玳瑁鑲黃金雙人肖像鼻煙盒，皮埃爾·安德烈·蒙托邦製造，巴黎，1798-1809年 | 玳瑁鑲黃金雙人肖像鼻煙盒，皮埃爾·安德烈·蒙托邦製造，巴黎，1798-1809年
- ivory, tortoiseshell, gold
Eugénie, Empress of the French (1826-1920);
Prince Victor Napoléon (1862-1926);
Prince Louis Napoléon (1914-1997)
Exhibition catalogue, Eugène de Beauharnais, honneur & fidélité, Musée national des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau, 1999–2000;
Andrea Stuart, Josephine. The Rose of Martinique, London, 2004
Both miniatures are taken after paintings by Baron Gérard, of which several replicas were made. A version of the Hortense portrait is in the collection of the châteaux de Malmaison et Bois-Préau (inv. no. M.M. 40.47.7231), and a version of the Eugène portrait is in a private collection (see Malmaison 1999–2000, cat. no. 43). The original portraits were probably taken circa 1802, when Eugène was appointed a colonel of the chasseurs à cheval and Hortense married Louis Bonaparte.
The distinctive hexagonal shape of the miniatures is an example of a short-lived fashion for such geometric forms that flourished in France at the end of the Consulate and early years of the Empire. If not initiated by Jean Baptiste Isabey, it was certainly a fashion embraced by him: see an upright octagonal miniature of a lady in the Hillwood Museum, Washington (inv. no. 53.6) and a similarly shaped miniature of an officer of the Emperor’s House Guard, formerly in the D. David-Weill and Clore collections (Sotheby’s London, 17 March 1986, lot 110).
Pierre-André Montauban was born in Paris on 22 September 1763 but is not recorded as working there until 1800 when he entered a post-revolutionary mark as bijoutier; garnisseur from 30 quai des Orfèvres. As garnisseur, he specialised in mounting miniatures or other types of panel in gold or more often, gold-lined or mounted tortoiseshell boxes. In common with other garnisseurs at this date, such as the Leferres, he appears to have worked both on his own account and more often as a supplier of boxes to retailers such as Gibert, particularly to produce presentation boxes for the Imperial family. No boxes with Montauban's maker's mark are to be found with post-1819 Paris marks and he is no longer recorded in the almanacs after around 1814 so it is to be presumed that he either retired, emigrated or died before then.