Wednesday, August 19, 2015

N is for Napoleon

is for

Vintage Bronze Souvenirs of Paris Aside a 

Vintage Avon Bee Skep Cologne Bottle

It's no secret that Paris has long been my favorite 

destination, and over the years I've collected 

my fair share of Napoleonic memorabilia. 

Kathryn Crisp Greeley's, 


advocates using one's collections to set a special table.

I decided to do just that when I selected 

Napoleonic Memorabilia 

as my topic for a CAMEO meeting 

at my home several years ago.

Those of you who follow HFTS might remember the post I shared here about CAMEO, a small antique club of which I'm a member.  

Collecting Antiques and Memorabilia 
and Educating Ourselves

The structure of our small group is such that each member is responsible for presenting or arranging a presentation on a topic of interest to share with the group at one of our monthly meetings.  

Collecting Napoleonic Memorabilia

simply happened over time for me.

Napoleon's famous N and bee motif 

show up in many things and always catch my eye.

The pottery pieces you see in the photos 

are mostly French faience produced in the 

last part of the 19th century or the first half of the 20th century.

Small Bust of Napoleon, CA 

Dinner Plate, HenRiot Quimper

Vintage Letter Openers Atop 1900 Edition of L'Aiglon, 

A Play In Six Acts Based On The Life Of Napoleon's Son

Performed At The Knickerbocker Theatre 

New York, October 1900

Petite French Faience Vase, CA 

Napoleonic Bee Vintage Silk Fragment, c1880

Napoleon and Josephine

 Sweet Little Souvenirs 

Chateau de Fontainebleau, 2011

Serving a light brunch, I used the opportunity to follow Karhryn Greeley's advice: "Mixing antique collections with contemporary tabletop pieces adds drama and the unexpected."  With my collection as the central focus of my tables, I could easily pull select pieces to share with the group as I presented my topic.

You can see the original post in full here.

Vintage Tiara ~ A Gift From My CAMEO Friends

If you enjoy historical fiction and the subject is of interest, I highly recommend reading Sandra Gulland's trilogy about Josephine.  It's a new look at this fascinating character of French history.

I reviewed each book in the links below.

~ Napoleons ~

Layers of Mille-Feuille and Vanilla Cream 

Topped with Fondant

Perhaps this post will inspire you to begin a memorabilia 

collection of your own on a theme that interests you.

When you host your next dinner party, gather up a collection 

to use as a theme.  I found it fun to see my pieces grouped 

together, and your collection will no doubt spark conversation.



The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Wow Sarah, I am impressed! You have quite the collection. Loved seeing your pieces grouped together. Paris is magical. We spent two weeks there and I want to go back! There's so much to see. xo

  2. I like so many things that you've collected. Seeing it grouped together really makes a statement. I like those handled jars- love how they're decorated. That pastry looks divine!

  3. Oh Sarah, what a wonderful Napoleonic memorabilia collection. I'm in love with the French faience you have collected and I love the Napoleon collectibles mixed with your MacKenzie Childs. I smiled when I saw the sweet little souvenirs dolls from Chateau de Fontainebleau, guess what came home with me last year when I was in Paris and visited Fontainebleau for the first time! Oh I am so ready for another Paris trip. Yes, you have inspired so much in me with this lovely post!

  4. Sarah dear, his has to be one of your best yet - and everything you have collected, displayed and shared with us over the years here on your blog has been so amazing! I love all the Napoleonic mementoes, antique china, letter openers, playing cards, ornaments and yes, even the delightful bees. All is so beautifully displayed along with your b/w MacK-C pieces, just perfect - I even see b/w napkins with a French bee. . . . . to catch the crumbs from those delicious Napoleon pastries - yum! I bet there WAS some very congenial conversation sparked in your beautiful garden on that particle CAMEO gathering day, and I can almost hear the ladies chattering and discussing this truly fabulous table.

