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Lot 252: c. 1837 Washington Monument Rare Shell + Abalone Calling Card Case Mills Design
29 October 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
Calling Card Case with Original 1836 Robert Mills Design for the Washington Monument Reverse Painting on Glass
c. 1837, Shell & Abalone Calling Card Case with Reverse Painting on Glass of the Original 1836 Robert Mills Design for the Washington Monument, Choice Extremely Fine.
This exquisite and colorful early Shell made Calling Card case measures about 2.75" x 4" and features abalone inlay on one side and a reverse painting on glass of the original design for the Washington Monument on the other. Latch still in perfect working condition. Some of the abalone details on verso are missing, otherwise in overall choice condition for display. First we have seen and offered.
Architect Robert Mills won an 1836 contest to design a monument for George Washington. His design called for a tall obelisk surrouned by a circular colonnade, inside of which would be statues of 30 prominent Revolutionary War heroes. After the Civil War interrupted construction the monument was redesigned to resemble an unadorned Egyptian obelisk with a pointed pyramidion. The original design was greatly altered, producing an unembellished obelisk and the colonnade was also removed.