48
48

CATHERINE, QUEEN OF WESTPHALIA

A purple leather travelling necessaire, set with an earlier ivory miniature, Jean Baptiste Joseph Duchesne, signed and dated: J B J. Duchesne. Paris. 1814 (?), circa 1835
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48

CATHERINE, QUEEN OF WESTPHALIA

A purple leather travelling necessaire, set with an earlier ivory miniature, Jean Baptiste Joseph Duchesne, signed and dated: J B J. Duchesne. Paris. 1814 (?), circa 1835
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Details & Cataloguing

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A purple leather travelling necessaire, set with an earlier ivory miniature, Jean Baptiste Joseph Duchesne, signed and dated: J B J. Duchesne. Paris. 1814 (?), circa 1835
she wearing a cream-coloured dress rimmed with gold ribbons and a lace scarf, the oval miniature set on the front of a rectangular folder of patterned deep amethyst leather containing a wallet, notebook with days of the week in French, steel pencil, scissors and file, gilt-metal tweezers and combined pincers and spoon, with tortoiseshell-mounted folding pen knife and lancet,  stamped gilt metal mounts, stamped for: Susse / 31 Place de la Bourse

MN 807


Quantity: 9
wallet 2.2 x 14.8 x 9.6 cm., miniature 7 x 5.1 cm.
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Provenance

Jérôme Napoléon, King of Westphalia (1784-1860);
Prince Napoléon, 'Plon-Plon' (1822-1891);
Prince Victor Napoléon (1862-1926);
Prince Louis Napoléon (1914-1997)

Literature

Related literature:

Vanessa Remington, Victorian Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, 2 vols, London, 2010

Catalogue Note

In 1807, Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte, King of Westphalia, married as his second wife Catherine of Württemberg at the Royal Palace of Fontainebleau. Born in St. Petersburg in 1783, she was the daughter of Frederick, Duke of Württemberg and Augusta of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Napoléon arranged this marriage for his younger brother in order to secure and expand his Empire. After the dissolution of the Kingdom of Westphalia and the end of the Empire, when Jérôme was sent into exile in Trieste, Catherine followed him despite her father’s expectation that she would separate from her husband. During the Hundred Days in 1815, the period between Napoléon’s return from exile on Elba to Paris and the restoration of Louis XVIII, Catherine helped Jérôme to escape in order to join Napoléon I. Later, the couple, who had three children, lived in Trieste, Italy and Switzerland, referring to themselves as Princess and Prince of Montfort, a title which they had been granted by the King of Württemberg. Catherine of Württemberg died in Lausanne in 1835.

Jean Baptiste Joseph Duchesne (1770–1856), son of the sculptor Charles Jean Baptiste Duchesne, studied miniature painting in Paris under François Elie Vincent and Jean Baptiste Jacques Augustin. He exhibited at the Salon between 1802 and 1842, and in 1814 was appointed chevalier of the Legion of Honour. The transition from Bonaparte to Bourbon rule in no way affected his career, and he continued to receive the most eminent patronage. A letter of recommendation written in 1841 by Louise, Queen of the Belgians, to her niece Queen Victoria is revealing of his character: ‘[Duchesne] is a poor old Man but a very excellent Man and a most conscientious and highly gifted artist. He is only very slow as he finishes very much all he does and does not work for raising money: but through real love of his Art’ (quoted Remington, vol. I, p. 158). In the mid 1820s he began to add the name of the town of his birth to his signature: Duchesne de Gisors.

The firm of Susse, later Susse Frères, was established in the passage des Panoramas in Paris in 1805 as stationers, soon under the Empress's patronage. They rapidly expanded into metalwork with the purchase of a foundry for the creation of both statues and artistic frames, and then into all types of fancywork with impressed leather document holders and wallets in rich colours a particular speciality. They opened their premises at 31 place de la Bourse around 1831 and in 1839 they signed a contract with Daguerre and Alphonse Giroux to produce the first commercially available cameras.

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