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Lot 6310: Napoleon II - Roi de Rome (1811 - 1832) – a bronze plaque, allegedly from the sarcophagus in the Dome of Les Invalides 1940
02 November 2016
Munich, Bavaria, GermanyLive Auction
Description: Plaque in relief filled with lead, surmounted by Napoleon's imperial crown with flowing ribbons, the plate section with engraved inscription "JOS. CAR. FRANCISCI DUCIS REICHSTADIENSIS NATI PARISIIS XX MART MDCCCXI - MORS SCHOENBRUNN XXII JULII MDCCCXXXII". Three domed leaden rivet heads cover the fastening holes. Dimensions 20 x 12.5 cm. Napoleon Francis Joseph Charles Bonaparte (20 March 1811 in the Tuileries Palace in Paris – 22 July 1832 in Schönbrunn Palace near Vienna) was the only legitimate male descendant and long-desired heir to Napoleon's throne and was therefore nicknamed "L'Aiglon" ("Eaglet"). He was born from the latter's second marriage to Marie Louise of Austria. As Prince Imperial of France he obtained the title King of Rome in 1811, and in 1818 was appointed Duke of Reichstadt by his maternal grandfather, Emperor Francis I of Austria. After both abdications (1814 and 1815) and, finally, his father's death in 1821, he was proclaimed emperor three times as "Napoleon II" by the Bonapartistes. The body of the Duke of Reichstadt was buried in the Capuchin Crypt of Vienna, his heart was placed in the Hearts' Crypt of the Habsburg family in St. Augustin and his viscera in the Ducal Crypt of St. Stephen's Cathedral. This was in line with the burial ceremonial of the House of Habsburg ("separate interment"). On 14 December 1940, the sarcophagus with the remains of the Duke was conveyed to Paris at the behest of Adolf Hitler, and shortly after midnight – exactly 100 years after his father – was placed beside Napoleon I. In 1969, the sarcophagus was moved to the lower church. The Duke's heart and his viscera, however, remained in Vienna. Before 1969, the sarcophagus was placed in different positions. According to the previous owner, this plaque was affixed to or in front of the coffin, presumably during the earliest position. In 1969, the Eaglet's sarcophagus was transferred to the lower church.
Condition Report: II +
Notes: Frankreich 1. Kaiserreich