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Unusual style of 'Napoleon's Tomb' counters




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There is an article elsewhere on this website about the counters produced in around 1829 to 'celebrate' the return of Napoleon's body to Paris from Saint Helena; there are two main varieties : both show NApoleon's tomb but the reverse of one is labelled Napoleon's House and the other is labelled Longwood House. These were usually small round counters, very finely decorated and possibly intended as whist markers. This article concerns a new variation with a finely fretted border of scrolling leaves and berries, produced a bit later, in around 1840. These are different in having no inscription to either side but still showing the very distinctive depiction of Napoleon's house and tomb. These counters are known in one shape only, a round which once more suggests that they were intended for use as whist markers and possibly to go in the small circular ivory boxes which were so popular. Presumably by 1840, the topic of Napoleon's burial in Paris would no longer have been headline news: but clearly it still had some impact in being used on this rare set of counters. perhaps it was just a satisfying and decorative theme.  A small number of counters from this set are available on the sales pages 3N (3N13).

 


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