08 June 2023

Coming up in our June Interiors sale is a gift from Napoleon III to Robert Jope Slade (1828-1896), the Harbour Master of Torquay, after his visit in 1871.

A pair of French ormolu mounted photographic portrait miniatures of Napoleon III and the Prince Imperial

each frame surmounted by crowns and mitres, beaded and moulded edges with ribbon tied oak leaves below, presented in silk and velvet lined leather cases, each with a tooled gilt coat-of arms to top

Mr. Slade was also the committee secretary to the prestigious Torbay Royal Regatta, which later moved to Cowes to become the Royal Yacht Club.

It was noted in Mr. R. J. Slade’s obituary that he was presented these miniatures by Napoleon III himself when he left Torquay after his visit of 1871.

The technique of fixing a photographic image to a ceramic surface was initiated by Ferdinand Joubert, who took out a patent in 1860. This was done to protect the image from the ravages of time; sun fading and moisture. It remained the preserve of the wealthiest of clients until a means of mass production developed in the late 19th Century.

Lot 618 will be sold at auction on the 21st June