Charlotte-Genevieve-Louise-Auguste-Andree-Timothee D'Eon de Beaumont...Dedie aux Dragons de France. [&] A la Memoire des heroines Francoises Jeanne d'Arc, Jeanne hachette, &c, &c, &c. par JB Bradel.
[Paris: Desprez, c.1780.]
Pair of rare engravings, large margins to female portrait, printed borders c.310 x 210mm. 12¼ x 8¼". The male portrait lacking margins (and publisher's imprint), and with closed chip to title area lower right. The female with light marginal staining and small closed tears to right margin; unidentified collector's stamp verso.
Twin portraits of Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d'Éon de Beaumont (1728 - 1810), usually known as the Chevalier d'Eon, diplomatist and transvestite. In the first he is in military uniform as a (male) officer of dragoons wearing a plumed helmet; in the second he is a woman, wearing a lace-trimmed cape over his gown, a ribbon around his neck and a lace cap, with pearl earrings and military order attached to a rosette on his breast. Both portraits in decorative surrounds with identically-lettered plaques below. It is scarce to find both portraits offered together, as here. The BNF appears to have only the female portrait. The Chevalier d'Eon was a French diplomat, soldier and Freemason who lived the first half of his life as a man and the second half as a woman. Living in England in 1785, he lost his pension after the French Revolution and had to sell his library. In 1792 he sent a letter to the French National Assembly, offering to lead a division of women soldiers against Austria, but the offer was rebuffed. He participated in fencing tournaments until he was seriously wounded, in 1796. After a trial in 1777 about his actual sex he wore female attire until his death. Surgical examination proved him biologically male. By Jean Baptiste Bradel (c.1763 - 1783; fl.).
For an impression of the female portrait see BNF FRBNF41510114 & item Ref: 18199.
[Ref: 26815] £950.00