Antique Porcelain Plate Depicting Emperor Napoleon’s Coronation Air Balloon
Dimensions: Height 2.5cm, diameter 23.5cm
This French porcelain cabinet plate is of circular form, with a white ground and parcel gilt scalloped and laurel leaf detailing around the rim. The centre is painted to depict the air balloon launched in 1804 for the coronation of Emperor Napoleon. The balloon is spherical, with vertical purple and brownish stripes, a blue horizontal stripe in the middle, and red draped fabric garlands. The blue stripe features the names ‘Marengo’, ‘Vienne’ and ‘Austerlitz’ for famous battles early on in Napoleon’s career. Below, hanging from the balloon is an eagle-shaped basket in which two tiny figures wave blue and white flags. The balloon floats against a blue cloudy sky, with the top of a tree and the roof of a building just visible at the bottom of the painting. The painting is signed to the bottom ‘J. Siguier 1840’ and the plate is titled to the top within a paper scroll: Modèle d’Aérostat qui a été executé pour le sacre de Napoléon en 1804’, or ‘The balloon model created for the coronation of Napoleon in 1804’.