Jean Baptiste Jacques Augustin (French, 1759-1832) Louis XVIII (1755–1824), King of France and Navarre (1814-1824), wearing blue double-breasted coat with gold epaulettes, breast star of the Order of Saint-Esprit, breast star and badge of The Order of St. Lazarus and Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the badge of The Royal French Order of Saint-Louis suspended from a red ribbon, white waistcoat, stock and chemise, his cropped hair powdered
Lot 55Y Ф
Jean Baptiste Jacques Augustin
(French, 1759-1832)
Louis XVIII (1755–1824), King of France and Navarre (1814-1824), wearing blue double-breasted coat with gold epaulettes, breast star of the Order of Saint-Esprit, breast star and badge of The Order of St. Lazarus and Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the badge of The Royal French Order of Saint-Louis suspended from a red ribbon, white waistcoat, stock and chemise, his cropped hair powdered
£15,000 - 20,000
US$ 25,000 - 34,000
amended
Lot Details
Jean Baptiste Jacques Augustin (French, 1759-1832)
Louis XVIII (1755–1824), King of France and Navarre (1814-1824), wearing blue double-breasted coat with gold epaulettes, breast star of the Order of Saint-Esprit, breast star and badge of The Order of St. Lazarus and Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the badge of The Royal French Order of Saint-Louis suspended from a red ribbon, white waistcoat, stock and chemise, his cropped hair powdered.
Watercolour on ivory, gilt-metal frame with pierced border of circular-cut sapphires, single and old brilliant-cut diamonds to the obverse (the latter approx. 1.10cts in total).
Octagonal, 62mm (2 7/16in) high

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Probably Magdeleine Ducruet (wife of the artist);
    Probably her nephew Léon Cornut de la Fountaine de Coincy;
    The Collection of J. Pierpont Morgan;
    His Sale, Christie's, London, 27 June 1935, lot 753;
    The Collection of the Hon. Lady Shelley-Rolls;
    Her Sale, Christie's, London, 13 February 1962, lot 85;
    Christie's, London, 22 October 1974, lot 40

    Literature:
    Dr G. C. Williamson, Catalogue of the Collection of Miniatures: The Property of J. Pierpont Morgan, Vol.IV, p.131, no.705, ill.pl.CCLV (no.3)

    In 1819, Louis XVIII appointed Augustin 'peintre en miniature et en émail de la chambre et du cabinet du roi' and 'premier peintre en miniature' in 1824. The artist had been made a Knight of the Legion d'Honneur three years earlier in 1821. Upon Augustin's death from cholera in 1832, his Estate passed to his widow, Magdeleine Pauline Ducruet, who organised the sale of the Estate including Augustin's miniatures, the majority of which Magdeleine appears to have purchased for herself. The sale took place at the couple's home between 19-21 December 1839. Upon her death in 1862 and in the absence of any children of her own, Magdeleine left Augustin's studio to her niece, Justine Henriette de Bouhébent and the miniatures she acquired at the 1839 sale were divided between her nephews, Augustus, Alfred and Léon Cornut de la Fountaine de Coincy. Léon sold his share of the collection to J. Pierpont Morgan in 1906 and it is therefore very likely that the present lot featured in this acquisition (see N. Lemoine-Bouchard, Les Peintres en Miniature 1650-1850, 2008, pp.57-58 and B. Pappe, Jean-Baptiste Jacques Augustin Peintre en miniature, 2010, pp.23-24). The present lot was engraved by Fornel and Lignon and the corresponding plate was sold at Augustin's sale on 21 December 1839 (lot 161).

    A reduced oval version of the present lot signed by Augustin is held by the Musée du Louvre (Inv. no.145) (P. Jean-Richard, Inventaire des Miniatures sur Ivoire Conservées au Cabinet des Dessins Musée du Louvre et Musée d'Orsay, 1994, p.43, ill.no.34). A three-quarter length oval version signed and dated 1815 was gifted by Louis XVIII to the Duc de La Châtre and, by direct descent, now forms part of a private collection (N. Lemoine-Bouchard, ibid, 2008, ill.p.62, pl.k). A number of other variants of the present lot exist, including an enamelled version, signed and dated 1822, which is held by the Cleveland Museum of Art (Inv. no.1940.1201).

    The last French monarch to die whilst on the throne, Louis XVIII was the son of Louis, Dauphin of France (1729-1765), the only surviving son of Louis XV and Marie Leszczyńska. His mother was the Dauphin's second wife, Maria Josepha of Saxony (1731-1767). At the time of his birth, Louis XVIII was only fourth in line to the throne behind his father and two brothers, Louis, Duc de Burgundy and Louis, Duc de Berry. The former died in 1761 and their father died in 1765, elevating Louis to second in line. His brother, the Duc de Berry acceeded to the French throne as Louis XVI upon their grandfather's death in 1774.

    On 14 May 1771, Louis married Princess Maria Giuseppina of Savoy (1753-1810), daughter of Victor Amadeus, Duke of Savoy and his wife Maria Antonia Ferdinanda of Spain. Louis was said to be repulsed by his wife, who was considered unattractive, tedious and ignorant of the customs of the French court. The marriage is said to have remained unconsummated for years and biographers disagree as to why. Common theories include Maria's poor personal hygiene and Louis' obesity. Maria however fell pregnant on two occasions in 1774 and 1781 but both instances resulted in miscarriages and the couple never produced any issue.

    Prior to his accession to the throne, Louis XVIII (who affectionately became known as 'Le Désiré') spent twenty-three years in exile during the French Revolution and the reign of the First French Empire. On 21 September 1792, the National Convention abolished the monarchy and Louis XVI was executed by guillotine on 21 January the following year. When his son, Louis XVII died in prison, aged ten, on 8 June 1795, Louis XVIII succeeded his nephew as titular King. A brief period in 1815 (known as the Hundred Days) upon Napoleon's return from Elba saw Louis XVIII retreat into exile again before a Seventh Coalition declared war on the French Empire and defeated Napoleon. Louis XVIII was subsequently restored to the throne and ruled France and Navarre for just under a decade.

Saleroom notices

  • This lot contains or is made of ivory. The United States Government has banned the import of any ivory into the USA.
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Lot symbols
Ф Item contains or is made of ivory

This lot contains or is made of ivory. The United States Government has banned the import of ivory into the USA.

Y CITES

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