7 x 4 1/8 in. diameter
Ornately carved chalice made from two coconuts, a larger one open at the top and lined with cloth mounted onto a smaller coconut carved into a pedestal. Top carved with relief portrait of a man, laurel wreaths, award medallions and the words "Recuerdo Al Illustre Americano/ 1899 Gen'l Guzman Blanco/ 27 Abril 1870"; pedestal carved with sailing ships.
Guzman-Blanco was a despotic president of Venezuela, born in Caracas in 1830. He accompanied General Juan C. Falcon in his invasion of Venezuela, becoming his general secretary. After the final defeat of Falcon at Cople in September 1860, Guzman accompanied his chief in his flight. Toward the end of 1861 he landed again with Falcon in Venzuela, and after numerous battles, the treaty of Coche was signed on 22 May 1863 calling for a general assembly that eventually elected Falcon president and Guzman-Blanco vice president. Later he was elected president of the congress. After the overthrow of Falcon in 1868, Guzman left the country, but headed a revolution in 1869, and in 1870 became provisional president with extraordinary powers, ruling the country for years as a dictator. He was succeeded by General Alcantara who died in December 1878, precipitating revolutionary uprisings until Guzman assumed the presidency again. In the elections of 1883 General Joaquin Crespo, one of his friends, was declared president and Guzman-Blanco became ambassador to France, living with great ostentation in Paris. In 1886 he again assumed the presidency but was overthrown for the last time in the 1888 revolution. He died in 1899.
Gift of Bella C. Landauer
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.