    Hope you're well and it's cooling down a bit there in Texas. I'm heading to Paris next month and hoping for cooler weather for the France trip!
    Hugs - Mary

  5. Hi Sarah
    You have the loveliest collections of things! Everything is beautiful, as always :)

  6. Lovely collection! I would love to go to Paris...some place else to put on my bucket list.

  7. Lovely treasures! I want a Napoleon with my coffee this morning! Looks so good.

  8. Beautiful tablescape! I love your Napoleonic collection combined with the bee theme!

  9. I recently saw a Globe Trekker episode on BBC that showed the small island where Napoleon was jailed and died. It was very interesting, but certainly not near as lovely as your table!

  10. Oh what a beautiful collection. Your table is stunning and I am sure your guests were very impressed.
    The Napoleon looks so good and with a cup of coffee - now that is heaven.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  11. You do know how to set a table! Napoleon is an interesting subject for a collection -- I had no idea about the bee motif! I asked Google to tell me all about it -- very interesting! The little Napoleon and Josephine dolls are so sweet, as is the bee teapot!

  12. I like the letter opener and of course the dessert - scrumptious!

  13. Wonderful post and photos of your Napoleon collections ~ all very creative!

    Happy Weekend to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  14. Sarah, what a fun collection. I don't have anything Napoleon in my France/Paris collection. Sure makes an interesting table decor also!

  15. You have very interesting collections. I read a number of biographies of Josephine when I was younger, always fascinated with this woman. One thing that intrigued me was when I read that she always smiled behind her fan, because she was embarrassed by her teeth. That and the fact that she and Napoleon never stopped loving each other. I will have to check out these books you listed.

  16. How fun that was to see your Napoleonic collection, Sarah, and to hear about your CAMEO group again. I was especially drawn to the bee teapot and reminisced when I saw the Napoleon pastries. My Mom used to buy those from Lazarus department store, when department stores actually had bakeries and candy counters in them. Thanks for sharing with us!

  17. Beautiful collection. I already have a collection of things I love; DISHES! Dianne

  18. Fascinating Sarah, I never knew there was Napoleon pottery- your Cameo group sounds so special, what an interesting idea! I love how you styled your Napoleonic pieces with the Courtly Check, and of course there were Napoleons for dessert!

  19. What a fascinating collection, and I'm even more intrigued with your group, CAMEO! You are so much fun...I love it. Did you know that since Josephine was a Creole that she preferred black pearls to white because she thought they made her look whiter? When I learned about that in school, I wanted black pearls. My grandmother went to Hong Kong and bought me some! Love my Big Mama!


  20. Wonderful pottery and a real fun idea for the group.


  21. Sarah, what a delightful post! Your Courtly Check, which I'm a huge fan of and Napoleonic pieces are just gorgeous together! Your Cameo group sounds so very interesting! Each photograph is just perfect, oh I could go on and on!!
    Sweet friend, just want to thank you for your dear comments and support while I've been recovering from my heart issues! So kind of you~
    Have a wonderful weekend~

  22. Sarah, what a delightful post! Your Courtly Check, which I'm a huge fan of and Napoleonic pieces are just gorgeous together! Your Cameo group sounds so very interesting! Each photograph is just perfect, oh I could go on and on!!
    Sweet friend, just want to thank you for your dear comments and support while I've been recovering from my heart issues! So kind of you~
    Have a wonderful weekend~

  23. This is delightful! I love your collection. I had a French teacher in high school that used to tell us tales of Napoleon - my first knowledge. This brings me back to those wonderful days and the tales Monsieur would tell. The black and white check is the perfect accompaniment to all Napoleon. You have collected such an interesting group of things. My favorite piece is the lidded pottery one.

  24. What a lovely collection you've amassed over the years of something near and dear to your heart!

  25. Sarah, what an amazing collection! I have never seen anything like it. You know what a theme lover I am. You really set a beautiful table for your friends. I especially love the bee items! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  26. What a treat it was seeing all your Napoleon treasures. Nice collection.

  27. Who'd thunk a Napoleon collection would be so classy!
    Popped by from Pink Saturday, got you on my Feedly now.

  28. I've never known anyone that collected Napoleon pieces. How interesting....and so pretty. Love this post.

  29. I love all of your Paris and Napoleonic items.

    It is late, I am wired from drinking two diet Cokes at Steve's Men's Club tonight - women are allowed on Saturdays. Anyway, the picture of those Napoleons make me want to go out to see if there are any grocery stores with bakeries still open.

