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Napoleon's Legion of Honour up for auction

More than a historical souvenir, this decoration is the symbol of a vision: the vision that the legendary emperor had for the French nation. MILLON will be auctioning Napoleon's last Legion of Honour on 24 November at Hôtel Drouot

 

An award emblematic of meritocracy

MILLON_Légion_Honneur_Napoléon

 

On 15 July 1804, the Légion d'honneur was awarded for the first time in the cathedral of Saint-Louis des Invalides. This decoration, created and decreed by Napoleon Bonaparte, rewards military and civilian merit and is open to all those who have rendered notable service to France. For the emperor, this distinction embodied the qualities and unity of the nation he wanted to unite.

In order to be able to wear his decoration in all circumstances and on all types of costumes and uniforms, the Emperor commissioned the goldsmith Biennais to make a reduction of the star with five double rays, surmounted by a crown of oak and laurel.

 

The badge remained with him until his death

He wore this reduction on his return from Waterloo and wore it throughout his crossing from France to his boat for St Helena.

During the 1973 days of his residence on St Helena, Napoleon cherished this object and kept it close to him. His last wish was to pass on the emblem of meritocracy to his son, l'Aiglon. But the Austrian family refused to accept any form of Napoleonic souvenir. It was therefore Madame Mère who kept the few possessions left by her son and divided them between her living children on her death in 1835: she awarded the medal to her daughter Caroline, wife of Marshal Murat. It remained in the family for almost a century and a half, before being acquired by the famous Belgian collector Emile Brouwet.

November, the month of the Brumaire coup d'état (November 1799), brought the Napoleonic figure to the fore. The presentation of this historic souvenir and symbol of the Napoleonic legend will take on its full meaning at the MILLON- Souvenirs Historiques sale on 24 November, which will be preceded by a "La Face des Rois" sale on 23 November featuring a rare portrait of Bonaparte as First Consul, as well as others depicting him as Emperor, including a large oil on canvas by David, showing him crossing the Grand Saint Bernard pass.

November, then, is a month to celebrate Napoleon, whether at auction or at the cinema (with the release of Ridley Scott's film Napoleon).

 

 

Cross of the Legion of Honour

MILLON_Légion_Honneur_Napoléon

"From Waterloo to St Helena

Reduced goldeagleof the Legion of Honour, lateEmpire or Hundred Days (1815)model.

In 18k gold and enamel (chipped and slightly missing), a double pearled five-pointed star with a green enamel oak wreath and a hinged bridge with a crown of arches decorated witheagles and foliage. Obverse of the centre in profile to the right with large head on radiant background and legend "NAPOLEON EMP. DES FRANÇAIS"; obverse of centre witheagle head to right on striated background and legend "HONNEUR ET PATRIE" - 28 x 16 mm. Gross weight: 3.1 g.

 

In a mid-19th century green morocco case withgoldfillet decoration, two hook closure, sheathed in silk and ivory velvet inside, inscribed on the lid:

"CETTE CROIX DE LA LEGION D'HONNEUR QUI APPARTENOIT A L'EMPEREUR NAPOLEON EST ECHUE EN PARTAGE A SA SŒUR CAROLINE - 6 x 7.5 cm.

Estimate: €80,000 / €120,000

 

 

Contacts and information

Historical Memories Department

Mariam Varsimashvili 

sh@millon.com

+33 (0) 1 40 22 66 34

 

Expert

Maxime Charron

 

Communication

Patricia Levy

plevy@millon.com

+33 (0)6 13 53 45 67

 

Sale onFriday 24 November

At Hôtel Drouot

Preceded by the sale of La Face des Rois on 23 November

Exhibition: 22 and 23 November

 

 

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Mariam VARSIMASHVILI

Mariam VARSIMASHVILI

Maxime CHARRON

Maxime CHARRON

Our sales results “Napoléon”

Sold to €30

Sold the 2022/05/10

Portrait de Napoléon assis

Portrait de Napoléon assis
Lot 59

Sold to €1,700

Sold the 2021/12/13

Lettres patentes signées par l’empereur Napoléon Ier

Décret de Napoléon Ier avec empreinte de sceau
Lot 77

Sold to €11

Sold the 2023/10/16

Lot de gravures

Napoléon
Lot 146

Sold to €180

Sold the 2024/02/13

Travail Français

Napoléon
Lot 201

Sold to €110

Sold the 2022/07/26

HERMES

Carré titré "Napoléon" signé Ledoux
Lot 247

Sold to €300

Sold the 2021/12/03

ROBJ

"Fine Napoléon"
Lot 66

Sold to €80

Sold the 2022/12/10

Carré HERMES "Napoléon"

Lot 228

Sold to €600

Sold the 2021/10/26

D'après PRADIER

Napoléon debout
Lot 191

Sold to €170

Sold the 2023/02/10

[NAPOLÉON].

