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Jules Quesnay de Beaurepaire

"As Procureur Général"

This wonderfully colorful original Vanity Fair print pictures Jules Quesnay de Beaurepaire, President of the Civil Chamber, Court of Cassation, in the robes of his former position as Chief Prosecutor ("As Procureur General"). The description of this print by Jehu Junior which is included with the print describes the circumstances of his elevation from chief prosecutor to head of the highest court in France:

"He was expected to array himself in the curious dress of his Office to prosecute M. de Lesseps and those others in the affair of the Company of Panama; but less than a month back he shied at the political nature of the thing, and believing that the publication of such scandals would do hurt to his country, he refused the duty, and was straightway improves into a President of the Court of Cassation."

Ferdinand  de Lesseps was the builder of the Suez Canal and unsuccessful builder of the Panama Canal and when the later failed the stock bubble in the enterprise burst and many were calling for his head but many powerful people were also involved in the scheme, which ultimately protected de Lesseps from prosecution. Wikipedia has a nice discussion of the Court of Cassation and the roles of Procureur General and Presidents of the Court for those unfamiliar with the French judicial system.

This nice print comes already matted to a standard size (16 x 20") so it is ready to pop into a frame. The only defect is rust residue from some paperclips at the top of the border which crosses the "Fair" in Vanity Fair and the date of publication of the print, "Feb. 4, 1893" which can be seen on the picture below, but detracts little from the wonderful presentation of this print.

The Philadelphia Print Shop which offers this print for $350 unmatted classifies it as a "Red Robed Judge" but while Jules Quesnay de Beaurepaire is a judge at the time of the print and he is pictured in red robes, the red robes in this case are those of a chief prosecutor rather than a judge.

Price: SOLD