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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 49, December 2, 2007, Article 11

LAFAYETTE'S GOLD CINCINNATI SOCIETY MEDAL TO BE SOLD

[Arthur Shippee forwarded this New York Times article of
the upcoming sale of Lafayette's gold Society of the
Cincinnati medal. -Editor]

"Arnaud Meunier du Houssoy arrived in New York from Paris
on Saturday to be celebrated at events in New York, Philadelphia,
Boston and the nation’s capital to mark a season of Lafayette
commemorations.

"It is the 250th anniversary year of the birth of the
Revolutionary War general, and a major new exhibition —
“French Founding Father: Lafayette’s Return to Washington’s
America” — recently opened at the New-York Historical Society.
Next month there will be a multimillion-dollar auction of a
historic gold medal of the Society of the Cincinnati: an
enameled patriotic badge created for George Washington that
was presented to Lafayette in 1824 after Washington’s death.

"“The medal has been kept in our family for more than 180
years,” the 48-year-old M. du Houssoy said, “but it was
originally George Washington’s, and it belongs to America.”
Six days before the Dec. 11 auction, it will be on display
at Sotheby’s; on view in America for the first time since
the World’s Columbian Exhibition of 1893 in Chicago.

"The medal was commissioned by George Washington after the
Revolutionary War, and created to his specifications in Paris
by Pierre Charles L’Enfant, the Continental Army commander
who later designed the street plan for Washington, D.C.

"The insignia (variously termed a medal, badge or order),
measures about 1 ½ inches high and is finely chased
(ornamentally engraved) in gold in the form of an eagle
surrounded by a laurel wreath; it is believed to be adorned
with its original silk ribbon of sky blue and white.

"It is decorated with a medallion honoring Lucius Quinctius
Cincinnatus, a Roman nobleman in the fifth century B.C. who
was called away from tilling his fields to save the republic
from invaders — then returned to his farm instead of seizing
power. Eighteenth-century Americans often likened Washington
to Cincinnatus.

"The Cincinnati order was formed by Washington and a few
officers, including Lafayette, to ensure that the ideals of
the Revolution would not die after one generation."

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

 LAFAYETTE'S GOLD CINCINNATI SOCIETY MEDAL TO BE SOLD
 esylum_v10n36a15.html

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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