know how Cohen was employed there

I have heard nothing to the contrary of Phillips being an honest man. When I saw Cohen at the Albany, I should say he was acting in a menial capacity.") A further examination." I produce an inventory of the contents of the rooms I 3 which I sold to Phillips. The inventory is in the hand-writing of a clerk named Sims, who has since left me. This is an inventory of the rooms I 3. There are paintings described in the inventory, the same as now read to me from the list in Court; six in number. They were included in the sale I made. There is a value carried out to each—the Amphion, 10l.; Bacchante, 5l.; The Triumph of Galatea, 8l.; the Procession of Cupids, 12l.; Death of Queen Elizabeth, 15l. or 5l.

Cross-examined. It was under a bankruptcy that I sold these goods, and they were sold irrespective of the rooms, but in the rooms, not by auction. They were sold to the defendant in a lump sum."

MARK PHILLIPS . I live at Weymouth, and am a general outfitter—the defendant Phillips is ray son—I have been in business there nearly forty yean—my son was in business in Ely Place as a trimming manufacturer—he was started in 1864—he failed, and I was a creditor of his—Cohen is a cousin on my wife's side—I never lived at Ryde, and never kept a yacht—I never intended to go to the Mediterranean in my own yacht.

Cross-examined by MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. I started my son in business when he was twenty-two years of age, he is now over thirty—previous to starting in business he lived at home with me—I gave him a certain amount of capital to start with—he was always well conducted—previous to living with me at home he was in a situation at Birmingham—his character was always good.

Cross-examined by MR. M. WILLIAMS. Cohen's parents were very poor—my son took him from school as an errand boy at about 2s. 6d. a week, and he lived with him as a kind of servant ever since.

ROBERT NICHOLLS . I am a porter at Ely Place—I recollect when Phillips was in business there—I know Cohen—he was quite a lad when he came there—he remained with Phillips at Ely Place during the whole time he was there.

Cross-examined by MR. M. WILLIAMS. I said before the Magistrate that Cohen was like an errand boy to Phillips—I have seen him drawing a truck with boxes in it.

THOMAS ROOTS (Detective Sergeant). On 15th Navember I received warrants for the prisoners' apprehension—Phillips was arrested and brought to London—I did not arrest him—he was arrested by Inspector Gibbs, of the Brighton Police—he was handed over to me at Bow Street—I then read the warrant—he said nothing—Cohen said it was false—Cohen was handed to me by Detective Constable Leader of the C division—I searched Cohen and found on him some papers, a copy of a telegram to Phillips about bankruptcy, also a memorandum from G. H. Chalker, a betting book, the key of the chambers, two invoices, and some letters addressed to himself—I searched Phillips' lodging at Brighton and found these papers—I afterwards went to the Albany and searched Phillips' rooms—I there found some books of accounts relating to Ely Place—I found an I O U for 120l. signed by Cohen, also an I O U for 120l. signed by Sidney Jacobson & Cohen, three betting books, some invoices showing dealings in trimmings, Phillips' letter book, a day book showing dealings in trimmings and fringe, a book marked" Receivable and payable cash-book" from January, 1872, to 1874, a memorandum book with a number of leaves torn out and no entries, one banker's

pass-book, no banker's name, no entry, a number of leaves torn out, an iron box containing a number of papers, among them those three letters, and a packet of letters marked "H. Cohen," old letters.

Cross-examined by MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. I assisted Sergeant Reimers in the case—he had to go on the Continent and he handed the warrants to me to execute—I did execute them at Bow Street—the prisoners were brought to Bow Street and I charged them there on the warrant—I had nothing to do with taking them—I saw Magner, he had been to Brighton, I heard that he came back with Phillips—it was he, with Professor Vehovar, who gave Phillips into custody—I believe Jacobson was also at Brighton—I never heard of any reward being offered for the return of the china, this is the first I have heard of it—I have heard them speak of it at Bow Street, but I heard of no reward being offered—Mr. George Lewis originally appeared for Phillips at Bow Street, Mr. Cook appeared for the prosecution—I heard that a compromise was to be effected, that a sum of money had been offered for the return of the china, we heard that Mr. Robins was going to give 400l. for it; it was not offered as a reward for the apprehension of anybody, merely for the returning of the china—I heard from Mr. Robins that the china was to be restored to him for 400l.—I and Reimers did not agree that that should be done, we did not know where the china was—we heard that it was to be returned on 1st December—it was not returned—Mr. Cook has got it for the purpose of being returned.

Cross-examined by MR. M. WILLIAMS. Cohen was taken on the 16th November the morning after Phillips—Magner was present when Cohen was given into custody; he gave him into custody at the Albany Chambers—all he said was that it was false—I don't recollect that he said he was the servant of Phillips—he gave his address I 3; Albany to the inspector who took the charge—he might have said he was a servant.

