Label

In 1790, Charles Hector, Comte d'Estaing, commander of the first French fleet to assist the Americans during the Revolution, honored George Washington with this bust of Jacques Necker. Necker's accomplishments as France's finance minister from 1777-1781 earned him a reputation as a financial wizard, and the French populace entertained high hopes that he could work another miracle when he resumed the post in 1789. An engraved silver plaque below the bust celebrates Necker as "Qui Nobis Restituitrem [He who put our affairs in order]." D'Estaing's gift was a tribute to Washington's leadership in America as much as a testament of French faith in Necker.

Description

Biscuit porcelain bust of Jacques Necker raised on a cove molded, high square pedestal; his chin is lifted and his head turns slightly to his left; he wears a wig that is curled at the sides with a queue at the back that is tied with a ribbon; he wears a stock, lace ruffle, waistcoat, and coat with large buttons; the lace, buttons and button holes are modeled with great attention to detail; a length of drapery wraps around his shoulders and across his chest, spilling over the foot of the sculpture in the back; the whole is inserted over an iron spike inserted in a short block of gray marble; the block of gray marble is permanently affixed to a tall, molded cylindrical white marble pedestal; a silver plaque cut to resemble a swag of drapery is engraved "Qui Nobis Restituitrem [Who put our affairs in order]" and affixed to the front of the square block of dark marble; another, larger silver plaque cut to resemble a swag of drapery is engraved "Presented to / GEORGE WASHINGTON/ President of the UNITED STATES/ of AMERICA/ by his most dutiful, most obedient and most humble Servant,/ Estaing, a Citizen of the State of Georgia by an act of/ 22d. feb. 1785. and a Citizen of France in 1790." and is affixed to the front of the circular marble base; incised on the base, near the proper right front corner, is the notation "[L]R 2T."

Date

c. 1789-1790


People


Geography


Material/Technique

Biscuit porcelain (hard paste), marble, iron, silver


Dimensions

Overall: 22 1/2 in. x 11 1/2 in. x 7 1/2 in. (57.15 cm x 29.21 cm x 19.05 cm)
Other (bust): 14 1/2 in. x 11 1/2 in. x 6 in. (36.83 cm x 29.21 cm x 15.24 cm)
Other (base (pedestal and plinth)): 9 1/2 in. x 7 1/2 in. x 7 1/2 in. (24.13 cm x 19.05 cm x 19.05 cm)


Credit Line

Purchase, 1969


Marks

Engraved on silver plaque on the square marble plinth, "Qui Nobis Restituitrem [Who put our affairs in order]".

Engraved on silver plaque on cylindrical marble pedestal, "Presented to / GEORGE WASHINGTON/ President of the UNITED STATES/ of AMERICA/ by his most dutiful, most obedient and most humble Servant,/ Estaing, a Citizen of the State of Georgia by an act of/ 22d. feb. 1785. and a Citizen of France in 1790."


Signed

Incised on the base of the bust, near the proper right front corner, "[L]R 2T".


Object Number

W-2548


Colors (Beta)


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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