First Consul Jacket owned by Napoleon Bonaparte
Silk-lined velvet with gold and silver embroidery
This sumptuously embroidered jacket was given by the city of Lyon to the First Consul in 1800. He wore it on 18 April 1802 at the Te Deum ceremony held at the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris after the signing of the Concordat.
Napoleon took it with him to St Helena. He gave it to the young Hortense Bertrand (daughter of an Empire general) who, when she was older, passed it on to Prince Victor Napoleon, grandson of King Jerome, Napoleon’s youngest brother.
Dress uniform jacket belonging to Major General Prince Eugene
Dark blue woollen fabric, gold embroidery
Prince Eugene was the oldest son of Josephine and Alexandre de Beauharnais. He was appointed viceroy of Italy by Napoleon.
This major general’s full dress jacket, embroidered at the neck, on the facings, lapels and flaps with oak leaves and acorns closes with seven gold buttons decorated with a trophy of arms. At each shoulder there is a bar and button designed to carry epaulettes which are now lost. At the lower back, there is a garland finishing in a grenade framed by two wings and surmounted by a flame and lightning.
A yellow paper label has been sewn into the lining with a brown ink inscription stating “jacket worn by Prince Eugene in Russia”; this would have been in 1812 when he was commanding the Italian, French and Bavarian troops of the 4th Army Corps.
Court dress attributed to Empress Josephine
Tulle, silver lamé
This silk tulle dress is exquisitely embroidered with motifs of carnations and other flowers in silver thread. It is most probably an example of ‘remontage’ (refitting): the bust does not match Josephine’s measurements exactly and has almost certainly been adjusted to fit someone else. Indeed, Josephine often “reviewed” her wardrobe: once a year she would go through her closets and give away the garments she no longer wore to her entourage.
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