Marquis de Lafayette came to the United States during the Revolutionary War to fight alongside George Washington. As a very young man, he was enamored with Washington and the cause that he fought for. During the course of the war, they developed an inseparable bond. To Washington, Lafayette was the son he never had and Lafayette greatly admired Washington. Lafayette became a General during the war and fought in several crucial battles, including the Battle of Brandywine and the critical Siege of Yorktown in which the US forces finally conquered their British adversaries. After the war, Lafayette returned to France, instilled with the concept of liberty he had fought for with Washington. In 1824, Lafayette was the last living General of the Revolutionary War and was invited by US politicians to visit the US on a special tour. There were many reasons for this but one strong reason was because he was the last living General of the Revolutionary War and it was hoped that his visit would reinstall patriotic fervor amongst young citizens of this fledgling country. Lafayette’s tour began on July 13, 1824 and continued to late 1825 when he returned to France. Wherever he went, he was received with extraordinary adulation and every village, city, or town he visited or passed through generated a celebration replete with marching troops, cannons, salutes, grand balls and more. This wonderful grouping of Marquis de Lafayette historic memorabilia consists of 2 Lafayette commemorative “Old Paris” porcelain vases with vignettes of Lafayette in uniform and as a civilian, a Leeds pearl-ware egg cup, a walking stick with crown stag top with an oval silver medallion reading “General Lafayette”. There are two 21mm gilded buttons with busts that appear to be George Washington with presentation cast on reverses which read “Presented to General Lafayette by L.H. & Scovill button manufacturers Waterbury Con.” These buttons are a 19th century re-strikes of the original solid gold buttons given to Lafayette. There is a mother-of-pearl ball tablet presented by Lafayette with a contemporary tag which states “Presented by M. de LaFayette to the daughter of his friend and compatriot of the revolution of 1775/77 Colonel Samuel Hammond who received and welcomed him to Augusta GA 1825.” There is also an embroidered cotton mesh table cover with later typed tag which reads “This cloth covered the refreshment table at a ball in Augusta, GE. in 1825 given by Col. Samuel Hammond to entertain Gen. Lafayette during his visit to America.” The Paris porcelain vases are in fair condition, with handle breaks and repairs, chips, losses, and wear. The egg cup has edge chipping. The table cover is in poor condition and is extremely delicate with numerous tears and separations, soiling, and staining. The ball tablet is in very good condition. PROVENANCE: This material was for many years on display at the Atlanta Museum on Peachtree Street until purchased by George Greene for the Greene Museum of Southern History.
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