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A FRENCH EMPIRE GOLD-MOUNTED, SILVER-GILT, GILT-BRONZE, MOTHER-OF-PEARL, POLISHED STEEL AND EBONY WRITING NECESSAIRE

Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN JEROME NAPOLEON BONAPARTE'S WRITING NECESSAIRE
A FRENCH EMPIRE GOLD-MOUNTED, SILVER-GILT, GILT-BRONZE, MOTHER-OF-PEARL, POLISHED STEEL AND EBONY WRITING NECESSAIRE

MARK OF MARTIN-GUILLAUME BIENNAIS, PARIS, 1803-1809

Details
A FRENCH EMPIRE GOLD-MOUNTED, SILVER-GILT, GILT-BRONZE, MOTHER-OF-PEARL, POLISHED STEEL AND EBONY WRITING NECESSAIRE MARK OF MARTIN-GUILLAUME BIENNAIS, PARIS, 1803-1809 Comprising: A silver-gilt square ink-bottle, with detachable female mask chased cover, engraved with initials 'J' and 'N', each below Royal crown, marked underneath and on finial A silver-gilt square pounce-pot, the pivoting cover engraved with initials 'J' and 'N', each below Royal crown, marked underneath and on finial A pair of silver-gilt oblong boxes, engraved with initials 'JN' below a Royal crown, each marked underneath A pair of gilt-bronze hinged single light candle-branches A silver-gilt bell with detachable Imperial eagle finial, engraved with initials 'JN', apparently unmarked A pair of polished steel paper-weights, the gilt metal finials cast as the Medici lion, with cut-steel beaded borders Associated silver-gilt and blue enamel mounted diamond-cut glass bottle, apparently unmarked A gold-inlaid ebony ruler, engraved 'Ancienne Mesure de France', with palmette terminals, signed 'Biennais Orfévre l'Empereur' A gold-inlaid ebony straight edge, inlaid on one side with initials 'JN' A pair of three-colour gold-mounted steel scissors, mark of Pierre-François Queillé inside each handle A gold compass, with steel points, one detachable with an interchangeable lead holder, with an additional longer lead holder, marked inside and on lead holders A gold divider, with steel points, marked inside Associated gold double ended lead-holder, the two adjustable slides with blue enamel bands, marked near end A gold-mounted mother-of-pearl folding ruler, with graduations in inches and centimeters, signed Biennais Orfévre de S. M.té l'Empereur A gold-mounted mother-of-pearl paper-knife with silver-gilt blade, engraved with initials 'JN' below a Royal crown, marked on blade A gold-mounted mother-of-pearl hand-seal, the detachable matrix with blue enamel bands, carved with the arms of Westphalia with the Imperial eagle in pretence, with similar interchangeable matrix carved with a putto holding an anchor and with a shield with engraved initials, the handle applied with a shield engraved with initials 'JN' below a Royal crown Two differing gold-mounted mother-of-pearl knives with steel blades, the handles each applied with a shield engraved with initials 'JN' below a Royal crown A gold-mounted scoring needle with steel attachments, the handle applied with a shield engraved with initials 'JN' A gold-mounted mother-of-pearl lead holder, the handle perhaps later all contained in a fitted thuya wood box, the exterior inlaid with polished steel borders incorporating initials 'JN' and 'RW' and Royal crowns, further applied with gilt-metal Imperial insignia and with an outer border of laurel leaves and gilt-metal rosettes, fitted inside the cover with a gilt-tooled green leather writing slope, the base with hinged gilt-tooled green leather fitted tray and a detachable ebony tray, each side with palmette and foliage scroll chased border, further chased at each corner with initials 'JN' below Royal crown, with silver-gilt lock plate engraved 'Biennais Orfévre du Sa Majesté l'Empereur' et Roi' the box 21¼ in. (54 cm.) wide The initials are those of Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte (1784-1860), King of Westphalia (r. 1807-1813).
Provenance
Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte 1784-1860), King of Westphalia (r.1807-1813) and then by descent to his daughter.
Princess Mathilde Bonaparte (1820-1904) who married Anatole Demidoff, Prince of San Donato (1812-1870) in 1840.
Prince Anatole Demidoff Sale, Palais de San Donato; Charles Pillet, Paris, 15 March-3 May 1870, lot 248.
Giulia P. Morosini (d.1932).
Estate of Giulia P. Morosini; American Art Association Galleries, New York, 11-15 October 1932, lot 1743.
Calvin Bullock (1867-1944).
The Calvin Bullock Collection; Christie's, London, 8 May 1985, lot 95.
Literature
The Glory of the Goldsmith, Magnificent Gold and Silver from the Al-Tajir Collection, 1989, pp. 252-253, no. 213.
Exhibited
London, Christie's, The Glory of the Goldsmith, Magnificent Gold and Silver from the Al-Tajir Collection, 1989, no. 93.
Special Notice

Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

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Lot Essay

Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte, King of Westphalia (1784-1860)

Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte, the youngest of Napoleon Bonaparte's five brothers, was born at Ajaccio on 15 November, 1784. He joined the navy in November 1800 and, on 24 December 1803 as a lieutenant in America, he married Elisa Paterson the daughter of a Baltimore merchant. The marriage was never recognised by the Emperor and was declared null on 21 March 1805. Quickly promoted during 1805, he became a rear admiral in September 1806, and was created Prince on 1 November of the same year. He was transferred to the army and was promoted divisional general on 14 March 1807, and named Grand Elector. Following the treaty of Tilsit on 7 July 1807 he was granted the Kingdom of Westphalia with Kassel as its capital. The following August, in Paris, he married Frederica-Catherine-Sophie-Dorothea daughter of the King of Westphalia. Due to the defeats inflicted on Napoleon he left his Kingdom on 26 October 1813 and went to Switzerland. He returned to France on Napoleon's return and was named a member of the Chamber of Peers on 4 June 1815, took part in the battle of Waterloo where he was wounded, and was detained by his father-in-law with whom he sought refuge. In 1816, using the title Prince of Montfort, he left Germany and went to Austria to his sister Queen Caroline, then to Trieste (1819), Rome (1823), Florence (1831), and Lausanne where his wife died in 1835. Allowed by Louis-Philippe to reside in Paris in 1847 Jérôme was given the rights of a French citizen, resumed his role as a general, and was named governor of Les Invalides on 23 December 1848. He was created Marshal of France on 1 January 1850 and President of the Senate by Napoleon III on 28 January 1852, which he resigned soon after. Jérôme died on 24 June 1860 at the Chateau of Villegenis near Massy.

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