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
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).
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.