  30. Your collection is exquisite and how you have displayed it for us is totally charming and delightful. What a feast for the eyes to see the beautiful Napoleons for dessert.
    I was delighted to recently read about your trip with Emily to France. Loved the pic of you two.
    Thanks for an interesting post viewing your beautiful collection of Napoleon memorabilia.

  31. Pretty things!! Oh my! Love that tiara!!would wear that grocery shopping!

  32. Pretty things!! Oh my! Love that tiara!!would wear that grocery shopping!

  33. Dearest Sarah,
    Finally I'm back into reading some blogs!
    We were very busy for arranging my Etiquette Class with Dinner followed and last night again hosting a dinner at our home.
    Meanwhile my PC died... and this is my first attempt on my new Mac.
    Lovely subject about such an important historical figure!
    You certainly do have some very special French pieces to show us here.
    As for the Napoleons, we know them as Dutch Tompouce...
    Sending you hugs,

  34. This is gorgeous, the Napoleon pottery is so unique. You really know how to set a table!!

  35. Hi Sarah,

    What a wonderful collection you have! I never knew about the bee connection, so you've taught me today. Isn’t it fun finding blues to share?

    Happy Blue Monday!

  36. Oh Sarah, I am TICKLED and impressed by this beautiful collection of FINE pieces! And your photo styling is lovely....that is NOT an easy skill but rather one that takes a lot of trial and error, and I've been having more errors in my photo styling! But every piece, that TIARA, the dolls, the lovely ceramic pieces...PARFAIT!

    Thank you for taking the time to visit and leave a comment. Yes, all this technology, giving us the chance to connect, but never quite completing the blessings of knowing someone through their total self. Well, this is where we are, and we make the best of it.

    Blessings to you, lovely lady!

  37. Sarah,
    Seeing your Napoleon collection was so enjoyable with all its variety and textures. My favorite part is the Napoleonic Bee.

    How wonderful to read your comment this morning. I've missed blogging, but, at the same time enjoyed the time away from the Internet. Anita's and Vicki's posts about technology touched a chord with me.


  38. What a beautiful grouping, Sarah. Of course, I was immediately drawn to the beautiful French Faience pieces. You are so good at creating interesting, yet beautiful vignettes. I know your Antique group enjoyed your presentation. How is your house situation going? Any offers on your beautiful home?

  39. What a wonderful collection and I love how you have used it in a table presentation. Very unique!! But what really caught my eye is the collection of silverware in all those funky patterns! I love all the MC Checks mixed in - i love to see how other use their checks and blend them with other pieces! Dessert looks delish!

  40. Sarah, I always enjoy seeing your wonderful collections. I remember your post about your Cameo group, what a fun and informative group to belong to. Your Napoleonic Memorabilia is the Bees Knees! ♥

  41. Sarah, I so enjoyed this post and seeing your Napoleon table and collection, including the bee hive pieces. I imagine your CAMEO group enjoyed it as well and I'm sure it did provoke lots of questions, conversation and many compliments! I think collections that evolve like you said yours did are the best and grouped together they make such a statement. I still need to catch up on a lot of your posts, but wanted you to know I do drop in I just don't always comment.

  42. This is a fabulous post Sarah! You have the best collections! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

  43. I love Napoleon and what a fun collection you have! When we lived in France Chateau Malmaison, Josephine's Chateau was one of my favorite places. Thanks for sharing!

  44. I was traveling when this post published, but so glad it was featured on the Scoop so I could catch up. Sarah, your collections are so wonderful, and so complementary with each - I just love that! Your club members had to be thoroughly delighted with your hosting that event. I know I would have been! Thanks for sharing yet another fine assortment.

  45. I do indeed remember your original post. I am as smitten today as I was back then. Simply enchanting!

  46. Oh my goodness, Sarah. This is the most incredible collection. I was fascinated by and loved each and every item.

    Happy Pink Saturday. Thank you for sharing.


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