Lemoine was one
of the court jewellers of the Empress Joséphine. He made this
single corsage ornament in the form of a spray of laurel in 1805. This
spray is probably one of a pair.
In an inventory of the jewellery of the Empress it was stated that
she received between 1804 and 1807 a large ruby parure which was accompanied
by two agraffes, maybe this pair of sprays.
This parure was entirely set with diamonds and rubies and was consisting
- a "bandeau-diadème"
- a comb,
- a necklace,
- a pair of earrings,
- a pair of bracelets,
- a girdle,
- a pair of shoe buckles,
- and a pair of agraffes.
Composed of twenty-two diamond leaves, this branch is set with a large
number of small diamonds and 10 magnificent Burma rubies are set in
gold and five of the larger diamonds are set in silver. Length: 6 7/6
The corsage ornament was shown together with a case for the jewel which
bears the Imperial cypher 'J' beneath the crown and the stamp of Lemoine,
in 2001 at Wartski, Ltd. in London. The ornament is now in a private
The brooch mounting could be a later addition, because a branch of this
measurement seems to be with its counterpart a fragment of a tiara to
which it was mounted.
Also must be considered the fact that the name "Spray Beauharnais"
is not directly linked with a provenance only to Joséphine.
Her daughter Hortense de Beauharnais was also in the possession of a
beautiful collection of jewels of the Empire period, likewise her son
Eugène bore the name Beauharnais and his family could have owned
a tiara like this.
The Empress was well known for her generosity to her children. It was
a matter of fact that the Empress ordered from the leading Parisian
jewellers the most sumptuous pieces of jewellery for her descendants.
Maybe one of her children received a tiara of this pure Style Napoléon.
Napoléon herself crowned himself with a laurel wreath. Maybe
one of the presented tiaras had also some ruby set laurel branches
an investment which has documented the imperial glamour of the Parisienne
court to the world
Many thanks to Laura!
Herzlichen Dank an Uwe Ripka für seine Unterstützung.
roche de laurier
en rubis et diamonts de L`imperatrice Josephine "spray Beauharnais