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Details about  1807 NAPOLEON AUTOGRAPH SIGNED (LS) ORDER FOR AN ARC DE TRIOMPHE IN PARIS

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1807 NAPOLEON AUTOGRAPH SIGNED (LS) ORDER FOR AN ARC DE TRIOMPHE IN PARIS
1807-NAPOLEON-AUTOGRAPH-SIGNED-LS-ORDER-FOR-AN-ARC-DE-TRIOMPHE-IN-PARIS
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--not specified
Ended:
11 Jul, 2014 23:45:15 BST
Starting bid:
US $12,000.00
Approximately £7,225.65(including postage)
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Item location:
Bainbridge Island, Washington, United States

Description

eBay item number:
261521492936
Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.

Item specifics

Autograph Authentication:

BSL

NAPOLEONIC WAR:

ARC DE TRIOMPHE

Original/Reproduction:

Original

FRENCH GENERAL OFFICERS:

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE

Signed by:

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE

  

FROM THE BERRYHILL & STURGEON
 
NAPOLEONIC & PENINSULAR WAR ARCHIVES

 

NAPOLEON’S ORIGINAL ORDER FOR THE GRAND ARMY'S TRIUMPHAL ENTRY INTO PARIS IN 1807
CELEBRATING ITS GREATEST MILITARY VICTORIES AND DOMINATION OF CONTINENTAL EUROPE

DATED: OCTOBER 31, 1807



With the main “Arc de Triomphe” still under construction
Napoleon orders a provisional, predecessor Arch built for the occasion
.
     As General of the People, Napoleon writes: "...We honor all the Grand Army"

 

THIS DOCUMENT IS COVERED BY OUR WRITTEN, SIGNED AND SEALED
LIFETIME GUARANTEE OF AUTHENTICITY

 

This is the letter in which Napoleon orders the Great Triumph
including the details of the festivities, the songs, crowns, sentiments. and an Arch 
Letter Signed, Fontainebleau, October 31, 1807, signed "Napol,"


NOTE: We have correlated dates from the Napoleonic dating system to the more common Western dating system.

 


Fountainebleu the 31st 8 o'clock 1807


My guard will arrive in the first days of November. My intention is that they be received on their arrival in Paris with great pomp and that a Triumphal Arch ("arc de triomphe") be erected on the route they will pass. I have ordered Marshall Bessières to give a great dinner and grand ball for the officers at the Military School. I want the Municipal Corps and General Council to give a great dinner for all the soldiers in the name of the City of Paris. This ought to be a fraternal dinner given to around 12,000 men. You must, in all the representations and images made for this occasion, ensure that the focus is on my Guard and not on me, and that all might see that in my Guard, we honor all the Grand Army. The prefect and the Municipal Corps will receive my Guard on their entry into Paris. It goes without saying that we should have songs and other pieces of verse composed for this occasion. Crowns of gold will be presented on this day to the Guard to be placed on the flags. On this, I pray to God that he has you under his holy watch Fountainebleu the 31st 8 o'clock 1807
.

    


Napol[eon]
Correct mid-date Autograph

 

 

Historical Note

In May 1803, war broke out again between France and Britain. Russia, Austria, and Sweden joined Britain in the Third Coalition. It was to no avail. Austria and Russia were defeated at the great battle of Austerlitz on December 2, 1805. Napoleon crushed the Prussians at Jena on October 14, 1806, and the Russians at Friedland on June 14, 1807. His triumphs were marked by treaties; the Treaties of Tilsit were signed in the town of Tilsit in July 1807 in the aftermath of Friedland: the first on 7 July with Tsar Alexander I of Russia (who met Napoleon on a raft in the middle of the Neiman River), the second with Prussia on 9 July. These treaties ended war between Imperial Russia and the French Empire. The two countries secretly agreed to aid each other in disputes. France pledged to aid Russia against Ottoman Turkey, while Russia agreed to join the Continental System against the British Empire. Napoleon also convinced Alexander to enter into the Anglo-Russian War and to instigate the Finnish War against Sweden in order to force Sweden to join the Continental System. Napoleon arranged to host Alexander I at Fontainebleau in mid November. This was one of the great military triumphs of French history.

So Napoleon now turned his attention to celebrating these epochal victories. There would be a grand reception for the returning Grand Army, the first that would rival a Roman triumph and eclipse its historic French equivalents. The year before, he had commissioned Jean Chalgrin to create the Arc de Triomphe that now sits on the Champs Elysees. However, this would not be done for decades. Impatient for the glorious associations the Arc would bring, he turned again to Chalgrin to create a Provisional Arc (the father and predecessor of the now-famous one), one sufficiently large, elegant and impressive to welcome him and his victorious soldiers home in less than one month. This was not to be an homage solely to him, but a celebration for all the army and nation. Songs were to be sung, crowns bestowed, the whole city made part of the returning general’s festivities. St. Hilaire's History of the Imperial Guard gives a full account of the celebration.:

