Wednesday, October 5, 2011

19th-Century Obsequies

As the city of New Orleans observes funerary obsequies for former Archbishop Philip M. Hannan, it seemed timely to pull together images from earlier celebrations.

In December 1852, the city commemorated three deceased statesmen: John C. Calhoun (1782-1850); Henry Clay (1777-1852); and Daniel Webster (1782-1952). A temporary mausoleum was designed by A. Mondelli and erected in Lafayette Square (in the background of top image, shown above). M. Catoir devised the illumination for the square, so that the cenotaph could be bathed in light until 10:00 pm. Mr. Dubuque designed the funerary cart (top image above), which was some 11' long and 16' tall. Both the cart and the cenotaph were surmounted by an eagle.

In February 1878, the city observed commemorative funeral celebrations for Pope Pius IX -- fondly referred to in New Orleans as "Pio Nono" (1792-1878) -- and New Orleans architects James Freret and J.A. d'Hemecourt were commissioned to design the catafalque (middle image, shown above) and the funerary cart (bottom image, shown above). The Daily Picayune covered the events as well as the decorations and the music performed (21 February 1878).

Images above:

Top: Dubuque, designer. Funerary Cart for John C. Calhoun, Daniel Webster, and Henry Clay. 1852. Wood engraving by Stevens. From: A History of the Proceedings in the City of New Orleans on the Occasion of the Funeral Ceremonies in Honor of Calhoun, Clay and Webster…. New Orleans: Office of the Picayune, 1853. Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC), Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Bottom: James Freret & J.A. d’Hemecourt, architects. Catafalque & Funerary Cart for Pope Pius IX. February 1878. Graphite. James Freret Collection, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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