Murat was responsible for reviving the Neapolitan naval construction industry following a direct order from the Emperor in 1810. During the following years a number of new warships were completed including the 74-gun ships of the line Capri (launched 1810) and Giacchino (launched 1812), the frigates Carolina (launched 1811) and Letizia (launched 1812). Vesuvio, an 80-gun ship, was on the stocks at the time of Murat’s fall. The Neapolitan Navy followed the French navy fashion for their uniforms and weapons. See Digby Smith, The Army of the Kingdom of Naples, 1806-15, Helion & Company, 2018.
The present sword is related, and perhaps inspired by, the work of Martin Guillaume Biennais (1764–1843) who supplied the Emperor's crown and sceptre for his coronation in 1804 and the sword of Murat as King of Naples. The latter incorporates a cameo on the langet decorated with Caroline Bonaparte as Queen and has similarly decorated quillons and pommel to the present sword. The Biennais sword was previously in the ownership of Murat’s descendant family and on display at the Musée de L’Armée (10397 - dépôt 148). See Napoléon et ses soldats. L'apogée de la gloire 1804-1809, Relié, 1986.
The Neapolitan Royal Manufactory was founded in 1757 by Charles VII, King of Naples, at Torre Annunziata near Naples. The firearms and edged weapons are of a consistently high quality and during this period they show a very clear influence from contemporary French maker’s. The use of faceted beads, as illustrated on the present sword, is a particular characteristic and is seen on a number of the most elaborate swords from there, such as that belonging to Joseph Bonaparte, presented by the Duke of Wellington to The Prince Regent in 1813, having been seized from his baggage by the British after the battle of Vitoria in 1813.
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