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1810 Napoleon Marie Louise Bronze Marriage Medal

1810 Napoleon Marie Louise Bronze Marriage Medal  Obverse

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Buy a 1810 Napoleon Marie Louise Bronze Marriage Medal

Bronze gilt medal celebrating the marriage of Napoleon I, then Emperor of the French, to Marie Louise of Austria. The obverse shows double, right-facing portraits of Bonaparte and Marie Louise, the former in front and wearing a wreath of laurels, the latter wearing a tiara. The busts are signed with a large ‘ANDRIEU F.’ below which identifies the engraver as Bertrand Andrieu (1761-1822). He undertook a large number of French Empire commissions as well as creating portraits of a range of other European rulers. Like much of his other work this marriage medal shows Napoleon as ‘the Caesar of a modern Rome’. The reverse continues this theme, featuring full length portraits of the couple in Roman-style garb next to an altar. The legends to either side identifies the figures and the date - MDCCCX - appears below in Roman numerals. The medallists are identified as Nicholas Guy Antoine Brenet (‘BRENET F.’) and Dominique Vivant Denon (‘DENON D.’). The 1810 wedding followed Napoleon’s divorce from the Empress Joséphine in pursuit of an heir to his young Empire. Marie Louise’s father was the Emperor of Austria and the final Holy Roman Emperor. She became Empress consort of the French and Queen consort of Italy by her proxy marriage on 11 March 1810 in Vienna. He became the great-nephew-in-law of Louis XVI by the union. The couple met later that month after the bride crossed into French territory, the union beginning a period of peace between France and Austria. Marie Louise gave birth to a son in 1811, the sought-after heir, but her relationship with Napoleon effectively ended with his exile to Elba in 1814, after which she was made Duchess of Parma and took up with her one-eyed chamberlain who she married after Napoleons death in 1821. This medal is one of several different sizes produced by Andrieu as well as other similar medals offered to commemorate the complicated marriage. This bronze medal measures 32.6 millimetres in diameter and weighs 14.95 grams. It comes with the original box of issue and shows slight evidence of box-rubbing to obverse cheek.
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Right-facing conjoined portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte (front) and Marie Louise of Austria (behind). Below: 'ANDRIEU F.' for the engraver Bertrand Andrieu.


Couple in Roman Imperial dress standing before an altar. On its base are the bow and quiver of Cupid and the torch or Hymen. To left 'NAPOLEON EMP. ET ROI', to the right 'M. LOUISE D'AUTRICHE'. Below, date in Roman numerals: 'MDCCCX' and names of engravers: 'BRENET F.' (Nicholas Guy Antoine Brenet) and 'DENON D.' (Dominique Vivant Denon).


See photos. Medal in original box, note box-wear to cheek on obverse.


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