The Napoleonic emblems
The new emblems chosen by the Emperor to spread his dynastic project were confirmed by decree on 10 July 1804, namely Jupiter’s eagle, the stars, the laurel and oak leaves symbolising political and military power, as well as the cornucopias representing peace and fortune thanks to victory and glory. The six-branch star on this carpet is different from that of the Légion d’Honneur: this may be because this carpet was not aimed for military or official place, but rather for a civilian and fashionable interior.
Similar prestigious examples
The symbols mentioned above can be found on important French carpets, as the one from the Tuileries Salle du Trône, woven for the wedding of Napoléon and Marie-Louise circa 1806-1810, now in the Louvre (inv. OA 10284). The large carpet said « des Cohortes », realised in Tournai by the Piat Lefebvre manufacture for the Emperor’s Grand Cabinet at Saint-Cloud and now in the Mobilier National, is decorated with the same emblems.
Jacques-Louis de La Hamayde de Saint-Ange (1780- 1860) and the Piat Lefebvre manufacture
The common thread of these carpets is an architect named Louis de La Hamayde de Saint-Ange, said Saint-Ange, designer for the Garde-Meuble since the early 1800s and pupil of the architects Percier and Fontaine. His work is published by Ernest Dumonthier in the Recueil des dessins de tapis et tapisseries du Mobilier de la Couronne mainly intended to the workshops of the Savonnerie manufacture. Nevertheless, Saint-Ange also provided private manufactures, such as Sallandrouze de Lamornaix in Paris and Aubusson, or Piat Lefebvre in Tournai, with unsigned projects. This explains why we can connect the design of this carpet to his work.
The texture and the execution of this carpet may be attributed to the Piat Lefebvre manufacture, whose exports to Germany, Italy, Russia and America lead to a considerable rise. The client could choose between variants of drawings and three levels of quality, such as the « façon de savonnerie, superfin » as in this case.
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