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Lot 57: Continental School, 19th c.

Louisiana Purchase Auction - Day 1 of 3

by Neal Auction Company

December 2, 2016

New Orleans, LA, USA

Live Auction
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  • Continental School, 19th c.
  • Continental School, 19th c.
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Description: Continental School, 19th c., probably after an 18th c. miniature, "Soldier of the Marigny de Mandeville Family, Either Francois-Philippe (1680-1728) or His Son, Antoine Philippe (1722-1779)", oil on canvas, unsigned, "Louisiana State Museum" label en verso, 36 in. x 29 in., antique frame. Provenance: Gaspar Cusachs, entrepreneur, historian and collector, (1855-1929); The Gaspar Cusachs Collection, loaned to the Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans, LA (c. 1909-2016). Ill.: Harter, John Burton and Mary Louise Tucker. The Louisiana Portrait Gallery, Volume 1 to 1870. New Orleans: Louisiana State Museum, 1979, pp. 40-41. Note: This handsome image is a copy on canvas of an untraced engraving, mezzotint, or portrait miniature, possibly executed before 1728, or in 1763, when its possible sitters were probably in France. The first specific record of this present painting is an early albumin carte-de-visite photograph, made in August 1883 by the New Orleans author/journalist Edward Clifton Wharton (1827-1891), for this portrait’s owner, Mme. Gustave de Marigny [née Bienvenue], the daughter-in-law of Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville. As noted on the carte-de-visite, this sitter was “either the father or the grandfather of Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville [1785-1868]”. Although in all likelihood, Mme. Gustave de Marigny meant the grandfather or great-grandfather of Bernard Xavier Philippe de Mandeville. Bernard’s “father” would have been Pierre-Philippe Enguerrand de Marigny de Mandeville (1751-1800), while his “grandfather” would have been Antoine-Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville (1722-1779), who was born in Mobile while his own father, Francois-Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville (1680-1728) was in colonial service. Antoine-Philippe was married in New Orleans in 1748, and is successively described as a “Lieutenant of Colonial Troops” in the New Orleans 1762 power of attorney to his wife, preceding his voyage to France. He was also described as “Capitaine de l’infanterie au service de France” on his tombstone, where both he and his father are named as “chevalier[s] de l’ordre royale et militaire de Saint-Louis,” the decoration displayed on this breastplate. Since the highly accurate depiction of this armor is datable to the early 18th c. or just possibly, in retrospect, to 1763, it is likely that the compilers of the 1979 Cabildo catalogue [cited above] were at least partly correct—that this portrait represents either Antoine-Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, or his father, Francois-Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville. Ref.: The Historic New Orleans Collection (acc. no. 58-101-L.3, MSS 216.37, Folder 37).

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