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Prints of French History and Napoleon Bonaparte

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Napoleon 1

Prints of
French History and Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon 2


Political Quadrille
Ansell. "Political Quadrille - the Game Up. Plate 2d." London: Walker, August 1808. Etching. Original hand color. 12 1/8 x 14 5/8. Minor wear at edges; expertly repaired tear through upper right corner. Else, very good condition. George 11015.

In this skillful caricature, the artist arranges eight European nations in a farcical card game (Quadrille, a four-handed version of the popular Ombre). As George III looks on from the edge, Tsar Alexander (marked by the bear on his seat-back) re-evaluates the alliance he formed with Napoleon at Tilsit (July 1807). His ally is thrashed by an angry Spanish patriot, who demands the return of his king, Ferdinand VII, who had been ousted when Napoleon installed his brother Joseph on the Spanish throne (June 1808). Meanwhile, Prussian King Frederick William III (in blue coat), still smarting from defeats suffered from France in 1806, determines to take advantage of the fray, as does Austrian Emperor Francis II (in white coat), who had recently been dethroned as Holy Roman Emperor by Napoleon's formation of the Confederation of the Rhine (July 1806). At the right edge of the scene, Pope Pius VII remains soundly dominated by Napoleon, whose boot rests on the upturned symbol of the Catholic Church. Indeed, a few years after this caricature, Napoleon would arrest the Holy Father for excommunicating the "despoilers of the church" (May-July 1809). The final member of Napoleon's table, a squat Dutchman with a pipe moves to leave the game, removing himself from the struggle. Though Napoleon imposed his brother Louis as ruler of Holland, the little nation was not entirely ungrateful - the alternative was complete annexation by France, and their new French king actually managed some beneficial public works projects during his reign. This savvy Dutchman decides it in his best interest, then, to avoid the fracas altogether. All in all, this is a masterful satirical interpretation of Europe's tangled political situation.

*Note: Broadley credits this to an artist named only as "Ansell." George identifies no artist. $1,450

The Fencing Lesson
Johann Gottfried Schadow. "Die Fechtstunde." [The Fencing Lesson]. Aquatint by Ludwig Buchhorn. 7 3/4 x 14 3/4 (image) plus full margins. Berlin, circa. 1814. Trimmed within platemarks, but generous borders and excellent condition.

Dating this print is difficult because it could apply to a broad time during the Napoleonic wars. The period just prior to Bonaparte's first abdication is selected from internal evidence. By 1814 the strong Prussian incursions into France were the principle threat, so a petite and dancing Napoleon is shows fencing with a strong and heavy Prussian officer. Each are backed by national types: Napoleon by an infantryman, one of his marshals, and a satire of an effete Tallyrand; the Prussian could be Blucher backed by a Dutchman, an Alsatian, and a Russian on horseback. Judging between the two combatants stands an English sailor, commander of the seas and self-assured victor in the wars. Comments by each is delicately engraved in the top margin. We assume that the print was made in Berlin since Schadow (1764-1850) and Buchhorn (1777-1856) worked in that city. $400

A Pleasent Draught
"A Pleasent [sic] Draught for Louis / or the way to get rid of a Troublesome fellow." Uncredited. London: ca. summer 1815. 11 1/4 x 8 1/4 (image) plus margin and text at bottom. Wove paper. Engraved number "363" in upper right. George, 12268.

Louis XVIII, was the elder of the two surviving brothers of Louis XVI, and after the first exile of Napoleon by the allies, he was appointed King of France, reigning as a constitutional monarch until 1824. Here he is seen, fat and suffering from gout, wearing the star of St. Louis, and holding a wine glass containing the reduced figure of Napoleon Bonaparte. A fine print expressing smug satisfaction at the political situation in Europe in the style of the golden age of British caricature. $750

Canova's Statue
"Canova's Statue of Napoleon." From The Analectic Magazine. Philadelphia: October 1820. 7 1/2 x 5. Line engraving. Very good condition.

In 1812, Philadelphia bookseller and publisher Moses Thomas purchased a monthly magazine entitled Select Reviews, engaged Washington Irving as editor, and renamed the publication The Analectic Magazine. Irving, his brother-in-law J. K. Paulding, Gulian C. Verplanck and, later, Thomas Isaac Wharton wrote much of the material, which concentrated on literary reviews, articles on travel and science, biographies of naval heroes, and reprints of selections from British periodicals. Illustration "was one of the magazine's chief distinctions. Not only were there the usual engravings on copper, but some of the earliest magazine experiments in lithography and wood engraving appeared here. The plates were chiefly portraits, though some other subjects were used." (Mott, A History of American Magazines) $175

"A Eux La Honte, A Lui La Gloire." Paris: Dopter, undated, but ca. 1821. Aquatint by Roenuld. 7 3/4 x 11 1/2. Some light discoloration in margins. Very good condition.

A fascinating 'apotheosis' print of Napoleon issued shortly after his death on May 5, 1821. Napoleon is shown being lead up to heaven by a trumpet blowing goddess, while his troops and officers praise him with laurel branches. To the left is shown some mourners on St. Helena. Below is a elegy to the great man. $275

Gudin: Landing at Malta
After Gudin. "Debarquement à l'Ile de Malte." [Bonaparte landing on Malta]. 12 1/4 x 17 3/4 (image). Paris: ca. 1830. Lithograph by C. Motte. Very good condition.

