THE MEDALS OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE
In 1793 Napoleon Bonaparte entered the French Army from Corsica as a penniless Artillery officer. By 1795 he had risen to General and Commander of the Army of Italy. By 1799 he had ascended to First Consul in a military coup. Five years later he had conquered most of Europe and crowned himself Emperor. He was considered, even by his enemies, as the greatest military genius of his era. When he died, his nemesis, Wellington, said "I am now the greatest living general." But Napoleon was also a brilliant polymath, a proud member of the Instute who conversed fluently with Goethe on the virtues of Tragedy, and with Hegel on the philosphy of the Ancients, and with Berlioz on the fine points of composition. His memoir, written in exile, was the best selling book of the nineteenth century. Most important, he tirelessly micromanaged the formation of the French institutions which cemented the principle of Equality under the Law, and served as a beacon to the democratizing modern world. Today, the Napoleonic Code forms the basis of law in Europe and aspects of it have been adopted in forty countries. His bridges, canals, reservoirs and sewers remain in use throughout France, and his system of secondary schools, are still amongst the finest in Europe. Like his hero, Julius Caesar, he was a tireless letter writer and his missives from the front, both in his own hand and through official news sheets like the Journal de Bonaparte et des Hommes Vertueux, were breathlessly awaited in Paris, just as Caesar's were in Rome. He also commissioned another brilliant polymath, Vivant Denon, to oversee the production of a series of medals to commemorate every facet of his rise, rule, and conquest of Europe. To this end, they assmebled a peerless team of artists and engravers amongst them: Brenet, Andrieu, Droz, Duviviez, Prudhomme, Galle, Dumarest, Gayard, and Jeuffroy. Each medal was presented in gold to Napoleon, and if he approved, a tiny handful were gernerally produced in gold, a larger run in silver for favored officials, and a collector's series in copper was distributed widely to crowds assembled at official events and celebrations
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FRANCE CONSULSHIP Napoleon Bonaparte (1799-1804)
Napoleon as First Consul, 1799-1804. Treaty of Amiens. Silver medal, 89.32 grams. 67,86 mm 20 May 1802, by Romain Vincent Jeuffroy. Obv: busts right of the three Consuls Bonaparte, Cambacérès and Lebrun. Rev: Legend in 7 lines within inscription. Silver,. Julius 1092.

Napoleon once said "If you want to eat poorly eat with Lebrun, if you want to eat well eat with Cambaceres, if you want to eat quickly, eat with me." He had an Empire to run. This beautiful large silver medal is remarkable for its depiction of Cambaceres, a fascinating figure of the epoch. He was an open, even flamboyant homosexual, which didn't seem to bother anyone of consequence. He had a brilliant legal mind that helped Napoleon establish many of the institutions that have lasted down to this day. Napoleon said of him that "if the entire Napoleonic Code were to be lost, it would still exist inside Cambaceres' head.

NGC MS 62
$2,500
ngc 5788899-001
The Peace of Luneville followed Napoleon's great triumph at the Battle of Marengo. The hugely popular treaty with Austria that was undeniably favorable to France solidified Napoleon's grasp on power and catapulted him to Emerperor's throne. There are many medals commemorating this historic treaty, but the one below in the only one to have survived in gold. The fact that this medal had been repurposed in 1808 to celebrate an event of that year by someone clearly extremely wealthy and powerful within the regime adds mystery to this Napoleonic rarity. It has been assumed it would have been used as a marriage medal, yet it could have marked any important event of 1808 - for example a ceremony marking the creation of a member of the New Nobility which were common in that year.
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FRANCE CONSULSHIP Napoleon Bonaparte (1799-1804)
1801 Napoleon gold "Peace of Luneville" Medal ND - . 55.74gm. By Andrieu. Reverse engraved Le 16 Mars 1808. Bramsen notes that while this reverse die is known to have been paired with an obverse (cf. Bram-110) that was also used with a reverse specifically celebrating the event (cf. Bram-107), the depiction of what is possibly a matrimonial scene on this type led to the frequent use of Bram-111 to celebrate weddings Bram-111, Julius-910 var. (there, in silver).

