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The French Empire Is Still Celebrated

On 22 November 2021, by Sophie Reyssat

Collectors and institutions cannot resist Sèvres porcelain, Nitot silverware and paintings from Baron Gérard’s studio.

The French Empire Is Still Celebrated

Sèvres, 1808, dessert plate from the Emperor's private service, called "service des quartiers généraux", depicting the feast on Mount Saint-Bernard following General Desaix’s funeral, chrome green rim featuring a gold frieze of swords tied together by a garland of laurel leaves alternating with stars, signed Swebach, diam. 23.2 cm (9.13 in).
Result: €350,000

Nearly 800 lots, 80% of which found buyers, brought the First French Empire back to life in Fontainebleau for three days from Monday, November 8 to Wednesday, November 10. This successful sale came as the year commemorating the bicentenary of Napoleon's death draws to a close. The best results were achieved on November 9. Estimated €180,000 at the most, this dish from Napoleon’s “quartiers généraux” ("Headquarters") service fetched the highest bid, €350,000. The result lives up to the originality of the decoration showing soldiers climbing down Mount Saint-Bernard to pay homage to General Desaix, the hero of Marengo who died in battle. Sèvres still stood out with €125,000 for its cabaret of famous women produced in 1810–1811, which the Emperor gave to his sister Pauline Borghese. In March, the one Marie-Louise gave to the Comtesse de Ségur sold for €262,500.
 

The talent of Nitot father and son, the imperial family's accredited jewelers, was handsomely rewarded (Mr. Dey, expert). A sugared almond

The talent of Nitot father and son, the imperial family's accredited jewelers, was handsomely rewarded (Mr. Dey, expert). A sugared almond box made by Étienne c. 1810 featuring Marie-Louise’s cipher and enameled landscapes fetched €175,000. It is said to have been offered to the Empress by Napoleon when she arrived in France (9 x 6.5 x 2.2 cm/3.54 x 2.56 x 0.86 in).

From Baron Gérard’s studio, Portrait de l’Empereur Napoléon Ier en costume de sacre (Portrait of Emperor Napoleon I in Coronation Dress, 168 x 135 cm/66.14 x 53.15 in) fetched €97,500, while Portrait de l’Impératrice Eugénie en manteau rouge à col de fourrure, portant sur ses genoux le prince imperial (Portrait of Empress Eugenie in a Red Coat with a Fur Collar, Holding the Imperial Prince on Her Lap), painted in 1857 by Charles Édouard Boutibonne after Franz Winterhalter, obtained €31,250 (116 x 84 cm/45.67 x 33.07 in).
 

The Réunion des Musées nationaux preempted this flag of Napoleon’s grenadier battalion on the Island of Elba for €47,500 on behalf of the

The Réunion des Musées nationaux preempted this flag of Napoleon’s grenadier battalion on the Island of Elba for €47,500 on behalf of the musée de l'Armée (80 x 90 cm/31.50 x 35.43 in, M. Dey, expert). The museum already has a flag of the Polish Light Horsemen that the Emperor took to the island, as authorized by the Treaty of Fontainebleau, which set the terms of his exile after his first abdication. These embroidered silk pieces were made in Naples in 1814. The Polish Light Horsemen drilled three times a week and attended the grand Sunday review on the parade ground.

In addition to a purchase by the musée de la Corse (Museum of Corsica), nine preemptions were announced on behalf of the château de Compiègne, musée de la Légion d’Honneur et des ordres de chevalerie, musée national des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau and musée de l'Armée. The drawing of Empress Marie-Louise’s hairdresser by Cavelier, after Prud'hon, did not find a buyer. The result for a drawing of a design for the insignia of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honor) attributed to Jacques-Louis David and his studio was not disclosed to us.

Tuesday 09 November 2021 - 10:30 - Live
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