Thursday, October 24, 2013

Collection For Sale

I ran across your wonderful Blog on the internet today. My father, Dr. J. Armand Gelinas, was a Napoleonic scholar and spent over 30 years of his life doing research on this general.I was wondering with all of your contacts if you might be able to recommend someone who might be interested in his Napoleon collection. My father was slated to move in with my family in Atlanta but unfortunately he passed away before he was able to make the trip. To make a long story short, I inherited his entire collection consisting numerous etchings, artwork, NapoleonicSociety plates, and an extensive book collection. My father was an avid collector and subject matter expert and was published in many journals.   I am relocating to the Ohio area and unable to take all of this memorabilia with me as my new home will be much smaller. Can you put me in contact with anyone you may know would be interested in this most extensive collection.

Marc L. Gelinas, PMP

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Happy Anniversary Napoleon and Josephine

Napoleon and Josephine's wedding anniversary falls on the 9th March 1796.
This is Josephine's engagement ring.
It is up for auction.
I think it is stunning. I would give anything to just try it on.
Interested in owning a piece of history? The ring is estimated at €10 000 -15 000  and will go on sale on the 24th March through Osenat.
If I can't have it, I hope it ends up in a museum!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Eye of Napoléon

click image to enlarge

I could have fallen off my chair when I read an email from a friend.  They wondered if I knew about a Napoleon hour away from where I live.  
NO.  I DID NOT!!!  

Thank goodness people know I love Napoleon and send me little notes!

There is a fascinating Napoleon experience waiting for me at the Art Gallery in Hamilton, Ontario.

For all of his military exploits as the great conqueror of modern times, Napoléon was equally astute as a cultural imperialist, bringing French art and industry to a new flowering that aimed to surpass the achievements of antiquity while serving to cement his power and advance his geopolitical ambitions. Drawn from the Chalençon Collection (Paris, France), perhaps the world’s foremost private collection of Napoléonic material, The Eye of Napoléon presents some 200 rare objects that together provide insight into Napoléon’s aesthetic interests, private life, and the remarkable achievement of French painters, draftsmen, and decorative artists working in the Empire Style.

The exhibition’s exceptional quality and range of materials and techniques demonstrates how Napoléon nurtured and harnessed the glories of French art and craftsmanship, always with a special understanding of how things would be interpreted out in the world. From the period’s most renowned artists—painters such as Antoine-Jean Gros and Jean-Baptiste Regnault, and sculptors Jean-Antoine Houdon and Antonio Canova—Napoléon commissioned signal works that imaged the pomp of his reign and diffused his likeness, while gesturing to the cultural authority of the antique. Recalling from his readings in history that every great ruler pervaded an era, Napoléon likewise sought to impress his mark on every domain of the decorative arts, exemplified in the exhibition through magnificent examples of Sèvres porcelain, jewellery and elaborate personal effects.

click image to enlarge Also featuring personal items, including Napoléon’s hat, snuffbox and collapsible campaign bed, the exhibition affords us a glimpse of Napoléon the man and functions as an object lesson on how the things with which we surround ourselves define our public identity. 

The Eye of Napoléon
On view November 10, 2012 to May 5, 2013
Organized by Exhibits Development Group, USA, in cooperation with the Chalençon Collection, Paris, France

Founded in 1914, the Art Gallery of Hamilton is Ontario’s third largest public art gallery and owns one of the finest collections of art in Canada, featuring over 9,500 works of art including historical European, historical Canadian and contemporary art. Its renovated and award-winning premises present exhibitions that change three times a year, plus visitors can enjoy the always-tempting Shop at AGH and Café at AGH.  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Obama as Napoleon (Napoleon-like)

This looks like an excellent article!

Friday, September 14, 2012

200 Years Ago Today


The fire of Moscow
Napoleon's victory at Borodino had thrown open the road to Moscow. The Russian commander, Mikhail Kutuzov - backed by Barclay de Tolly - made the heart-rending decision to abandon the city to the advancing Grande Armée in the hope that it would buy them the time needed to recover. As the Russian army marched out over 13 and 14 September, Moscow's governor Fyodor Rostopchin gave the order to evacuate the fire brigade and the city's water pumps. The source of the fire that broke out the evening of 14 September remains uncertain: contemporary accounts blamed Napoleon, whilst there is evidence to suggest that Rostopchin - backed by a group of arsonists - ordered the destruction. In his account of the Russian campaign, Comte Philippe de Ségur blamed the Russians, and wondered what their target had been:

"Had the Muscovites, knowing our reckless and negligent carelessness, conceived of the idea to burn with Moscow our soldiers drunk from wine, fatigue and sleep? Or rather had they dared believe that they would envelope Napoleon in this catastrophe; that the loss of this man was well worth [the loss] of their capital; that such a great result merited sacrificing the whole of Moscow; that perhaps the Heavens, in order to grant them such a victory, had demanded an equally great sacrifice; that, in short, [the destruction of] this immense colossus would require an immense pyre?"

Whatever the cause, the fire engulfed the city, full of exhausted (and drunken, in many cases) soldiers of the Grande Armée who had staggered through its gates just a few hours before. By 20 September, when the rains finally came and extinguished the flames, the fire had destroyed a third of all houses within the walls and over two hundred churches.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


This is a print of Josephine I have not seen before.  I found it in the New York Public Library digital archive.  They did not say who printed it but I do love see the jewelry illustrated.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Napoleon Antiques

 It is always good to spot Napoleon in my travels.  My eye finds him tucked into many corners and cabinets.  In this display they had a plate and two bookends.
Thinking about it.
Do I need two cognac themed 
bookends for $295?

