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DECORATING WITH NAPOLEON

Napoleon, love or hate him, he’s always in style.  There is something stylish, alluring and handsome about Napoleon, isn’t there?

I love Napoleon, the legendary stories, the history, but mostly the images of the man portrayed by the French “golden legend” as the architect of modern France.

In France, the fascination with Napoleon is huge.

The French people consider Napoleon the architect of their grand libraries, their museums, their civil code and their central bank.

{The English? They have what is called a “black legend” about Napoleon – as a bloodthirsty emperor.}

No matter how you view the real Napoleon, I hope you can agree with me that a little Napoleon in your decor is a great way to bring a touch of French savoir-faire to your home!

In my tiny hallway, our decoupaged Napoleon French Bucket by artist Robin King makes a huge statement, don’t you agree?  Used to hold umbrella’s and walking sticks, it’s a fun decorative accent.

I’m  SUPER excited about them!! I know that so many of you love and collect Napoleon themed antiques and will adore these for your home.

By co-incidence, the child sized French Stockman mannequin next to it is called a “Napoleon” in Europe, maybe because of the painted-on boots?

The buckets are made exclusively for FrenchGardenHouse in extremely limited numbers. If this tall metal piece captures your heart as it does mine, don’t miss these! We will not be having more made until next fall.

The red version, this time holding faux branches laden with green autumn pears.  You can use these for “real” floral arrangements by inserting a large glass vase inside.

See what I mean? He’s a dapper, handsome somewhat-of-a-devil kind of guy. It’s no wonder I’m in love with these.

Not just Napoleon is legend. His battles and Generals are too. Over the years I’ve sold many books and images of Napoleon, this is one of the latest little Napoleonic souvenirs I’ve found in Europe, a folding little booklet of ten colored postcards.  So charming and a great decorative accent for a gentleman’s library to display with books, or on a large French antique desk.

 

Artist have portrayed Napoleon in paintings, drawings, etchings and prints for decades.

I all but fell on top of these antique steel engravings at a recent antique show in Belgium so that I could buy them for the shop.  This series is beautiful, and despite the fact that there is a fair amount of that foxing on the perimeters, those can either be hidden by a beautiful mat, or left as is for those of us who don’t mind seeing when antiques wear their age proudly.

{You don’t want to know the things I put myself through to buy antiques that capture my heart when we’re on a buying trip, trust me! Competition can be brutal for the best things!}

They will be available soon!

This antique enamel box with Napoleon’s portrait is a little snuff box. I sold it to a collector who was so excited to add this to his collection of Napoleon antiques. {sold}

 

Napoleon’s great battles have been painted on and transfer printed on all sorts of faience ware too, like on this 19th century pitcher. {sold}

and this antique transferware display plate. {sold}

I know I’ve shown you this French tole monteith before. Originally used to rinse wine glasses between courses at dinner {each little opening is for holding the glass stem} this is a reproduction, not quite as old as the 18th and 19th century ones – nor as costly. It does, however, have the fanciful hand painted gilt monogram of Napoleon, encircled with a laurel wreath.

Did you know that these days we decorate our homes with symbols that can trace their design back to Crest of Arms created for Napoleon’s Empire?

The bee is one. Chosen as part of the Crest of Napoleon because bees are a symbol of immortality and resurrection.

The bee inside a laurel wreath is on some of the most loved linens we sell. In our bathroom at home, I have an antique French compotier layered with these linen towels, a natural sea sponge and some French soaps.

And in the back garden, our linen bee pillows add comfort as well as French charm with the same Napoleonic motif.

 

If you love antiques with a Napoleon motif, or something unusual like our Napoleon jardinieres and buckets that are created for your home by hand by an artist, these pieces are sure to express your own style, beautifully!

I think they are pretty spectacular, and look amazing with autumn colors.  One or more decorative accents with Napoleon brings out your francophile flair!

HOW ABOUT YOU? ARE YOU AN ADMIRER OF NAPOLEON, OR NOT?

Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours. Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com.

12 Responses to DECORATING WITH NAPOLEON

  1. I have nothing Napoleon but your photos make me think he would be a fun addition. Your posts are always works of art.

  2. You are so sweet Linda! Thank you so much. I have quite a lot of clients who collect Napoleon antiques for their homes…and he is quite a dashing figure, don’t you agree?

  3. Lidy, you curated an interesting post here! As a young woman I loved reading about Napoleon and the French court at the time. I love embroidered bees on linen, somehow I had forgotten that Napoleon was associated with bees! Loved learning about the monteith!

  4. Thank you so much, Noreen. I love bees, and all the symbols on the Napoleon era crest designed for France at that time.

  5. I’m a huge fan of the Napoleonic bee! Can’t get enough. Thanks for an informative post

  6. I love reading your post. It always sparks my interest in different decorating ideas. I saw in a prior post the yellow monogrammed napkins I purchased from you. It was exciting to see them and how pretty they are.

  7. Thank you Gloria. I am so happy you loved the golden yellow napkins, they are so special, I hope you set beautiful tables with them. I think they are pretty exciting, too!

  8. I remember reading a biography of Josephine when I was in high school. That’s been a long time ago and your post has sparked my interest in this era. This is a very informative post on history as well as antique pieces that capture this time. Your items are exquisite. I can feel your pain in shopping and the stress. But I know it is rewarding as well.
    Lidy, you do beautiful vignettes as well as lovely graphics. Love your style.
    I have a good friend that sells english antiques and travels to London frequently. I borrowed some of her things for my last tablescape. The two of you would like one another. I keep trying to get her to shop in France.
    The monteith was so interesting.

  9. Bonnie, I re-read a part of history for this post, and Napoleon and both his wives were so interesting. Thank you so much, Bonnie, for your kindest compliment. And I love English antiques too!! {admittedly, I love all antiques, really.} Hope you have a beautiful weekend!

  10. Love this post as I have used the bee in my home for many years. I was and still am a fan of the designer Charles Faudrees design. He used the bee and Napoleon in his many homes. I still remember seeing his work first in Traditional Home and was so caught up in it that I looked in all the magazines for more of his work. I loved when Traditional Home featured his homes in the CHRISTMAS issue. Miss him dearly.

  11. Alice, I LOVE Charles Faudree! He was the KING of French Country style, wasn’t he? I just ordered a few more of his books, because they are so gorgeous….you can’t have enough of them!

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