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Lunch Bite – The First Society of the Cincinnati Eagle Insignias
May 17, 2019 @ 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
The first examples of the iconic Society of the Cincinnati insignia, known as the Eagle, were made in Paris in January 1784 for French members of the Society, who had served the American cause as either soldiers of their king or volunteers commissioned in the Continental forces. Popular among French officers and admired by their countrymen, the Society Eagle symbolized their service to their king and association with the American war and its revered leader, George Washington, who was the Society’s first president general. The Eagle was designed by Pierre Charles L’Enfant and first made by Parisian craftsmen Nicolas Jean Francastel and Claude Jean Autran Duval, to be suspended from a light blue-and-white silk ribbon symbolizing the French-American alliance. The gold-and-enamel badges were first distributed by the marquis de Lafayette, at whose Paris home the first meeting of the Société des Cincinnati de France took place.
Join Deputy Director and Curator Emily Schulz Parsons for a discussion of these rare insignias and a look at two examples in the Institute’s collections, which are featured in the exhibition Revolutionary Reflections: French Memories of the War for America. The presentation will last approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards for up-close viewing of the objects.