Napoleon - An Intimate Portrait

Emperor’s tableware from St. Helena

Emperor’s tableware from St. Helena

Martin-Guillaume Biennais (knife) and Louis Nicolas Sommé (cutlery) -

To keep up his spirits, Napoléon dined formally most evenings with his friends and their wives. Despite their remote exile, they initially ate well on St. Helena. Later, when the English informed him they were reducing his food budget from 20,000 to 12,000 pounds a year, he was outraged. Low on funds, Napoléon had basketsful of his silver service hammered down and sold to raise money for his table. He would do this three times in all, making these pieces all the rarer.

Historical Provenance - Given by Joseph Bonaparte to his nephew, Nicolas Clary

Images © Chalençon
A Traveling Exhibition from Russell Etling Company (c) 2011