Unique in Gold in commerce.

NGC Unc details - filed edge
$6,500
NGC 6323251-057
HONORABLE EAST INDIA COMPANY EGYPT MEDAL 1801: French Troops expelled
Gold Medal (60 gm) awarded in 1802 to 16 of the highest ranking Officers serving under Major General David Baird in Egypt fighting the forces of Napoleon Bonapart. The medal was awarded to the officers after the successful sieges of Cairo in June, and Alexandria in August and September. The the division returned to India in early 1802. Obv: Sepoy with Union Jack Flag inscription underneath: "This medal has been presented in commemoration of the defeat of the French Armies in the Kingdom of Egypt by the great bravery of the victorious army of England." Rev: Ship sailing toward Egypt, with an obelisk and four pyramids in the background. In the exergue is the date MDCCCI (1801). Vernon 491, Hayward 29 p 34.

One of only 16 minted in gold and an extraordinary relic of the Napoleonic Wars fought in Egypt to deprive Great Britain of the foreign capital that sustained the British Emprire at this time.

NGC UNC Details, tooled edge
$18,000
ngc 6438539-001
FRANCE CONSULSHIP Napoleon Bonaparte (1799-1804)
AN XI - 1802 - Gold Restrike (probably late 19th century) Octagonal Jeton 26.18gm. "Havre de Grace - Chamber of Commerce" By Delannoy. CHAMBRE DE COMMERCE ET D' INDUSTRIE Le Havre harbor view with ship, in exergue HAVRE DE GRACE / In four lines ARRÊT / DES CONSULS/ DU 3 NIVOSE / AN XI, below incuse cornucopia and "3" Feuardent-Unl.

On the 30th of December (3 nivose) Napoleon visits Boulogne and Havre de Grace to inspect the fleet and visit the new harbors at Ambleteuse and Wimereux. Unlisted and the only example in coin archives.

NGC graded MS 63
$4,000
NGC 6351147-001
FRANCE CONSULSHIP Napoleon Bonaparte (1799-1804)
AN XI - 1802 - Gold Restrike (dated on the holder to 1985) Octagonal Jeton (39.77 gm). Celebrating the Napoleon's founding of the Paris Chamber of Commmerce 25 February 1803. Sailing ship with full sails over an elaborately engrave sea\ Chambre do Commerce do Paris, wreath around.

Unlisted and extremely rare. The only example in coin archives.

PCGS SP 63
$5,500
pcgs 46872560
THE CORONATION OF NAPOLEON AS EMPEROR
The ceremony and celebrations stretched over four days and were chronicled in a pamphlet called: "Ceremonies et Fetes du Sacre et du Courronement de Leurs Majestes Imperiales Napoleon I" published originally by the Librarie Economique in 1804 and reprinted by Hachette Livre. The information presented below on the medals marking the Coronation ceremony and celebrations of Napoleon is taken directly from the pamphlet.
FRANCE Premier Empire Napoléon Ier (1804-1814)
Médaille d'Or, 36,86 g - 35 mm -fêtes du couronnement données à l'Hôtel de ville, par Brenet An XIII (1804), Paris. Av. NAPOLEON - JOSEPHINE. Bustes accolés à droite de Napoléon Ier et de Joséphine, au-dessous signature BRENET. Rv. FIXA PERENNIS IN ALTO SEDES. Un aigle couronné de laurier se tenant de face sur son aire. À l'exergue sur quatre lignes FÊTES DU COURONNEMENT/ DONNÉES/ A L'HOTEL DE VILLE/ AN XIII et signature BRENET. Br.359 v. - Ess.1038 v. - Jul.1297 v. ;

"This medal (in gold) was presented, one to Napoleon and one to Josephine, as they sat on their thrones at the Hotel de Ville, by the Marechal Gouverneur "M" (who most probably would have been the Marechal Joachim Murat who was married to Napoleon's sister.) Then Napoleon and Josephine descended to cheers of "Vive L' Empereur, Vive L'Imperatrice" and retired to their respective "apartments" where they received dignitaries into the evening."