A dramatic lithograph showing Napoleon landing on Malta in 1798. The island of Malta was an important strategic stronghold in the Mediterranean Sea and Napoleon knew that controlling it would help French fleet, both in the region and his desire to conquer Egypt and India. He captured the island but the Maltese revolted and remaining French forces were forced to surrender when the British intervened. Thus began the start of a century and half of British rule of the island. $325

"Réception Des Cendres De L'Empereur Napoléon." Paris, undated but ca. 1840. Lithograph. 8 1/8 x 12. Original hand color. Some wear and light smudging in margins. Overall, very good condition.

In 1840, Louis Phillippe ordered that the body of Napoleon be moved from St. Helena to the Invalides in Paris. This French lithograph shows the casket being turned over to the naval guard of honor before being sent out to the ship for transport. $225

Delaroche: Les Girondins
Paul Delaroche [1797-1856]. "Les Girondins." Paris and London: Goupil, 1858. 21 x 38 1/4 (image) with full platemarks and margins. Steel mezzotint by Edouard Girardet [1819-1880]. Notes on far bottom corners state that publishers were in New York at Knoedlers and Goupil in Berlin. Excellent.

The Girondists were a political faction that was part of the leftist Legislative Assembly of 1791-92. They were typically youthful idealists with a penchant for fine oratory, and since a large percentage of them came from Bordeaux, they were named for their department ­ the Gironde. As the royalists were either executed or expelled, the Girondists became the only party with power that could be labeled as right. They did not wish to execute the king while favoring a federal form of government. With the coming of the National Convention of 1792-3, Robespierre and his party, the Mountain, gained power. On 2 June 1793 the Jacobins and the members of the commune had the National Guard arrest 31 Girondist deputies. Subsequently many of them were executed during the Reign of Terror. In this picture some of the members are being summoned to their executions. Their deaths were unnecessary since at heart they were revolutionaries. Here was a history lesson for Europeans in power who would be persecuting the revolutionaries of 1848. $850

Vernet: Adieux de Fontainebleau
After Horace Vernet. "Adieux de Fontainebleau. (20 April 1814)." Paris: Goupil & Vibert, ca. 1860. 19 1/4 x 25 1/2. Aquatint by Jean-Pierre Marie Jazet. Very good condition.

After his failed invasion of Russia and defeat by the Allies, Napoleon abdicated and bid farewell to the remnants of his faithful officers in the courtyard at Fontainebleau before being sent into exile on the island of Elba. The emotional speech he gave to his Old Guard:

Soldiers of my Old Guard: I bid you farewell. For twenty years I have constantly accompanied you on the road to honor and glory.
In these latter times, as in the days of our prosperity, you have invariably been models of courage and fidelity. With men
such as you our cause could not be lost; but the war would have been interminable; it would have been civil war, and that would
have entailed deeper misfortunes on France. I have sacrificed all of my interests to those of the country. I go, but you, my
friends, will continue to serve France. Her happiness was my only thought. It will still be the object of my wishes. Do not
regret my fate; if I have consented to survive, it is to serve your glory. I intend to write the history of the great
achievements we have performed together. Adieu, my friends. Would I could press you all to my heart.

Bouchot: Funerailles de Marceau
After F. Bouchot. "Funérailles de Marceau." Paris: F Dubreuil ca. 1860. 20 x 30 (image) plus margins. Mezzotint. Very good condition.

François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers was a French general of the Revolutionary Wars. Born in Chartres in 1769, Marceau enlisted in the French Army at age 16. While in Paris, he participated in the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. Resigning from the Army, he joined the National Guard and was eventually promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of a French Revolutionary Army battalion. In 1793, Marceau distinguished himself in battle against the Royalist forces by rescuing an important Revolutionary representative. He was promoted through the ranks after winning several victories and reached the rank of General of the Division upon his death in 1796, when he was wounded in battle during the unsuccessful invasion of Germany. His ashes were eventually interred in the Pantheon in Paris in 1889. $575

[Napoleon.] Chicago: Werner Co., ca. 1880-90. Tinted lithograph. 24 x 18 1/4. Some chipping at edges of margins, but image very good.

A large, handsome portrait of Napoleon issued by a Chicago firm near the end of the nineteenth century. $375

"Valeur et Humanité." From Napoléon par l'Image Populaire. Portraits-Scènes-Batailles. [Épinal: Pellerin, 1819 to 1863]-Paris: Pellerin et Cie, 1912. Folio ca. 15 x 22. Wood engraving by Pellerin, Réveillé or Georgin. Original hand color. Extensive text below image.

From 1819 to 1863, the firm of Pellerin at Épinal produced a number of secular French historical images by the process of wood engraving, with hand color. It appears the firm kept the plates, for in 1912, Pellerin et Cie issues a group of these images in a portfolio entitled Napoleon par l'image Populaire. The primary force behind these images was Jean-Charles Pellerin (1756-1836), a clock maker in Épinal, who had the idea to expand production of wood engraved religious images to secular ones also, all for popular consumption. Pellerin's studio originated the print industry in Épinal. Pellerin taught his trade to Réveillé, an imperial soldier, who recorded his memories of the campaigns. Réveillé then taught François Georgin (1801-1863), who continued the firm. Later the firm moved to Paris and it is there that these later impressions were pulled, preserving for us these wonderful popular images which would scarce have survived into this century otherwise.

Most images portrayed events in the career of Napoleon Bonaparte where he was victorious, though others show later events where the French were outnumbered, but still invincible. $250

John Codman Rope. An Atlas of the Campaign of Waterloo. Folio. New York: Scribner's, 1893. 2ll, 14 double page, hinged maps. Original black, cloth covers. Some bumps to boards; interior is excellent. Ex libris.

This atlas was designed to accompany Rope's Campaign of Waterloo-A Military History. From an initial map showing the entire theatre of the battle (northwest France and Belgium) to troop positions at hourly intervals. $275


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