A merchant in the leather business, Ferdinand Blumenthal came to the U.S. from his native Frankfurt-am-Main around 1875. Shortly after his arrival he established his firm as a branch house of the parent firm; the latter dated back to 1715. Soon thereafter, he opened factories in Wilmington, Delaware, which were later incorporated into F. Blumenthal & Co. After more-or-less retiring, Blumenthal settled into his home in Paris, concentrating on his collections of antiques, objets-d'art, and rugs. He also collected paintings of the French Barbizon school, among which were a number of Corots. For his interest in French artists and his contributions to art, Blumenthal was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. He died 20 October 1914 on board the steamship Patria, on his way from Naples to New York, and was survived by his wife, Cécelia Ulman, and two sons.
"F. Blumenthal Dies at Sea." New York Times. Thursday, 22 Oct. 1914.