Bury and Hoyau, Modèles de serruerie choisis parmi ce que Paris offre de plus remarquable, de meilleur goût et de mieux exécutés, Paris, 1826, plates 49, 50 and 51;
Bresc-Bautier, Les Tuileries: grands décors d'un palais disparu, Paris, 2016.
This richly ornamented espagnolette with the monogram 'N' for Napoléon I possibly originates from the Palais de Tuileries, the new emperor’s main residence, or the Palais de Louvre, and reflects the design of an earlier example made under Louis XIV for the Gallery D'Apollon in the this palace (see Bury, p.49). It is possible that Percier and Fontaine might have been involved in its design as responsible for the refurbishment of the palace key rooms. Following a fire on May 23rd, 1871 at the Tuileries, it is known that many ruins and remains from this palace's interiors, such as door knobs, espagnolettes, locks and various other gilt-bronze mounts were sold in November 1871 and December 1882. Although locks and targettes with napoleonic symbols have appeared on the market, this finely chased espagnolette seems to be a unique survivor. The bee was adopted by Napoleon as part of his new emblems of Sovereignty at a Conseil d 'Etat in 1804 with a view to link the new Imperial family to the earliest French Monarch. The tomb of the first Merovingian King Childeric (d.457) was opened in 1653 and small gold bees were found in it.
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