A rare commemorative paper-mache snuff box commemorating the landing of General Lafayette at “Castle Garden”, New York, bearing the date, August 16th, 1824

A rare commemorative paper-mache snuff box commemorating the landing of General Lafayette at “Castle Garden”,  New York, which bears the date, 16th of August, 1824

(For larger image, simply click on any photograph)

CONDITION: Modest and expected wear, particularly to the circular rim. some snuff residue inside. Commensurate wear, but overall, very good.

DIMENTIONS: 3  1/2″ overall.


General Lafayette’s visit to the United States in 1824 was a cause for huge celebration, sparking the manufacture of all kinds of commemorative souvenirs: dinner sets, watch ribbons, belt buckles, and even ladies’ gloves with buttons that bore his portrait. The image on these pieces shows Lafayette’s arrival at Castle Garden aboard the steamship Chancellor Livingston. The ship was escorted by the Robert Fulton while six cannons fired a salute from the shore.

The source of the view is a copper-plate print drawn and engraved by Samuel Maverick, a member of a dynasty of New York engravers. Maverick’s circular composition appears to have been originally intended to decorate a commemorative snuffbox. Maverick’s father, Peter Rushton Maverick, famously engraved gold presentation snuffboxes, one of which is in “The Yale’s Collection”, inventory number 1930.1100. Maverick’s engraving was later pirated by another artist and made into a snuffbox, while amateur oil painters also produced works based on Maverick’s design.


REFERENCES:The Yale University Art Collection”, the Mabel Brady Garvan Collection.

ADDITIONAL NOTES: Shown above: The copper-plate engraving by Samuel Maverick of “The Landing of General Lafayette at a Castle Garden”, New York. 16th August 1824. Photograph courtesy of “The New York Public Library”.

Samuel Maverick’s engraving captured the moment of Lafayette’s landing at Castle Garden. The most up-to-date steam ships formed his escort, and cannon on the battery park thundered and smoked. The design printed on pottery was ultimately derived from Maverick’s print, but the image was probably accessible to English potters and engravers through a variety of copies, such as the original copper-plate engraving seen above.

If you are interested in purchasing this snuff box, or if you would simply like additional information about it, please feel to contact C. Lyman McCallum, Jr. personally at 1~803~834~3787 or simply email us at chicoraclm@msn.com

As always, your inquiries are welcomed!