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 A 19th Century Polychrome and Gilt Wood Napoleonic Coat of Arms, Second Empire (1852-70)
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A 19th Century Polychrome and Gilt Wood Napoleonic Coat of Arms, Second Empire (1852-70)

Measurements: 74cm (29ins) x 61cm (24ins)

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A carved wood example of Napoleon III’s arms displaying the full regalia of the Empire first proclaimed in 1804.  Centered on the escutcheon bearing the imperial eagle – symbolic of military victory in ancient Rome – the armorial achievement comprises collar chain of the Legion d’Honneur set against the imperial mantle of ermine and velvet decorated with bees – symbolic of immortality and resurrection – as the most ancient emblem of the sovereigns of France. Behind the escutcheon are the crossed Sceptre (traditionally the baton of command and sign of sovereignty) and the Hand of Justice giving benediction. Surmounting the whole is the Napoleonic imperial crown, formed of eagles and topped with a globe bearing a cross.

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