"Paris has nothing to envy anymore of the most glorious memories of the old capital of the world; Paris, like Rome of the Caesars, was to attend the spectacle of one of its great military triumphs. The fête given by the city, November 25, 1807, to the elite of the grand army, on its return from the campaigns of Prussia and Poland, offered the imposing tableau of these ancient solemnities. The city council had voted on gold crowns for the Imperial Guard; Napoleon had approved all of this both noble and delicate expression of the admiration and recognition of the Parisians; the offer of these crowns was the principal object of the fête. Outside the barrier of the Villette, by which the ten thousand soldiers of the Imperial Guard were to enter, had been raised a triumphal arch of a colossal proportion: twenty men could pass abreast through it. Vast platforms, in the shape of an amphitheatre, had been fitted, on the right and on the left, in the interior of the triumphal arch. One was intended for many an orchestra, the other for the municipal body of Paris. As of nine o’clock in the morning, Wednesday November 25, 1807, in spite of a dark and rainy appearance, an immense crowd pressed itself up to the accesses of the triumphal arch; they awaited the Imperial Guard whose acclamations of enthusiasm soon announced its approach.... The municipal body took its place under the triumphal arch, the orchestra carried out this song whose words were by Arnault, and the music of Méhul:

These conquerors, are your husbands,
They are your children or your brothers.
When these intrepid soldiers,
Triumphing initially over your tears,
With the first signal of the engagements,
Themselves shoot off their weapons,
French, they flew to glory!

An innumerable population formed everywhere lining the route of the Guard which arrived in the court of Tuileries, while passing under the triumphal arch which, on the side of the Carrousel, forms the principal entry of this palace it they deposited its eagles; from there, crossing the garden of Tuileries, it left its weapons there, to go to the Champs-Elysées and to take its seat at the banquet which was prepared for them; ten thousand forks and spoons had been laid out; the municipal body made the honors of the feast. The toasts were carried out in the following order:

 By the Prefect of the Seine: to H. M. the Emperor and King.
 By Marshal Bessières: to the town of Paris.
 By the Prefect of the Seine: to the Grand Army.

At the same hour that the meal was given to the Imperial Guard, distributions of wine and meals were made in the principal places of the capital; at each one of these places an orchestra also rose. At eight o'clock in the evening, a fireworks display on the roadway, which borders the Tuileries, called the edge of water, announced the end of this fête, in which the very whole population of Paris had taken share. During the meal, various lyric pieces were sung, among which verses were noted those resulting from the brilliance of Mr. Cauchy, secretary-archivist of the Senate:

Generous sons of the Victory,
Brilliant elite of heroes,
Who by so many exploits and glory
Honored our flags
.


Witness of this homage paid to the elite of the army, the people were associated with it by its acclamations; this unanimity of popular sympathies for the Imperial Guard was expressed immediately, and the people remained faithful to the memory of the Imperial Guard as to that of Napoleon the first of its heads!
    

Biographical Note

Napoleon Bonaparte
(Born Corsica 1769 - Died Saint Helena 1821

Napoleon Bonaparte, born Napoleone di Buonaparte, was a general during the French Revolution, subsequently the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from November 1799 to May 1804, and then Emperor of the French (Empereur des Français) under the name Napoléon I from May 1804 to April 1814. He was briefly restored as Emperor from 20 March to 22 June 1815. He was also King of Italy, Mediator of the Swiss Confederation and Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine. Considered by many to one of the great strategic military thinkers of his age, his dominant influence in politics, war, law, art and society was such a legacy so as to name the age itself after him - The Napoleonic Era.

Over the course of little more than a decade, the armies of France under Napoleon's command fought almost every European power and acquired control of most of continental Europe by conquest or alliance. The disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812 marked a turning point. Following the Russian campaign and his defeat at Leipzig in October 1813, the Sixth Coalition invaded France, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April 1814. He was exiled to the island of Elba. Shortly afterward, he staged a comeback known as the Hundred Days (les Cent Jours), but was defeated at Waterloo on 18 June 1815. Napoleon spent the remaining six years of his life on the island of St. Helena in the Atlantic Ocean under British supervision.

Document Specifications:  This letter is in extremely fine condition with several light folds. It measures 7¼" wide by 8¾" tall. Writing is on both sides of a single sheet. This is a correct mid-date autograph. Early autographs were a full Bonaparte or Napoleon, mid-dates were more often Napol [eon] and late date autographs are sometimes a simple scrawled "N". A spectacular Napoleon signed order referencing his acknowledgement of the Roman Triumphal March and the necessity for an Arc de Triumph. It also demonstrates his brilliant military and political thinking as he demands that the glory be given to his Imperial Guard and not himself, thus assuring the boundless devotion of his troops and a public appearance of humility. An important piece from Napoleon's career as he is in the zenith of his glory.

 

      Offered by Berryhill & Sturgeon, Ltd.
Member: APS, BNAPS, CCNY, ICSC, DMSC & SPHS

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           Item includes a written, signed & sealed lifetime guarantee of authenticity and is accompanied by a full color picture receipt for your insurance and inventory records. Item will be archivally packaged & shipped to your address. Please note that although we take great care in scanning our item images, monitor displayed colors may vary from original. Damage on delivery must be promptly reported. There is a 14 day "no questions asked" return policy, but item must be returned in the same condition as sent and the return shipment cost and liability is the responsibility of the buyer. While domestic shipping is free, certain international shipments may require buyer to be accountable for additional postage, duties, customs fees, excise taxes or VAT's. Washington State residents will be charged the sales tax.  

 

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