Lot 533

Sold to €350

Sold the 2023/10/10

Ecole française du début du XIXème siècle

Allégorie de Napoléon
Lot 159

Sold to €20

Sold the 2022/09/27

Ecole FRANCAISE du XIXème siècle

Napoléon en buste
Lot 134

Sold to €250

Sold the 2021/11/26

F. GAILLARD (actif au début du au XIXème siècle)

Napoléon à Brienne
Lot 106

Sold to €400

Sold the 2022/11/25

Leonardo BENATOV (Kağızman, 1899-Neuilly, 1972)

L’empereur Napoléon Ier.
Lot 94

Sold to €160

Sold the 2023/07/19

NAPOLEON

Albert Dieudonné dans le film d'Abel Gance, 1927
Lot 34

Sold to €80

Sold the 2022/03/30

Napoléon

Lot 86

Sold to €75

Sold the 2024/02/14

Code Napoléon.

Lot 374

Sold to €140

Sold the 2022/02/18

Napoléon Ier

Lot 389

Sold to €85

Sold the 2023/05/25

Médailles Napoléon

Lot 85

Other auctions in the specialities “SOUVENIRS HISTORIQUES”

Sold to €8,000

Sold the 2023/05/26

BULGARIE

Lot 257

Sold to €800

Sold the 2023/05/26

SÈVRES

Lot 266

Sold to €1,000

Sold the 2023/05/26

SÈVRES

Lot 268

Estimate

€200 - €300

Médaillon pendentif ovale

Lot 284

Sold to €1,000

Sold the 2023/05/26

Icône triptyque

Lot 290

Estimate

€2,000 - €3,000

INSTITUTION DU MÉRITE MILITAIRE (créé en 1759)

Lot 309

Sold to €400

Sold the 2023/05/26

GRANDE-BRETAGNE

Lot 319

Sold to €200

Sold the 2023/05/26

AUTRICHE

Lot 320

Estimate

€150 - €200

Ensemble de 4 décorations militaires et civiles comprenant :

Lot 321

Sold to €100

Sold the 2023/05/26

BELGIQUE

Lot 323

Sold to €150

Sold the 2023/05/26

FRANCE

Lot 324

Sold to €420

Sold the 2023/05/26

HONGRIE

Lot 325

Estimate

€80 - €100

Croix de chevalier de l'Ordre de la Légion d’honneur

Lot 326

Sold to €280

Sold the 2023/05/26

ALLEMAGNE

Lot 328

Sold to €40,000

Sold the 2023/05/25

François QUESNEL (Edimbourg, c.1543-Paris, 1616)

Lot 1

Sold to €45,000

Sold the 2023/05/25

École française du début du XVIIIe siècle, d’après Hyacinthe RIGAUD (1659-1743).

Lot 5

Sold to €5,000

Sold the 2023/05/25

École française du début du XVIIIe siècle.

Lot 6

Sold to €7,000

Sold the 2023/05/25

École hollandaise du milieu du XVIIIe siècle.

Lot 7

Sold to €4,000

Sold the 2023/05/25

École française du XIXe siècle, d’après Alexandre KUCHARSKI (1741-1819).

Lot 9

Sold to €8,000

Sold the 2023/05/25

École française de la fin du XVIIIe ou du début du XIXe siècle.

Lot 10

Sold to €1,400

Sold the 2023/05/26

BULGARIE

Lot 256

Sold to €24,000

Sold the 2023/05/26

Athalie Josephine Mélanie DU FAGET (Les Vans, 1811-?)

Lot 263

Sold to €2,500

Sold the 2023/05/26

RARE AIGLE D'OR DE LA LÉGION D'HONNEUR DU 3E TYPE D’ÉPOQUE PREMIER EMPIRE

Lot 310

Sold to €350

Sold the 2023/05/26

La Légion d’honneur.

Lot 314

Sold to €40

Sold the 2023/05/26

Paire d’épaulettes brodées d’officier de l’intendance. TBE.

Lot 330

Estimate

€20 - €30

Épaulettes torsadées d’officier de l’armée de l’air. TBE.

Lot 331

Estimate

€4,000 - €6,000

RARE MÉDAILLE COMMÉMORATIVE DU COURONNEMENT DE LA REINE VICTORIA EN OR

Lot 335

Sold to €130

Sold the 2023/05/26

Lot de médailles

Lot 336

Sold to €25,000

Sold the 2023/05/25

Georges ROUGET (1783-1869, élève de David), entourage de.

Lot 11

Sold to €6,000

Sold the 2023/05/25

Jean-Antoine LAURENT (Baccarat, 1763-Épinal, 1832)

Lot 12

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