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What is this?

Center, beneath crown, are two initials- a superimposed N and M encircled by stars and a wreath of roses. Upper center, two entwined wreaths - one of laurel, and the other of a chrysanthemum-like flower. Upper corners, oak sprigs; lower corners, floral sprigs. Lower center, the Napoleonic eagle. The Legion of Honor medallion hangs below the eagle.

Why is this in our collection?

The resin coated paper of this design has yellowed with age, providing a crisp contrast with the white gouache. It was once a transparent tracing paper, referred to as papier huilé in France, where it was made. Tracing papers were used by designers and craftspeople who wished to make copies of an existing drawing. Each detail of this embroidery design for a chair back or wall hanging has been carefully delineated, providing a clear working instruction for the embroiderer. The symbolic language of the design is immediately recognizable as being Napoleonic. As emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte’s chosen emblems were used endlessly to express imperial power. Entwined beneath a crown, the initials 'N' and 'M' commemorate the marriage in 1810 of Napoleon to his second wife, Marie-Louise of Austria. The couple’s cipher is circled by five-pointed stars of the Bonaparte family coat of arms. Below, an eagle clutching the Legion of Honor medallion evokes the power of imperial ancient Rome and the Carolingian dynasty. The wreath of roses is an allusion to the youth of Marie-Louise, while the laurel wreath is a classical symbol of triumph.

This is a drawing from France. It is dated ca. 1810 and we acquired it in 1920. Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt.

This image is on display This object is currently on display in room 205 as part of Hewitt Sisters Collect.

Its medium is

brush and white gouache on laid paper, coated with resin, joined

Its dimensions are

62.2 x 48.9 cm (24 1/2 x 19 1/4 in.) Mat: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22 in.) Frame H x W x D: 75.6 x 60 x 2.5 cm (29 3/4 in. x 23 5/8 in. x 1 in.)

It has the following markings

Stamped in black ink, upper right: Museum for the Arts of Decoration, Cooper Union.

This object was attributed to Jean-François Bony and made for Fabrique de St. Ruf

This object was catalogued by Megan L. Smith , Beth Petriello and Rudolph Berliner and donated by Sarah Cooper Hewitt and Eleanor Garnier Hewitt

A timeline of event horizons

This object has been included in the following exhibitions:

See more stuff from the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Do you have your own photos of this object? Are they online somewhere, like Flickr or Instagram? Or have you created a 3D model of one of our objects in SketchUp or Thingiverse? If so then then tag them with ch:object=18212313 and we will connect ours to yours!

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18212313/ |title=Drawing, Embroidery Design Commemorating the Marriage of Napoleon I and Marie-Louise of Austria |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=5 July 2015 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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