When the bookcase was sold to the present owner's family in 1930, it was said to have come from the collection of Empress Eugenie (1826-1920) at Farnborough Hill, Hampshire.
The daughter of a Spanish count, the Empress was born in Grenada in 1826 and was sent to Paris to receive her education. In 1852, she met Louis Napoleon at a ball and thereafter duly impressed her future husband at Fontainebleau with her expert horsemanship. During the Emperor's reign, Eugenie was often consulted on important questions and acted as regent on three separate occasions in the absence of the Emperor (in 1859, 1865, and 1870). When the Second Empire was overthrown in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), she and her husband took refuge in England, and settled at Chislehurst, Kent. Following his death in 1873 she moved to Farnborough where she lived until her death in 1920 at the age of 94. She is interred in the Imperial Crypt at Saint Michael's Abbey at Farnborough, with her husband and her son, who died in 1879 while fighting in the Zulu War in Africa. There was a nine-day sale of the property of the late Empress and her son, the late Prince Victor Napoleon on the premises of Farnborough Hill as conducted by Messrs. Hampton & Sons, London, 18-27 July 1927. In light of the 1930 purchase date, the bookcase was likely to have been included in the 1927 sale; however, based on the descriptions in the sale catalogue, it could not be identified.