Classic Revolutionary War image celebrating the alliance between the Thirteen Colonies and France and their victory in the American Revolution. The print was engraved by L. Roger after a design by Jean Duplessis-Bertaux, and published by Blin in Paris in 1786.
The circular image shows a stylized American Indian standing over a vanquished leopard, holding the caduceus of Hermes, next to a marble column with the portraits of Louis XVI, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington ("Vaginston") all surmounted by a blue sphere with the gold tri-fleur-de-lis of the French king. At the very top of the column is a crowing rooster. The vanquished leopard holds a broken trident, representing Great Britain's (temporarily) vanquished sea power. The pedestal bears the inscription: "America and the seas, O Louis! We recognize you as their Liberator". To the right of the Indian representing America, the banner reads "As I rise I embellish myself".
The print includes the following inscription, translated here from French (which includes several erronous dates):
On July 4, 1776, the Thirteen Confederate Colonies (known since as the United States) were declared by Congress free and independent. N. Gerard, bearer of the powers of LOUIS XVI, King of France, Benjamin Franklin, for the United States, signed in Paris, on February 6, 1777, a Treaty of friendship and commerce, and a Treaty of possible alliance, put in force by the declaration of war on arrival between France and England.
The Count of Estaing, the Marquis de la Fayette, the Count of Rochambeau, & c. are fighting for the cause of the Americans, supported with such glory by General Washington. Capitulation made on October 19, 1782 by Lord Cornwallis, whose disaster accelerated Peace. The independence of the United States is recognized by the Peace Treaties. Penetrates of gratitude for the services that LOUIS XVI rendered them, the United States has since then raised in Philadelphia a monument which will eternalize the memory. This example is all the more memorable, since the past centuries do not offer any example of monuments erected by republics to the glory of a Souverain. The Peace Treaties have restored to the Nations the freedom of the seas; benefit for which Europe is indebted to the generosity of LOUIS XVI. The Port of Cherbourg, immortal work of the reign of this great Prince, must strengthen this freedom so useful to the Peoples.
The print was made with a kind of printing known as À la poupée. With this kind of printing, different colored pigments are all applied to the same plate, allowing for very fine gradations of tone and color to be printed relatively uniformly from one print to the next. Here, this can be seen most obviously in the background clouds.
The present example includes unusually fine color. These images were intended for display and the color is often faded.