Bronze Miniature Death Mask Portrait of Napoleon I, Circa 1850
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Height overall: 10cm (4in)
Cast bronze reduction of Dr. Antommarchi’s St. Helena death mask on Napoleon, surrounded by a laurel wreath set on a square integral bronze base, and mounted on a period stepped display stand covered in silk velvet (worn). Second Empire (1850-70).
Dr. Francois Carlo Antonmarchi (1780-1838) was Napoleon’s physician in exile on the island St Helena. Having fallen on hard times in 1833, he produced a full scale death mask for sale to subscribers in editions in plaster or bronze taken from his original of 1821. The present curio reflects the revived enthusiasm for Napoleon I following reburial at Les Invalides in 1840, and the failure of the Bourbon restoration of 1814-1848.