As there are more than two known in gold, a few other dignitaries must have managed to obtain one (Perhaps Murat, Denon and/or Joseph and Louis Bonaparte), but it is certain that this extremely rare medal is more than a commemorative - it is a relic of one of history's most significant ceremonies. Extremely Rare, missing from the major references.

PCGS graded SP 60
$34,000
pcgs 46253865
FRANCE PREMIER EMPIRE Napoléon Ier, 1804-1814/1815
AR Medal (68mm, 159.40 g,).For the Coronation. Engraved by Galle and Jeuffroy, designed by Prudhomme. Dated Frimaire AN 13 (November-December 1804 in Roman numerals). NEAPOLIO IMPERATOR., laureate bust left; GALLE FECIT. below / TVTELA PRAESENS, Napoléon, in Roman military attire, seated right on curule chair, holding eagle-tipped scepter, receiving personification of Paris, wearing mural crown standing left; in background to right, cherub at ship's tiller; above, N superimposed on radiate star; PRUDHON DEL JEUFFROY FEC on ground line; EPVLVM SPOLLEMNE/ IMPERATORIS IN CVRIA/VRBANA · FRIM · A · XIII in two lines in exergue. Bramsen 358.

"This medal in silver was handed out on the 18th of Frimaire by Napoleon himself, while sitting on his throne, as he received 20 presidents of the colleges of Arts and Sciences and then the presidents of the Departments who were invited by sealed letters. Napoleon spent a long time in conversation with each recipient."

TOP POP - rare and of great historical interest, with a lovely patina. 

NGC MS 62
$5,500
ngc 2126233-002
This coronation medal in gold was issued exclusively for high ranking officers of the military (according to a pamphlet chronicling the ceremony published in 1804.) There were 200 medium sized (25 mm) with a portrait by Droz for high ranking officers and 200 larger medals (32 mm) with a portrait by Andrieu for the highest ranking generals. At this time the military was at the heigth of its size and power numbering around 400,000 active soldiers. A medal of 40 mm with a portrait by Andrieu was issued only for certain top ranking military who attended the ceremony (according to Maison L'Floc'h - who sold the only specimen I could find referenced anywhere, which sold in 2019 in Tres Bel conditon for $26,000.) There are none in this size recorded in Coin Archives, and must be considered to be of the highest rarity.
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FRANCE PREMIER EMPIRE Napoléon Ier, 1804-1814/1815
Gold Coronation Medal An XIII (1804), (14.73 g) Paris. Par Denon, Droz et Galle. NAPOLEON - EMPEREUR. Tête laurée de Napoléon Ier à droite, au-dessous signatures // LE SENAT - ET LE PEUPLE. Napoléon debout sur un pavois, en costume de sacre, tenant un sceptre, le tout soutenu d'un côté par un sénateur avec les tables de la Loi et de l'autre par un soldat avec un araire ; à l'exergue : AN XIII. Tranche lisse. Bramsen cf. 326; Essling cf. 1020.

Very Rare, from a mintage of 200 of these were made with this portrait by J.P. Droz for captains and colonels. True to form, Napoleon reserved the gold for the Military and awarded silver to the political and academic classes. Flashy prooflike surfaces grace a firm bold strike. Light handling marks account for the grade but the medal in hand is a stunner.

