Rare Book Set On Egypt Crowns Christie’s Sale In Paris

Via Luxist:

It was one of the most ambitious projects the world had ever seen. After taking command of the Egyptian campaign around the turn of the 19th century, Napoleon gathered a staff of France’s top scientists, artists, explorers and others to undertake a concept like no other, a complete and comprehensive survey of the country’s monuments, plants, animals and more. The result was the Description de l’Egypte, a multi-volume set which began in 1803 but wasn’t completed until 1830.

Christie’s has announced the sale of the Michel Wittock Collection, Part IV, which will be held in Paris on May 11 which will include an exceptional copy of the Description de l’Egypte, bound by Jean-Joseph Tessier in polished and richly decorated calfskin. The 23 volumes in their original mahogany display case are expected to sell for €500,000 to €700,000. This is the first edition of the publication and is printed on woven paper with handcolored ornithological plates. The final work included more than 900 engraved plates. This copy was bound by the Parisian binder Jean-Joseph Tessier using tools specifically cut for the project. This particular copy belonged to Jean-Joseph Courvoisier (1775-1835) who was appointed the minister of justice in 1829 and received this set as a gift commemorating that occasion.

Napoleon Exhibition Coming To Melbourne in 2012

I’m a bit slow off the mark with this news – amazed it didn’t come up in my feeds – but a big thanks to listener Ken Richards who posted the new to our comments section:

Napoleon heads for Melbourne – 2012
Raymond Gill – The Age
September 23, 2010 – 3:00AM

THE competition among state governments to stage ”exclusive” blockbusters during the winter months is hotting up.

The Victorian Arts Minister Peter Batchelor has claimed the NSW and Queensland governments have ”plagiarised’ the success of the annual Winter Masterpiece series at the National Gallery of Victoria so yesterday he announced not one but two blockbusters heading for Melbourne.

”Mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery,” Mr Batchelor said at the NGV yesterday as he announced the NGV will present in 2012 Napoleon: Revolution to Empire, which presents French art, design, furniture, court costumes, and armour from the 1770s to the 1820s, with most of the 200 works borrowed from the Fondation Napoleon in Paris.

The 2011 Melbourne Winter Masterpiece Vienna: Art and Design, featuring major works by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele from the Belvedere Palace and Wien Museum in Vienna, was first reported by The Age in June.

The show of 240 works celebrates Vienna as a centre of art and design at the turn of last century and its inclusion of a dozen glittering Klimts includes four of his most famous female portraits, including one of his lover, Emilie Floge.

Both shows are exclusive to Melbourne and funded by the Victorian Major Events Company, which is charged with finding events that will bring tourists to Melbourne.

Mr Batchelor said the twin announcement was not part of a defensive strategy to shore up the city’s position as a magnet for cultural tourism. ”We are leading the way anyway,” Mr Batchelor said.

”This forward notice of themes allows other artistic bodies and restaurants for example to plan complementary events,” he said. Since the Winter Masterpiece Series began in 2004, the shows have attracted a total of 2.4 million people adding an estimated $138 to the state economy, he said.

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David Markham on Australia’s ABC Radio

Our own J. David Markham was recently interviewed on Australian radio regarding a lock of Napoleon’s hair recently found in Sydney’s town hall.

Listen to David’s interview here!

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