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Francesco Antommarchi (1780-1838) Death mask of Napoleon I | Francesco Antommarchi (1780-1838) Masque mortuaire de Napoléon Ier

Francesco Antommarchi (1780-1838) Death mask of Napoleon I | Francesco Antommarchi (1780-1838) Masque mortuaire de Napoléon Ier

Francesco Antommarchi (1780-1838) Death mask of Napoleon I | Francesco Antommarchi (1780-1838) Masque mortuaire de Napoléon Ier

Francesco Antommarchi (1780-1838)

Death mask of Napoleon I


patinated bronze

signed on the side of the neck DR F ANTOMMARCHI, inscribed FONDU PAR L RICHARD ET QUESNEL A PARIS and engraved with the pastille NAPOLEON EMP. ET ROI. SOUSCRIPTION. DR. ANTOMMARCHI. 1833

28 x 35 cm ; 11 by 13¾ in.

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Francesco Antommarchi (1780-1838)

Masque mortuaire de Napoléon Ier


bronze patiné

signé sur la tranche du cou DR F ANTOMMARCHI, marqué FONDU PAR L RICHARD ET QUESNEL A PARIS et gravé NAPOLEON EMP. ET ROI. SOUSCRIPTION. DR. ANTOMMARCHI. 1833

The bronze is in overall good condition with minor wear to the highpoints (eyebrows, nose tip etc.) in some places and minor dirt to the surface, as well as a few minor scratches at some places, consistent with age and handling. There are some remains of vert de gris (oxidation), in particular to the inside of the cushion and to the lower edges of Napoléon’s death mask


Please note: Condition XVI of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot. (Veuillez noter que l'Article XVI des Conditions Générales de Vente applicables aux Vendeurs (Ventes Effectuées Exclusivement en Ligne) n'est pas applicable pour ce lot.)


 The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Former collection Count Francesco Mattei;

Giovanni Pratesi Antiquario, Florence;

Private collection, Italy.

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Ancienne collection du comte Francesco Mattei ;

Antiquaire Giovanni Pratesi, Florence ;

Collection privée, Italie.

San Miniato (Pisa), Museo dell Academia degli Euteleti

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San Miniato (Pise), Museo dell Academia degli Euteleti

On 7 May 1821 in St Helena, two days after Napoleon’s death, the Corsican physician Francesco Antommarchi (1780-1838) made an impression of his face. Plaster casts were produced from this death mask, as well as five examples in bronze, which Dr Francesco Antommarchi made available for purchase by national subscription in 1833. An example without the cushion is in the Musée du Louvre (inv. no. LP 235).


The present bronze mask is one of the reproductions made from the cast of the Emperor’s face. It is said to have belonged to the family of the Roman count Francesco Mattei, who were related to Antommarchi. On the count’s death, the mask was bought by the antique dealer Giovanni Pratesi in Florence, where it was discovered and bought by an ancestor of the current owner. For many years it was exhibited in the museum of the Accademia degli Euteleti in San Miniato (Pisa), alongside another funerary mask of Napoleon.

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C'est deux jours après sa disparition, le 7 mai 1821, que le médecin corse Francesco Antommarchi (1780-1838) réalise à Sainte-Hélène une empreinte du visage de Napoléon Bonaparte. Des plâtres furent édités à partir de ce masque mortuaire, ainsi que cinq épreuves en bronze, acquises par souscription nationale du Dr Antommarchi en 1833. Un exemplaire dépourvu du coussin est conservé au Louvre (inv. no. LP 235).


Le présent masque en bronze fait partie des reproductions réalisées d’après le moulage du visage de l’Empereur. Il aurait appartenu à la famille du comte romain Francesco Mattei, elle-même apparentée à Antommarchi. A la mort du comte, le masque est acquis par l’antiquaire Giovanni Pratesi à Florence, où un ancêtre du propriétaire actuel l’a découvert et acheté. Il fut longtemps exposé au Musée de l’Academia degli Euteleti à San Miniato (Pise), aux côtés d’un autre masque funéraire de Napoléon.