[Book Shaped Commemorative Gift To Jenny Lind “From America”.]. Jenny Lind, George Washington.
[Book Shaped Commemorative Gift To Jenny Lind “From America”.]
[Book Shaped Commemorative Gift To Jenny Lind “From America”.]
[Book Shaped Commemorative Gift To Jenny Lind “From America”.]
To Jenny Lind “From America”

[Book Shaped Commemorative Gift To Jenny Lind “From America”.]

[The United States]: [Between 1850–1852]. In full black morocco binding with carved silver clasps and metal hinges on the spine. Panels and spine are gilt tooled. The front panel ruled and decorated with floral pattern at the edges, with four eagles in the corners and the figure of Lady Columbia in the center, above the inscription “From America”. The rear panel bears identical decoration at the edges, and an inlaid silver casket in the center with decorated edges, the shutter is inscribed “Caskete Containing the Presentation Letters”. The wooden “book block” is gilt, inner edges with a decorative golden pattern. Both wings contain oil paintings inside, covered by glass. With the 1980 invoice from the antique dealer M. Ekstein Limited, London. 350 × 270 × 60 mm. Panels are rubbed, silver elements are oxidized. The moving parts of the clasps are missing. Spine damaged at head and foot. The letters are not presented. All inner elements and the paintings are in fine condition. Overall in fine condition.

Handcrafted and painted, book shaped commemorative gift of the Republic of America to Jenny Lind, the “Swedish Nightingale”, given to her during her concert tour of the United States.

The two inner wings of the elaborate, and richly decorated commemorative gift treasures five oil paintings and a compartment with grass leaves. The left side is entirely occupied by a marine painting of a steamer which bears the flags of Sweden the United States. On the top of the composition a bald eagle supports the shield of the United States. Beneath the eagle, two spears hold draperies of the national colors of the United State and Sweden. The cartouche overlaps the curtains, addressed with the text in Swedish “Presenterat till Mamsell Jenny Lind såsom Ett minne af hennes wistande i Amerika” (Presented to Mamsell Jenny Lind as a memory of her visit to America).

The right wing is covered with gilt black glass, transparent at the five compartments. Its main piece in the center is the large oval portrait of George Washington surrounded by thirty-one golden stars.

The corners house four shield shaped compartments, three with oil landscape miniatures, with the images of Washington's Tomb, Mount Vernon (Washington’s mansion), and the imaginary view of Robert Mills’ Washington Monument. The fourth compartment contains a small precious container of leaves of grass. The black glass cover of the wing lettered in gold: “The Republic’s Offering to Jenny Lind”.

The Swedish soprano Jenny Lind (1820–1887) was among the most highly regarded singers of the 19th century in Europe. She acquired fame and success at an early age, and throughout her entire career, she was admired by the most outstanding composers, like Hector Berlioz, Robert Schumann and most importantly Felix Mendelssohn. Besides her extraordinary voice and dramatic talent, she became famous also among the unmusical by her devotion and generosity to charitable causes. In 1849, after her two years on the operatic stage in London, she announced her permanent retirement from opera. In the same year P. T. Barnum, the greatest American showman, and businessman of the time approached her with a proposal of a two years tour throughout the United States and offered her an unprecedented $1,000 per night for up to 150 nights of performances. Lind arrived in the United States in September 1850 and her tour continued until May 1852. She was already a celebrity before her arrival due to Barnum’s intense promotions and publicity. The tickets for her concerts were sold on auctions, and “Jenny Lind items” were available to buy. Her concerts in Washington were visited by the First Lady Abigail Fillmore, and Lind was even invited to the White House. The tour aroused an enormous public excitement, the press coined the term "Lind mania", and raised large sums of money for both Lind and Barnum. Eventually, the tour lasted for 18 months, Lind appeared more than 90 concerts in American cities. Near the end of the tour, she married to the pianist and conductor of her orchestra. First, they settled in Germany, and in the mid-1850s they moved to England, for the rest of their lives.

Provenance: Invoice from the antique dealer M. Ekstein Limited, Jermyn Street, London, dated 1 July 1980, to the buyer Håkan Oswald Esq. Carl Swartling Advokatbyrå, Stockholm

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Price: €18,000.00