Frederic Auguste Bartholdi  (1834-1904)  

French Sculptor of the Statue of Liberty 

First Day Cover

In his original design for the Statue of Liberty French Sculptor Frederic Bartholdi used his mother's face and his mistress' figure for inspiration.  The combination worked, and Bartholdi won his country's competition to sculpt the statue commemorating a century of Franco-American friendship.  An artist who cast his subjects in a heroic mold, Bartholdi also sculpted figures of George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette, but in France he is probably best known for his massive "The Lion of Belfort" commemorating the French defense of that city in 1870.  Besides creating the Statue of Liberty, Bartholdi was also active as a fund raiser for the project.  He attended the 1886 dedication of the statue on New York harbor's Bedloe's (now Liberty) Island, but caused confusion when he accidentally unveiled Liberty's head too soon, setting off a celebration that drowned out the speech of a guest dignitary.  Bartholdi was "raised" a Master Mason October 14, 1875 in Alsace-Lorraine Lodge in Paris, France.   This FDC was made by Colorano and is listed in the Scott Catalog as number 2147 and cancelled on July 18, 1985 in New York, NY  (594,896 are in circulation).

From 10,000 Famous Freemasons

Frederic A. Bartholdi (1834-1904) Designer of Statue of Liberty in New York harbor. b. April 2, 1834 at Colmar, Alsace, France. He was one of the early members of Lodge Alsace-Lorraine, Paris (Oct. 14, 1875) which was composed of prominent intellectuals, writers and government representatives. When his famous statue Liberty Enlightening the World was achieved, Bartholdi convened his lodge to review it, even before the statue was shown to the U.S. committee. On June 19, 1884, the lodge, as if it were a pilgrimage, went in a body to review his masterpiece that was to be the gift of the French people to the United States. On Nov. 13, 1884 Bartholdi delivered a lecture and gave the lodge a report on the history and various methods used in the execution of his statue. Again the lodge witnessed his emotion when he came back from his visit to U.S. in 1887, and he told them of the ardent welcome he had received and of the wide enthusiasm created by his work. Another famous work by Bartholdi is Le Lion de Belfort, commemorating the defense of Belfort in Franco-Prussian War.




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