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    Description

    George Armstrong and Elizabeth Custer: A Magnificent Pair of Hand-Painted Porcelain Portrait Vases, Commissioned by Custer Himself. In July of 1865 Custer and his young bride traveled to New Orleans, where they visited the studio of the highly regarded photographer and portrait artist R. T. Lux. There they were photographed by Lux, and the tintype images he retained were used to paint these remarkably life-like portraits. The vases are of baluster form, measuring 11" in height, and adorned with bouquets of pink roses bound in blue ribbons. Each is dated "July 1865," and signed "R.T. Lux, N.O." Lux's work is highly collectable today, and this magnificent pair must surely be considered among the most desirable examples. Pictured on page 72 of Lawrence Frost's important book, The Custer Album, they are among the most recognizable of Custer artifacts. When Butterfield & Butterfield auctioned a number of important Custer relics on behalf of the family, the vase depicting Custer was featured on the catalog's cover. The pair was sold at Butterfield's in 1995, where they fetched $46,750. The original Lux tintype of Custer, featuring the exact same portrait seen on the painted vase, was auctioned by the Custer family at the same time, but unfortunately not together with the vases. However, it is pictured in the Butterfield & Butterfield catalog.

    At the time of their auction the Libbie vase was in a damaged state, broken in a number of pieces and glued back together with no attempt to cover the break lines. Since then it is been restored to the highest standards, and to all practical purposes now displays in virtually mint condition, once again a worthy mate to her husband's (a pre-restoration photo may be found with the lot listing on our web site, HA.com).




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2010
    17th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,106

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