PCGS Graded SP 61
$10,000
PCGS 39260751
FRANCE PREMIER EMPIRE Napoléon Ier, 1804-1814/1815
Gold Coronation Medal An XIII (1804), (27.48g) Paris, Under the direction of Denon and engraved by Andrieu. NAPOLEON - EMPEREUR. Tête laurée de Napoléon Ier à droite, au-dessous signatures // LE SENAT - ET LE PEUPLE. Napoléon debout sur un pavois, en costume de sacre, tenant un sceptre, le tout soutenu d'un côté par un sénateur avec les tables de la Loi et de l'autre par un soldat avec un araire ; à l'exergue : AN XIII. Slg. Julius 1263 (Argent)

Very Rare. Only 200 of these made in this large size with engravin gs by Andrieu were awarded to the elite of Napoleon's military: Brigadier and Major Generals. Certainly amongst the finest known of this very rare large size coronation medal in gold. The second highest graded across both services.

NGC Graded MS 62
$33,000
NGC 4980069-008
FRANCE PREMIER EMPIRE Napoléon Ier, 1804-1814/1815
Gold Coronation Medal An XIII (1804), (27.48g) Paris, Under the direction of Denon and engraved by Andrieu. NAPOLEON - EMPEREUR. Tête laurée de Napoléon Ier à droite, au-dessous signatures // LE SENAT - ET LE PEUPLE. Napoléon debout sur un pavois, en costume de sacre, tenant un sceptre, le tout soutenu d'un côté par un sénateur avec les tables de la Loi et de l'autre par un soldat avec un araire ; à l'exergue : AN XIII. Slg. Julius 1263 (Argent)

Very Rare. Only 200 of these made in this large size with engravings by Andrieu were awarded to the elite of Napoleon's military: Brigadier and Major Generals. Lovely original medal, once lightly wiped

NGC AU details, cleaned
$7,500
 
A TRIBUTE TO NAPOLEON'S CLOSEST FRIEND, MOST CAPABLE GENERAL, AND HERO OF THE BATTLE OF MARENGO AND CONQUEROR OF THE UPPER NILE
Napoleon wrote to General Desaix, saying theirs was "A freindship that my heart, which today is very old and knows men too profoundly, has for no other." In retrospect, at St Helena, he reiterated that of all men Desaix was closest to his heart. In Egypt, Desaix was tasked with the capture of the Mameluke Chieftain Murad, whom he followed nearly 500 miles up the Nile before forcing a surrender. He was accompanied on this journey by Vivant Denon, who represented the Academie and made extensive drawings and kept journals that inspired a new generation of Egyptologists. And It was Denon who curated this entire collection of medals. At Marengo, Napoleon had sent Desaix north but then recalled him when he realized that the size of the Austrian forces was far greater than he anticipated. Desaix was able to reach the field of battle just in time to turn the tide in Napoleon's favor, but he was fatally wounded in his decisive attack. The victory at Marengo consolidated Napoleon's power as first Consul and added to the myth of his military invinceability.
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FRANCE Premier Empire / Napoléon Ier (1804-1814)
An XIII (1804), Médaille d'Or, 16,02 g - pose de la première pierre du monument de Desaix à l'Hospice du Grand Saint-Bernard en Suisse, par Droz et Brenet Paris. Av. NAPOLEON EMPEREUR. Tête laurée à gauche ; au-dessous signatures DENON DIR. DROZ FECIT. Rv. NAPOLEON AUX MANES DE DESAIX. Monument funéraire de Desaix ; à l'exergue : Iere PIERRE POSÉE PAR L'EMPEREUR LE XXIV PRAIRI. AN XIII et signatures BRENET. F DENON D. Br.426 - Ess.1077 - Jul.1396 v. ; Or - - 12 h

TOP POP, by far the finest of only two to appear in commerce in the last 20 years.

