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The Bonaparte Ball

Updated: Tuesday, June 11 2013, 02:44 PM EDT


On Saturday night, we drove down to The Engineers Club on Mt. Vernon Square, the site of the Bonaparte Ball, held by the Maryland Historical Society. The ball was in honor of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, the early-19th century Baltimore-born beauty and debutante who was known for her somewhat scandalous ways and her marriage to Napolean's younger brother, Jerome. The Historical Society has just opened a new exhibition that traces her life and her history on two continents, gathering together many of her belongings, from jewelry and china to furniture and fashion. The party started with a cocktail reception in the main drawing room at the Garrett-Jacobs mansion, where we chatted with fellow guests Avery Strachan & Nick Zupancic, Chris & Melissa Whisted, Peter & Mindy O'Malley and Tim Whisted. Eventually, we went to our table in the ballroom for the three-course dinner; at the table next to us was Gov. Martin O'Malley in full 1812-vintage military costume, along with his wife, judge Katie O'Malley. As dessert was being served, we sauntered over into the library, where more tables were situated, to visit with friends such as Willis Macgill, Kristen Pascucci, Jim & Clair Halle. As dinner was being cleared away, we drifted into the atrium, where the band was just getting started. Historical Society staffers Burt Kummerow and Mark Letzer were greeting guests, and I stopped to chat with Furlong Baldwin, Sylvia Parker, Justin and Jeremy Batoff, Gregory Weidman & Michael Flanagan and Ross & Sandra Flax. As I was strolling through the main parlor, I encountered Radcliffe Jewelers honcho Paul Winicki and his wife Karen, who was attired in a beautiful deep-blue Empire-period dress, set off with a sparkling jeweled tiara. I complimented her on it, and she acknowledged that women "don't get to wear these often anymore!" True, indeed. But on a night honoring the memory of Betsy Patterson Bonaparte of Baltimore, why not?


(Shown above: The atrium of The Engineers Club, as dancing gets underway.)

The Bonaparte Ball


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