Description

    [Napoleon]. Proces-Verbal de la Ceremonie du Sacre et du Couronnement...Napoleon et l'Imperatrice Josephine. Paris: l'Imprimerie Imperiale, 1805. From a private collection from New Orleans.

    More Information:

    First edition. Small quarto. [iv], 117, [1, blank] pages. Contemporary half brown calf gilt, raised bands, brown morocco spine label, red paper boards with vellum comers. Minor rubbing to binding, some light foxing in text, bookplate of noted Napoleonic scholar, Baron Charles d'Huart. Still, a fine copy. Housed in a modern custom slipcase.

    Written by Louis Phillipe, Comte de Segur, the grand master of ceremonies, this is a first-hand and detailed account of the coronation of Napoleon and Josephine as emperor and empress of France. It also served as the official account of the ceremony, which was meticulously planned by Napoleon personally: "In contrast to Louis XVI's coronation, when the public had been admitted only when the sacring was over, Napoleon had insisted that the sacred must be seen to be done... The ceremony began with the recitation of litanies. Then the Pope anointed Napoleon and Josephine. He said the first part of the Mass... After the Gradual he blessed the regalia and handed them in tum to Napoleon: orb, hand of justice, sword, scepter. Then Napoleon walked up the steps to the altar, a lone figure under the soaring columns, took the gold laurel crown in both hands and placed it on his head. 'Vivat lmperator in Asternum' chanted the choir. He was 35 years old. For many Napoleon's coronation was the highpoint of the ceremony, but for Napoleon himself the next action was more important. As Josephine came forward and knelt at the foot of the altar steps, tears of emotion dropping on her clasped hands, Napoleon lifted her crown high in his arms and, after a moment's pause, placed it gently on her head, arranging it with care on her ringleted hair" (Cronin, pp. 251-252).

    Barbier III, 1054.



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    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    2nd Wednesday
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