Manuscript Letter. Auguste Edouart.
Manuscript Letter .

Manuscript Letter .

Saratoga, [New York]: 6 July, 1844. 8vo, 1 pp.

An interesting letter revealing some of the difficulties involved in the life of an itinerant artist in the first half of the nineteenth century, addressed to Abraham Bell & Son, a Quaker shipping firm located in New York City.

Edouart, writing from Saratoga, is inquiring about his supply cases which were apparently rather delayed in arriving and without which he complains he can do nothing:

[A]nd certainly it is not by neglect of me to have recommanded that they would be forwarded immediately. If you were to know how much I am loosing by the want of those cases, I am sure Gentlemen that you would pity me. Several families have departed and others will follow, which were to have some likeness of their familly and for want of those cases I am obliged to dissapoint them.

Edouart apparently had a personal acquaintance with the Bells, however, because in spite of his obvious frustration, he signs off: “In haste I remain Gentlemen your affec[tionate] servant,” and adds: “Present my best respect to your dear family.”

Born in France, Augustin-Amant-Constant-Fidèle Edouart made his first foray into art (hair art, specifically) in London, but as a silhouette artist lived and worked in England, Scotland, and America, where he traveled extensively and made portraits of such important figures as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Daniel Webster, and Henry Clay. “Returning to France [from the United States] in 1849, he lost most of his duplicates, said to have numbered over 50,000, in a shipwreck off the island of Guernsey, and the loss so affected him that he never resumed his profession” (Groce & Wallace. Dictionary of Artists in America, pp. 206–207).

CONDITION: Very good, minor stains.

Item #4122

Price: $950.00

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