Friday, August 17, 2012

General's Wing To Be Restored!

Save Napoleon I’s residence on St Helena
International Appeal

 From site

With their donations both large and small, nearly 1,200 companies and private individuals have to date contributed to the campaign to save the home of Napoleon I on the island of St Helena. We offer our most sincere thanks for their efforts.

Today, we can announce that our fund raising appeal has reached its first goal, set at 700,000 €, to fund the restoration of the Generals' Wing. This has been added to the 700,000 € set aside by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Work is scheduled to begin before the end of 2012. This fantastic news can only serve to encourage us towards one last effort.

Thanks to the generosity of one and all, we are now in a position to continue our work and proceed with restoring the interiors and furniture of the emperor's apartments. For this, a further 200,000 € is required, which - once added to the sum already raised by the appeal - will allow us to:

- restore the drapes, carpets, and tapestries in the bedroom, the bathroom, and the salon at Longwood (the latter was the room in which the emperor died).

- repatriate to France one-hundred or so original items of furniture from Longwood to allow specialists to restore them. Once this work is complete, they will be placed on public display in a specially-organised exhibition, before being transported back to St Helena.

We understand the current economic climate is not ideal, and that this is just one of many fundraising requests that we all receive throughout the year, but we should nevertheless like to appeal to you one final time, be it for the 2011 fiscal year, or for that of 2012. It really is an important, most Napoleonic cause.

If we are successful in this new goal, we shall all have contributed to the most extensive restoration project undertaken since the 1860s, an achievement most worthy of national recognition.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Vincenzo Vela Statue of Napoleon

I have a very old book about Napoleon that included an illustration of a Napoleon Statue I have never seen.  Called "Dernier Jours de Napoleon" or The Last days of Napoleon I found a link to this picture on   My original book said the statue was at the Versailles Museum but I have never seen it. reported that it was now:  Rueil-Malmaison, musée national des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois Préa.

I have been there too and never saw the statue.  
So I went to that website and discovered another Museum 
I need to now add to my to-do list:  Musées de l’Île d’Aix
They have a Napoleon section!
When you research Napoleon online you can go to dozens of sites 
before getting an answer to your question.  
I did finally discover that the statue was unveiled in either 1878 or 1867.  It is very powerful to look at.  The cloth and paper look so real!  Further research shows that small copies are still popping up at auctions.

A little about the artist:
Having started work as a stonecutter when still very young, Vela received his initial training at Viggiù and then moved to Milan, where he worked on the Cathedral.  His repertoire of funerary monuments, portraits and public works drawing inspiration from the struggle for national liberation proved a great success also in France, where his work dedicated to the last days of Napoleon’s life won a prize at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867 and ensured his renown.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Acrostic Bracelet

ACROSTIC:  A series of lines in which certain letters--usually the first in each line--form a name or message when read in sequence.
The Napoleon Exhibit in Melbourne has some really interesting jewelry showcased.  A personal gold bracelet worn by Napoleon’s mother, Maria Laetitia Ramolino Bonaparte, is on exhibit. The piece is acrostic in that it spells her name ‘Letitia’ by using semiprecious stones which are used in succession.

Napoleon's mother, Maria Laetitia Ramolino Bonaparte's acrostic bracelet spells:

Lapis Lazuli, 
Ialino (Hyaline) and 

This piece has been loaned by the Napoleonic Museum in Rome (Museo Napoleonico).    I think the idea is brilliant and will need to make a bracelet for myself spelling my name in gem stones!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chaumet - Napoleon's Jeweler

 The Melbourne "Napoleon, Revolution to empire exhibit has been generating so many great articles and images featuring Napoleon objects.
The fabulous "Chaumet Crown" is one I love.  I did not realize that the Chaumet jewelry business still existed.  Can you imagine being part of a company that was Napoleon's Jeweler?  Wouldn't I like to see those sketches and invoices!
"The bee, the symbol of Napoleon I
The bee was the symbol of Napoleon I, which was then adopted by his personal jeweller. Through the Attrape-moi si… tu m’aimes collection, the bee has become a Chaumet icon. It embodies the game of love, shared feelings and the power of the hive, a solid, everlasting home.
As a tribute to this winged muse, Chaumet has now redesigned the honeycomb, the perfect hexagonal shape that structures the hive, with superb jewellery and luxury jewellery designs on which the bee comes to rest: tiaras, necklaces, watch straps, earrings, rings and brooches."  "Bee My Love."

Friday, May 18, 2012

May 18th - Over 200 Years Ago

On 18 May 1808, Napoleon I was named knight of the Order of the Elephant by King Frederik VI of Denmark. Announced shortly after the Treaty of Fontainebleau had been concluded (31 October 1807), this act sealed the alliance between France and Denmark. It was also the first nomination made by the new king upon his arrival on the throne.  Full story on

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Almost 200 Years Ago....

Napoleon Bonaparte, revolutionary general and Emperor of the French, died on May 5, 1821, after a six-year exile on the South Atlantic island of St. Helena.
Rest in peace.