SOLD! for $7,040.00.
(Note: Prices realized include a buyer's premium.)
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- Low Estimate: $500.00
- High Estimate: $600.00
- Realized: $7,040.00
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Engraved invitation to the Ball held in Nashville, Tennessee in 1825 to welcome Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de La Fayette, General Gilbert du Motier (1757-1834) on his tour of the United States. The invitation, designed by artist Ralph Eleaser Whiteside Earl (Tennessee/Connecticut/England, 1788-1838), is addressed to Andrew Jackson Donelson (1799-1871), nephew and private secretary to President Andrew Jackson. Dated April 7, 1825, the invitation includes the names of several prominent "managers" of the event, enclosed within a decorative arch, flanked by busts of then-General Jackson and La Fayette on columns emblazoned with names of Revolutionary War battles, and surmounted by a larger bust of George Washington surrounded by clouds and patriotic motifs with the words "WELCOME LA FAYETTE", top. Artist and engraver name C.C. Torrey, lower left and right below image. Label for The Veerhof Galleries, Washington, D.C., en verso of frame. Housed under double-sided glass in a giltwood frame. Sight: 7 3/8" H x 4 7/8" W. Framed: 8 1/2" H x 6" W. Note: In 1777, the then 19-year old Marquis de La Fayette left his home in France to join America's fight for independence. His assistance proved greatly consequential, and in 1824, President James Monroe asked Lafayette to revisit the United States as the "Nation's Guest". His celebratory tour was remembered as "a triumphal march to which there had never been a parallel in the history of the nation" (Wilkins Tannehill, The Port Folio, Nashville, 1848, p. 150). It included visits to more than 40 cities in 15 states, where he was greeted as a hero with parades and parties. "The Lafayette Ball", held May 5, was the social event of the year in Nashville. It was held at the Masonic Hall with three hundred guests in attendance and, according to period accounts, included a lavish dinner and dancing. After being toasted by the ladies, Lafayette is said to have toasted them in return saying "Tennessee Beauty – equal to Tennessee Valor." (Source: Ann Harwell Wells, Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 1, 1975). The designer of this rare invitation, artist Ralph Earl, was Andrew Jackson's confidante, relative by marriage, and "court painter" during his eight years in the White House (1829-1837). In this capacity Earl produced numerous likenesses of the seventh president and his social circle. Note: This particular invitation is discussed in "Selling Andrew Jackson: Ralph E. W. Earl and the Politics of Portraiture" by Rachel Stephens, published by the University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, 2018, p. 66.
PROVENANCE: By descent from the estate of Stanley Horn, Nashville, Tennessee.
CONDITION: Overall toning, minute foxing spots, stains due to handling wear, creases and fold lines with very minute tears. Not examined outside of frame.