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Salomon Pinhas „Captain of light infantry of Kingdom of Westphalia“, 1813, EXTREME RARITY!!!
Price: 4900 EUR
(please note additional 13% tax applies for transactions concluded within the European Union)
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This extremely rare miniature on ivory was acquired from a private German collection. In our own collection (we are in possession of a great number of military portraits of the Napoleonic Epoch), it is the only (!) portrait of a junior officer of the army of Kingdom of Westphalia (CLICK HERE) decorated with Chevalier Cross (sic!) of the Order of Crown of Westphalia (this order was established by King Jerome Bonaparte in 1809 and was divided into three classes: “Great Commander”, “Commander” and “Knight”; the number of “Knights” was limited to three hundred persons. August of 1812 marked the introduction of the fourth class of the same order – “Knight of the 2nd class”. The so-far awarded Knight Crosses automatically became “Knight Crosses of the 1st class”. The 2nd class of the Knight Cross was limited to five hundred persons. In reality, until October 1813 (demise of the Kingdom of Wesphalia), both 1st and 2nd classes of the Knight Cross were awarded to much less than eight hundred (300 + 500) persons; in fact, only several dozens of them were in rank of a junior officer (a rank lower than that of a major)).
The sitter wears the uniform of a captain (note his epaulettes!) of the Westphalian light (sic!) infantry (see our comparison image nr.7). He is one of the several awardees (in this rank and of that type of infantry) of the Knight Cross of the 2nd class (sic! it is known that no captains or lieutenants of the light infantry were awarded the Knight Cross of the Westphalian Crown the 1st class).
The next award on the sitter’s chest is the Chevalier Cross of the Napoleonic Order of the Legion of Honor (it is the so-called “4th model”; it was mainly awarded in 1813). It leads us to four specific persons; the only four men who were simultaneously captains of the Westphalian light infantry AND recipients of the two aforementioned awards.
Their names were:
1.) Friedrich Ludwig Ferdinand, Freiherr (Baron) von Linsingen
2.) Carl Friedrich von Lengerke
3) Alexander Otto von Hugo
4) August von Holle
Candidate Nr. 1 (von Linsingen):
Friedrich Ludwig Ferdinand, Freiherr von Linsingen was born on March 13, 1791 (in 1813, when this miniature was painted, he was twenty two) in Zerbst, Duchy Anhalt-Dessau. He served in the 2nd Westphalian Light-Infantry Battalion (this battalion took part in the Russian Campaign of 1812), in ranks of the 23rd Division of General Tharreau (VIII Corps under command (from July 14, 1812) of General Junot – see our image nr.19). Aside from this, this battalion fought in the bloodiest battle of this campaign – the Battle of Borodino (September 7, 1812). In the beginning of 1814, its scarce remainder (Captain von Linsingen was among of its few survivors) returned to Westphalian capital Cassel (now Kassel). After their return from Russia, the most distinguished (surviving) officers of the light infantry were awarded by King Jerome the cross of the Crown of Westphalia on March 3rd and 4th 1813. One finds among the junior light infantry officers the name of “de Linsingen, capitaine aux chasseur-gardes” (this information is available in “Almanach Royale de Westphalie” issued for the year 1813). Several days later, on March 7, 1813, von Linsingen was awarded the Chevalier Cross of the Legion of Honor (the archives of “Legion d’honneur” refer to him as “Capitaine dans le 2 bataillon d’infanterie legere Westphalienne” (2nd Battalion of Light Infantry of Westphalia). This “discrepancy” (“chasseur-gardes” and “infanterie legere”) can be explained as follows: the aforementioned “Almanach” was published a few months later than the award ceremony took place - after von Linsingen received both awards (March 3/4 and March 7; note that he was then still a captain of the 2nd Light Infantry), he was soon thereafter (May 1813?) transferred (in the same rank of a captain) to the Guards.
After the end of the Kingdom of Westphalia (October 1813), he was transferred (again, in rank of a captain) to the 3rd Line (sic!) Infantry Regiment of the reestablished army of the Duchy Hessen-Cassel (Kingdom of Westphalia was founded in 1807 on this Duchy’s territory).
The further destiny of this officer still remains unknown.
We would, however, like to add that the family of the Barons von Linsingen is an ancient and noble Hessian family branch, and that its lineage can be traced back to the 12th century (CLICK HERE).
Candidate Nr. 2 (von Lengerke):
Carl Friedrich (in French documents – Charles Frederic) von (de) Lengerke was born on June 12, 1781 (in 1813, when this miniature was painted, he was thirty two) in New York (at that time, the Hessian regiment of his father (Georg Emanuel von Lengerke) was stationed there); this regiment took part (it was attached to the Hessian Troops) in American War of Independence (1775-1783). It remained in the USA until 1814 (in May 1814, the regiment (and - along with it - Major G.E. von Lengerke and his family) returned to Cassel, then – the capital of the Duchy Westphalia; after its return, it was made a garrison regiment).
