Vigil & Audax [on pennant above medallion portrait].Minerve Gauloise, Nee A Tonnerre Le 5. 8bre. 1728. Proprio Marte Tuta. Dic mihi Virgo ferox, Cum sit tibi Cassis et hasta Quare non habeas Agida? Caesar habet. Pax est faeminei generis, dat femina pacem Quae Bellona fuit, nune Dea pacis erit. This Engraving was published on the 24th of June, 1791, the day on which the Managers of Ranelagh gave a publick Entertainment in favor of the Chevaliere d'Eon, deprived of a considerable part of her fortune by the odious detention of a deposite. The French Artist, who engraved this plate, designed it for a monument of English generosity, & French gratitude.
London, Published according to act of Parliament, June 24th. 1791. by J. Conde, & Sold by Messrs. Boydell No.90, Cheapside, and at the Shakespeare Gallery, Pall Mall.
Stipple engraving. 185 x 230mm.
Charles d'Eon de Beaumont [1728 - 1810]. Diplomat, writer, spy, Freemason, a member of the elite Dragoons and one of the best swordsmen France, whose true gender was a source of much speculation and provoked public bets in the late 18th century. Living in exile in London and having lost his pension after the French Revolution, he earned a living as a kind of theatrical performer, at places like Ranelagh Gardens in Chelsea, giving demonstrations of swordsmanship while wearing feminine clothing. Only on his death was it finally proven that, despite possessing many feminine bodily features, he was undoubtedly a man. This engraving was obviously sold to patrons of Ranelagh to raise money for him.
[Ref: 1350] £95.00