GEORGE EDWARD FORREST . I am a gas engineer of New Street Square I have had the letting of 25, Ely Place for some years—Phillips and his brother took three rooms there at 57l. a year which they occupied for five years—Phillips left in August or September, 1874, I did not know that he was going to leave—he owed a quarter's rent—I believe the top room was used as a sleeping room, the front room as a sitting room and the third room as a warehouse—I have seen Cohen there several times during the tenancy.

Cross-examined by MR. M. WILLIAMS. I stated before the Magistrate that I had seen Cohen several times there as a servant or messenger—I always took him to be so.

Cross-examined by MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. I am not aware that all the fittings were left behind—I believe there was a gas pendant left in the front room.

GEORGE MAYOR COOK . I am a solicitor of 9, Gray's Inn Square—Mr. Vehovar was introduced to me as a client in October or November—about. a fortnight afterwards counsel by my instructions obtained at Bow Street police-court, a warrant for the apprehension of the two prisoners on a charge of conspiracy—I think the information was sworn on 5th November—on 1st December there had been an examination before Mr. Vaughan—I had been before the Magistrate two or three times before 1st December I think, but I am not quite sure of the number of times—on 1st December Phillips' brother came to my office and brought a box with forty-four pieces of china in it, and that same day by the direction of Mr. Vaughan I delivered the box and

its contents to Sergeant Reimers—from that time I ceased to take any part in the conducting of the prosecution—Mr. Wontner then conducted it, and I became a witness.

Cross-examined by MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. Mr. Jacobson introduced me to the prosecutor—I had known Mr. Jacobson about twelve months—I was concerned in granting a lease for him—he is a dealer in antiquities, works of art and vertu, and has a very large shop in Oxford Street—ho was here yesterday—I have not seen him here this morning—I did not know Magner till this, Jacobson introduced me to him before he introduced me to the prosecutor—the introduction was for me to attend at Judges Chambers to watch the case—things had been seized belonging to Vehovar, the china and a lot of things, in an action, upon a regular judgment obtained by a firm that call themselves Fisher & Co., Mr. Levy there—an action is now pending in which I am for the prosecutor, and he is the defendant—it is an action for alleged work and labour, and also for a picture—there are two actions—the criminal charge began about a fortnight after I had first met Professor Vehovar—it was not my suggestion—I was consulted about it, it had already been suggested by Mr. Goatley another solicitor; it came out of Mr. Goatley's hands into mine—I expressed my inability to give an opinion as I was not versed in criminal law, having been the pupil of a conveying barrister—I said I was not competent to give an opinion about it, that counsel must be consulted about it—after counsel had advised what should be done, I considered myself competent to do what was necessary—I think that would be about the 2nd November; I then went with Jacobson and Magner to counsel's chambers—a statement was brought to me made by Vehovar detailing the whole of the particulars; I think I have that statement—I first took steps on the Friday—the warrant was obtained on the Saturday, and I handed it over to Sergeant Reimers—one morning when I arrived at my chambers Professor Vehovar was there, and said that Phillips had been arrested, and was to be brought to Bow Street at 10 or 12 o'clock—I have heard that Magner and Jacobson went down to Brighton—the warrants had not been refused before I obtained them—I got them from Mr. Flowers at his house at Hornsey—I went there with Sergeant Reimers, Jacobson, and Magner—Mr. Magner was secretary to a prince, a member of our royal family—Vehovar being a foreigner, Magner knowing the whole of the details acted as interpreter to him—I took Jacobson because he had sworn an information as to the value of the pictures—I should think it would be about twelve days after I got the warrant that I heard there was an offer of 400l. to get back the china—during that time I, as solicitor for the prosecution, had been conducting the case against Phillips—I heard about the 400l. by a letter that was brought to me by Magner—previously to that I beard that Phillips had said he would smash the china into athousand pieces sooner than Vehovar should have it—Jacobson told me that—a letter was brought to me by Magner on 30th November, that if the china was delivered 400l. would be paid, they were most anxious to recover the china—I had no control over the china—it was about 12.30 when Magner brought the letter, and he said that Phillips' brother would come and leave the china at my office, and the pictures were to be exchanged—the things were to be transferred as it were; that I heard from Magner—Phillips and Magner seem to have been friendly—I don't think he was the agent—the china was delivered, on my arrival at my office I found Phillips' brother

there with it—the 400l. was to come from Messrs. Robins, the prince's solicitors, they were most anxious to get back the china—they then asked me if I would withdraw from the prosecution, I said "I cannot do anything without counsel"—Phillips' brother came accompanied by Mr. Froggatt who was then the solicitor for Phillips—my mind was not troubled, but I should never dream of doing anything without the consent of counsel; there was not any compromise—the body of this document (produced) is my writing, the signature is Vehovar's—it was written by me for Yehovar to sign, as an authority for me to put before counsel or before the Magistrate, to advise us how to act (Read:" 1st December, 1875. To Mr. G. M. Cook, 9, Gray's Inn Square. You will please withdraw from the prosecution in this case, I do not wish to proceed with the matter, M. Yehovar.") No arrangement had been made as to what was to be done with the 400l.—it had not been spoken of at all—Jacobson and Magner had exerted themselves, and they said that if money was paid they would be able to get the china back; it was not stated to whom the money was to be paid; I understood it to be to Jacobson and Magner—the 400l. was to be paid to them—nothing was said about my costs, they were not to be paid out of the 400l.; I was not to have any portion of the 400l., nothing was said about it—I said that 1 should leave my costs to the professor—he was not to have any of the 400l.—the whole was to go to Jacobson and Magner—I am not aware of any arrangement that the professor was to have any portion of the 400l.—the money was not actually paid, I refused to pay it—it was not paid to me, I never had it—Magner asked—me to give him a cheque, Jacobson asked me to give him a cheque—Phillips was in custody at that time, and the china was then in the hands of the police, it was delivered up to Sergeant-Reimers.

