Description This box is chiseled, partially enameled, and set with three oval portrait miniatures representing: 1. Napoleon I (1767-1821) wearing the uniform of "chausseurs à cheval." Visible on his chest is the star of the Legion of Honor. 2. The "King of Rome" (1811-1832), Napoleon's son by his second wife the Empress Marie-Louise. He wears the band and star of the Legion of Honor. 3. Empress Marie-Louise (1791-1847), the daughter of Francis I of Austria, who married Napoleon in 1810. The bees surrounding the miniatures were imperial symbols alluding to the Napoleon's royal predecessors, the Merovingian Frankish kings who ruled France from the 5th-8th centuries. Jewels discovered in their tombs were mistakenly identified as representing bees rather than cicadas.
- Objects of Vertu: Precious Works of the Eighteenth Century. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984.
- Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of Jewelry from the Walters Art Museum. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2009.
Provenance William T. Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by William T. Walters
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