This Engraving was published on the 24th of June 1791, the day on which the Managers of Ranelagh gave a publick Entertainment in favour 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.
Stipple, very scarce. Sheet 230 x 185mm (9 x 7½"). Trimmed within plate.
A print published for a benefit for the impoverished Chevalier d'Eon (Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d'Éon de Beaumont, 1728-1810), a French soldier, diplomat and spy. After a long career in intrigue, during which time he disguised himself by cross-dressing, he started to claim he was a woman and spent the last 33 years of his life dressed that way. He was in exile in London when the French Revolution occurred, and the pension he had blackmailed out of the French govenment was stopped, leaving him penniless. After selling all his possessions he used his cross-dressing celebrity for this benefit at Ranelagh Gardens in Chelsea. It failed to prevent him from debtor's prison in 1804. When he died in 1810 aged 81, his sex, once the subject of a betting pool on the London Stock Exchange, was proved to be male.
[Ref: 34206] £220.00