NGC MS 63
$22,000
NGC 4980069-009
FRANCE Premier Empire / Napoléon Ier (1804-1814)
L'An 8 = 14 June 1800.Napoléon Bonaparte, as Premier Consul, AR Medal. 63.87g, Commemorating the death of General Desaix at Marengo. Dated 25 Prairial Dies by Brenet and Auguste. LS. CH. ANTE. DESAIX NÉ A AYAT EN AOUT 1768., bust to right, wearing jacket, BRENET on truncation; BATAILLE DE MARENGO. 25 PRAIRIAL AN 8. in two lines in exergue, H. AUGUSTE below; all within laurel wreath / LE GÉNÉRAL DESAIX EST BLESSÉ A MORT: ALLEZ DIRE AU PREMIER CONSUL QUE J'EMPORTE LE REGRET DE N'AVOIR PAS FAIT ASSEZ POUR VIVRE DANS LA POSTERITÉ

 

NGC MS 63
$2,000
ngc 6389234-005
FRANCE Premier Empire / Napoléon Ier (1804-1814)
1809 Gold Medal (27mm, 13.91 grams). Société de médecine de Bordeaux. By Brenet. Head of Hippocrates right / (star)/ SOCIÉTÉ/ De MÉDECINE/ DE BORDEAUX over crossed olive branches. Bramsen 907.

Very Rare: The only example in gold in coin archives. An attractive portrait of Hippocrates by one of Napoleon's principle portraitists. TOP POP (the only one graded)

PCGS MS 62
$3,200
pcgs 48383981
NAPOLEON DIVORCES JOSEPHINE AND MARRIES MARIE LOUISE OF AUSTRIA IN ORDER TO CEMENT ALLIANCES AND PRODUCE AN HEIR THAT WILL SAFEGUARD THE FUTURE OF HIS EMPIRE
FRANCE Premier Empire / Napoléon Ier (1804-1814)
1810 Médaille d'Or, 28,77 g mariage de l'Empereur avec Marie-Louise d'Autriche, par Andrieu et Brenet , Paris. Av. Bustes accolés de Napoléon Ier et de Marie-Louise à droite ; au-dessous signature ANDRIEU F. Rv. NAPOLEON EMP. ET ROI - M. LOUISE D'AUTRICHE. Napoléon Ier et Marie-Louise debout, à l'Antique, à côté d'un autel ; à l'exergue : MDCCCX. et signatures BRENET F. et DENON D. Br.954 - Ess.1287 - Jul.- ;

500 Gold medals were issued, only 200 in this larger size by Andrieu, and far rarer in commerce than the smaller size by Brenet. If the issue was consistent with the coronation medal, Gold medals would have been reserved for the highest ranks of the military. Particularly attractive with a prooflike obverse. Really appears to be a bold mint state, but perhaps once lightly wiped.

PCGS SP 58
$16,000
pcgs 46152922
NAPOLEON'S DREAM OF DYNASTY: THE BIRTH OF NAPOLEON II
Napoleon reflected on St Helena that he'd never loved a woman, except Josephine, perhaps a little. But he loved his son dearly. Of course he hoped his son would carry on as Emperor when he died. But his love for the boy exceeded worldly ambition. He doted on the child in a period when paternal, and even maternal relations were customarily distant. Baron de Meneval wrote: "Whether the Emperor was reading an important report or signing a dispatch, every word of which had to be carefully weighed, his son either seated on his knees or pressed to his breast, never left his arms..." He loved playing with the child, making faces, playing teasing or whimsical tricks. But when he left for war the child was three, and Napoleon never saw him again. On Elba he befriended the precocious children of the English Governor, and would play with them for hours on end. He longed for the day he would see his own son again. He kept a room for his son both on St. Helena and on Elba poignantly awaiting a visit that never transpired.
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FRANCE Premier Empire / Napoléon Ier (1804-1814)
1811 Médaille en or 31,89g. commémorant la naissance du roi de Rome par Andrieu. Têtes accolées à droite de Napoléon et de Marie-Louise, signature au-dessous / Buste enfantin du Roi de Rome à gauche, signature au-dessous. Tranche lisse. . Bramsen 1100; Julius 2432.