One finds the reference to “de Lengerke, capitaine du 1er bataillon d’infanterie legere” (this battalion also fought in the Battle of Borodino) in the same “Almanach Royale de Westphalie” issued for the year 1813. Additionally, the almanac mentions that on March 4, 1813, von Lengerke was presented with the Chevalier Cross of the Legion of Honnor (another French document completed sometime later refers to him already as “Capitaine des Grenadiers Gardes Westphaliennes”; on May 25, 1813, alike our “Candidate Nr. 1” (von Linsingen), von Lengerke was transferred to the Guards (apropos, the cases of both von Linsingen and von Lengerke offer the approximate date of the miniature’s execution: it was painted (certainly in Cassel!) between March 7 and May 25 of 1813, after both officers traded their light infantry uniforms for those of the Guards).
Upon restoration of the Duchy of Hessen-Cassel (October 1813), von Lengerke was (alike our “Candidate Nr. 1”) transferred into the same 3rd Hessian Line-Infantry Regiment; by 1823, one finds him already as one of this unit’s majors (see our image nr.12).
He reappears again in the 1830s in rank of a colonel and as the military commandant of town Fulda (Duchy Hessen-Cassel); by 1850, he is a retired colonel and hospital’s “Obervorsteher” (director) in small town Heina in the same duchy. It is known that von Lengerke died in 1863. His three sons also became military officers.
Candidate Nr. 3 (von Hugo):
Alexander Otto von Hugo was born on October 15, 1781 (in 1813, he too was thirty two years old) in Unterstein by Heiligenstadt (then – Prussia). He was in Prussian military service from 1807. In 1810, he joined the army of Kingdom of Westphalia, in which he became the captain of the 3rd Battalion of light infantry. This unit also fought in the Battle of Borodino (September 7, 1812). During this battle von Hugo was wounded (according to Westphalian “Moniteur” of September 1812); one month later, on October 6, 1812, King Jerome awarded him the Knight Cross of the Order of Westphalian Crown of the 2nd class (“Almanach Royale de Westphalie” issued for the year 1813, while informing of this occurrence, refers to him as “Capitaine aux grenadiers de la garde” (alike the previous two candidates, he was transferred from the light infantry into the Guards in May of 1813; another French document attesting of his order conferral on March 7, 1813 (on this day, he was presented with the Chevalier Cross of Legion of Honor) refers to him correctly as “Capitaine dans le 3eme bataillon d’infanterie legere Westphalienne”. After the end of the Kingdom of Westphalia, he returned into the Prussian army; in 1823, he reappears as a major of Garde-Landwehr of town Hamm (then – Kingdom of Prussia).
Candidate Nr. 4 (von Holle):
August von Holle was born on August 13, 1786 ( in 1813, he was twenty seven years old) in Stade by Hanover. A captain of the 3rd light infantry battalion of Westphalian army, he too fought in the Battle of Borodino, was wounded and – alike our “Candidate Nr. 3” (von Hugo) – received his Knight Cross of the 2nd class of Westphalian Crown soon after the battle (he was presented with the cross as early as September 27, 1812 – first out four other “candidates”). One also finds him among the March 7, 1813 recipients of Chevalier Cross of Legion of Honor. After the end of Kingdom of Westphalia, he joined the military service of Grand Duchy Baden (there are 1823 records of his being a captain of guards-grenadiers of this duchy).
All of the above indicates that this miniature was executed in March-May 1813 in Cassel (Kassel). Based on the superior quality of this work, its author was certainly a highly professional artist, possibly even a miniaturist working at the court of Cassel. Only two, equally masterful miniature painters were active in Cassel of that period (both of them – court artists!): Swiss painter Philipp David Soiron (his candidature cannot be considered, for he was almost entirely active as enamellist; even though Schidlof mentions that he (very rarely!) painted miniatures on ivory, we were unable to locate any of them, in order to compare. On the contrary, his colleague, Jewish-born artist Salomon Pinhas worked exclusively in the technique of miniature on ivory. Comparison with his known works (see our images nr.20-21) dots the final “i’s” and crosses the “t’s”: he was indeed the author of our miniature.
We would like to add that the remainders of the inscription on verso of this miniature are remnants of the backing paper and are not related to the depicted person.
Salomon (also Leo) Pinhas, called Mahler, (1759 Bayreuth - 1837 Kassel) was son and pupil of the miniaturist Juda (Loew) Pinhas (see our web # 32635). From 1775 he travelled in Germany and settled in Kassel in 1782, where he became a miniaturist to the court in 1788. Besides miniatures he also made etchings, flower and military uniform watercolors.
Condition: good; slightly dusty under the glass; glass with one minor scratch; in original frame (the frame had never been opened)
Creation Year: 1813
Measurements:UNFRAMED:6,0x4,9cm/2,4x1,9in FRAMED: 6,8x5,4cm/2,7x2,1in
Object Type:Framed miniature
Style: Portrait Miniatures
Technique: watercolor on ivory
Creator: Salomon Pinhas
Creator Dates: 1759 Bayreuth-1837 Kassel
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