Awarded to Louis Napoléon Bonaparte (1778-1846), King of Holland; Napoléon III, Emperor of the French (1808-1873); Eugénie, Empress of the French (1826-1920); Prince Victor Napoléon (1862-1926); Prince Louis Napoléon (1914-1997)
This is a large item with a width of 90.5mm and weighing in at 170g altogether.
The obverse (front) of the badge is a little dirty but is in almost perfect original condition. The stones are rough-cut as would be expected. The four decorated arms of the reverse are also in excellent condition. The reverse central plate is fixed with three gold rivets and the enamel around the upper pin has flaked where the badge has at some time been strained and has had a light repair (to the white enamel, without any attempt to reproduce the original lettering). There is also minor flaking to the red enamel around the cross surmounting the gold central orb and at the base of the red guilloche panel, immediately above the date '1708'. These faults may be seen quite clearly in the photograph and are very typical of this large and heavy Order. The crown is of excellent quality (in more yellow gold than the reddish badge), quite loosely fixed and perhaps added later. Again this is not unusual for the Order. The distinctive style of the crown is rather unusual and is similar to that found on badges worn by Registrars and officials of the Order, (cf Klenau, Graf Arnhard, Orden in Deutschland und Österreich, vol. II, nos. 890-895). "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."