Three superb portraits by Napoleon's most talented engraver, Bertrand Andrieu. A very rare medal in gold, only a handful have reached auction in the last 20 years and this is by far the finest of Napoleon's most poignant and personal issue.

TOP POP: NGC MS65 PL
$34,000
NGC 6345493-041
FRANCE RETORATION OF THE BOURBONS Louis XVIII (1814-1824)
Médaille en or 1821, 40 mm. 69,93 g par Gayrard. Offerte par la société des sciences et des arts d'Agen, pour le prix d'économie politique à Mr. Auricoste, par Gayrard.
Av. Buste nu à droite. Rv. Inscriptions en creux sur sept lignes.

Extremely rare large gold medal with an excellent high relief portrait of Louis XVIII

PCGS Graded SP 62
$8,500
PCGS 38689604
FRANCE RETORATION Charles X, (1824-1830)
Sacre à Reims le 29 mai 1825, pour les parlementaires, Or, 75.14 g 1825 Paris
A/CAROLVS. X. FRANC - ET. NAVAR. REX Le Roi en grande tenue de sacre, debout de face, la tête à droite, tenant la main de Justice et appuyant un sceptre sur un autel où repose la couronne sur un coussin aux fleurs de lis ; autour légende ET. REGIT - ET. SERVAT ; à l'exergue M.DCCC.XXV et signature GAYRARD F R/IMMOTA. FIDES// LEGATI. PROVINCIARVM. Couronne formée de deux branches SB-80A

Reserved for the head of the departments which numbered 130 - which suggests the mintage for this large gold medal

TOP POP PCGS SP 62

$26,000
pcgs 36584486
FRANCE, RESTORATION . Louis Philippe. 1830-1848
AV Medal (37mm, 26.84 g). Royal Exposition – Prize Medal. By Depaulis. Paris mint; différents: Pointing Hand. Dated 1847. Presented to Henriquetta Lucquin Girouard. LOUIS PHILIPPE I ROI DES FRANÇAIS, laureate head left / INTENDANCE GENERALE DE LA LISTE CIVILE • DIRECTION DES MUSÉES ROYAUX •, EXPOSITION/ DE 1847/ MELLE GIROUARD/ (HENRIQUETTA)/ PEINTRE. 

Henriquetta Lucquin Girouard (1819-1866) was a Franco-Portuguese romantic painter. A student of Nicolas Gosse, she exhibited numerous portraits and historical paintings at the Salon from 1841 to 1865.

Rare with an excellent high relief portrait.

PCGS SP 62

$3,700
pcgs 47545936
FRANCE, RESTORATION . Louis Philippe. 1830-1848

Gold medal (25.66mm; 10.85g) 1836, by JP Montagny, on the completion of the Arc de l'Etoile. (Arc de Triomphe) Opposite bust of Napoleon and Louis Philippe//View of the arch. With edge punch: oil lamp. Collection Julius 3953 (there only in silver).

Unique in gold?

Unlisted in Gold, with no other auction records and none listed in coin archives

The hallmark "Oil lamp" is on the edge, which was used in the Monnaie de Paris between March 30, 1832 and October 21, 1841: therefor an original striking in gold. With two very attractive portraits.

PCGS SP 58

$16,000
pcgs 47328631
France Napoleon III Emperor 1852-70
Large Gold medal of 22 dukats (72.24gm. ) "Exposition Universelle de Paris" 1867, 50mm. By H. Ponscarme. Awarded to R & J Beck. A highly appealing award medal from the 1867 Universal Exposition in Paris, of which only a small number of examples in gold have appeared on auction in recent decades.

Richard and Joseph Beck formed an optical manufacturing company in Britain in 1843, funded by their uncle, physicist JJ lister who invented the compound lense. Originally named "Smith and Beck," and later renamed "R & J Beck" circa 1867. Based in London, they produced a wide array of the finest optical products, including microscopes, telescopes, and camera lenses

PCGS Graded SP63

$8,500
PCGS 42163263