Re-examined. This (produced) is the letter that Magner brought to me—the suggestion that the china should be restored to Mr. Vehovar came from Mr. George Lewis, on the very first occasion; he was then acting as solicitor for Phillips after he was in custody—no suggestion that I know of was made of restoring the china till after Phillips was in custody; Mr. George Lewis suggested to counsel on the first occasion that the china should be given up; that was the first suggestion I heard of giving up the china—I heard of the threat to destroy the china directly after Phillips' arrest.

THOMAS FRANCIS ROBINS . I am a member of the firm of Venning, Robins & Co.—we are very often employed by the Russiam embassy—I have been acting for Prince Repnine—a certain number of pieces of china are in the hands of the police awaiting the result of this trial, and a certain number at the London Joint Stock Bank, one piece in London, two in Paris, and fourteen or fifteen in my custody—this letter, which Mr. Cook says was brought to him by Magner, is my writing. (Read:" 30th Nov., 1875. To Mr. Cook. Dear Sir,—If the forty-four pieces taken by Phillips are delivered to me here before 4 o'clock to-day I will pay 400l., and will authorise you to withdraw from the prosecution. T. F. Robins.") It was not my intention at any time to withdraw from the prosecution without the consent of the Magistrate—about the 26th or 27th of November Mr. Cook, Magner, and the professor called at my office; they told me what had taken place—I think the day before or the day before that, before the Magistrate while they were there, Magner said the china could be got back if 500l. was paid for it, and that Phillips had said that if he was convicted it could not be obtained, but it should be broken in pieces rather than the prince should

have it—I said "It is my duty to telegraph to the prince and tell him what I have heard"—the professor objected to that; he objected to any money being paid—I appointed Magner to call on me, I think, the following day—Mr. Cook required this paper to be signed by Vehovar—it was signed, and I put it in my pocket, and said I would attend with him before the Magistrate after I had obtained possession of the china—I understood that Mr. Vaugban wanted to see it, and I handed it to Reimers—it was in my pocket but never used.

Cross-examined by MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. I never offered any reward, nor was any offered—Magner was the spokesman as to the 500l.

WILLIAM HENRY WRIGHT . I am a night porter at the Albany—I recollect Phillips occupying the rooms that used to be Prince Rodacanacci's; he remained there from twelve to fifteen months—I recollect his going away; I did not know that he was going, he went in the evening; it might be 10 or after 10 o'clock—he took with him a long tin bos, a square box, a wooden box with brass handles, a hat bos, and a rug—Cohen brought the boxes down; they were put on a cab—Phillips got inside and Cohen got on the box by the side of the cabman by Phillips' orders; Phillips told the cab-man to drive to London Bridge—I never saw him again till he was in custody—Cohen came back, and was there pretty constantly until he was taken into custody.

Cross-examined by MR. M. WILLIAMS. I said before the Magistrate I have seen Cohen acting as a servant and going out on messages; he acted as any other servant would do; be slept on the third floor and Phillips on the second."

Cross-examined by MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. I cannot give any date at all as to the time when Phillips went away in the cab—I don't know what—month it was in.

JAMES SCOTT . I am an auctioneer, of Warwick Street, Regent Street—on the 7th June, by Mr. Hemsley's instructions acting for the landlord, I distrained the rooms I 3, Albany—this is the notice I left—on the 12th June ray agent, Smith, received 82l. 10s. and gave up possession—I subsequently distrained on the 16th November, and a portion of the goods was sold to satisfy the rent.

MR. WILLIAMS submitted that there was not sufficient evidence to go to the Jury of conspiracy on the part of Cohen, whose position was evidently that of a servant to Phillips, and who only acted under his master's directions. MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE also urged that the counts for conspiracy could uot be supported; and as to the false pretences, the prosecutor had never stated specifically what induced him to part with the china, and therefore the counts charging specific false pretences were not made out. The Common Serjeant considered thai as to the conspiracy, certain acts having been proved as to Cohen, it was for the Jury to draw their own inferences from those facts; amd as to the false pretences, it would be for the Jury to say whether the pretences made were false in point of fact, and whether the goods were parted with on the faith of those pretences.

PHILLIPS— GUILTY Eighteen Months' Imprisonment. COHEN— NOT GUILTY .


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