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    Sale 5955

    British Mezzotints & Printed Hankerchiefs, Part II, from the collection of the Honourable Christopher Lennox-Boyd

    25 February 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 1136

    Believed to be Robert Sayer, Publisher

    A View of the Public Fire Works Exhibited on Occasion of the General Peace concluded October 7th 1748

    Price Realised  

    Believed to be Robert Sayer, Publisher
    A View of the Public Fire Works Exhibited on Occasion of the General Peace concluded October 7th 1748
    mezzotint on laid paper, with margins
    unframed
    S. 11 5/8 x 18¼in. (29.5 x 46.4cm.)
    with a mezzotint by Bernard Lens II of the Representation of the Fire-Workes in St James's Square on the Joyful Occasion of His Majesties Glorious success in taking of Namur Sept 9 1695
    unframed
    S. 10¾ x 14 5/8in. (27.3 x 37.8cm.) (2)


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    The Fireworks Music, Handel's last orchestral work, was commissioned to celebrate the end of the War of the Austrian Succession and the signing of the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, in 1748. All of Europe celebrated the peace with fireworks, and the King commissioned Handel to write a grand piece for the occasion to provide a background for the firework display designed by Thomas Desguliers. The celebration took place in Green Park and was deliberately held near the royal residence of Buckingham House so as to present the King in a better light. The rejoicings, however, were very nearly changed into lamentations. The construction caught fire, and His Majesty's library had a narrow escape from being burnt down.

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