This is a reduction of the monumental bronze column erected to the glory of Napoleon I in the Place Vendôme, Paris. Constructed between 1806-1810, it was designed by Denon, Gondouin and Lepère. It is encased in the bronze of cannons which had been captured at the Battle of Austerlitz (1805) and the spiral bronze bas relief, commemorating Napoleon I's victories, was created by Bergeret. The column was originally fitted with a statue of Napoleon dressed as Caesar; this was replaced during the Restauration with an effigy of Henri IV, which was removed when Napoelon returned from Elba. Subsequently, on the instructions of Louis Philippe, the statue was replaced by the figure of Napoleon wearing his familiar bi-corn hat, as depicted on the present piece.
An identical, slightly taller, example was in the collection of Bill Blass, sold, Sotheby's, New York, October 21-23, 2003, lot 180.
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