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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Catalogue of a collection of cameos; marble busts; statues in gold, silver, bronze, and ivory; carvings; fine gold orders; bronzes; enamels; paintings; miniatures; elegant clock; swords; gold, silver, and bronze medals; a fine gold mortar; Napoleon's tomb, in pure gold; china; porcelaine; drawings; autograph letters of Napoleon and Josephine; manuscripts; prints; and books, relating to the Emperor Napoleon and his family: collected on the Continent and in England, during the last fifteen years.
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SAINSBURY, John
[Catalogue of a collection ... relating to the Emperor Napoleon. 1835]
Catalogue of a collection of cameos; marble busts; statues in gold, silver, bronze, and ivory; carvings; fine gold orders; bronzes; enamels; paintings; miniatures; elegant clock; swords; gold, silver, and bronze medals; a fine gold mortar; Napoleon's tomb, in pure gold; china; porcelaine; drawings; autograph letters of Napoleon and Josephine; manuscripts; prints; and books, relating to the Emperor Napoleon and his family: collected on the Continent and in England, during the last fifteen years.
[London]: [privately printed], [1835].
57, [3] p. ; 26.7 cm. (4º)

Privately printed, December 1835. The final leaf contains an encomium by Barry O'Meara, physician to Napoleon, dated November 26, 1835 on the quality of the collection and giving encouragement for Sainsbury's contemplation of printing a catalogue. Apparently the first copy to be distributed from an edition of 120 copies only. It was followed in June 1836 by a Supplement to the catalogue of a collection of works of art relating to the Emperor Napoleon, 1836 (q.v.), with continuous pagination. The whole was eventually re-published privately in c. 1840. For an account of Sainsbury's 'Napoleon Museum' see R.D. Altick, The shows of London (Harvard: The Belknap Press, 1978), p. 252.

Copy Notes Bound as issued with Fac-similes of all the different signatures of the Emperor Napoleon (q.v.), separately printed and inserted after p. [58]. With an ALs tipped in before the first free-endpaper Red Lion Square / December 9.th 1835 / To Sir John Soane Bart. / &c. &c. &c. / Sir, / Being a devoted admirer of the Fine / Arts. and having for the last fifteen years diligently searched / on the Continent, and in England, for every thing worth / notice in a portable form relating to Napoleon, the / Great Patron of them, I can venture to assert, as it is / not my only opinion only, that no one can at all / compete with me as to the rarity and value of the greater / part of my Collection. I know of but one Gentleman / who has a Napoleon Collection - the Revd. Dr Burney - / and he has collected Medals and Coins only [und], which I am / told have cost him upwards of Nine Thousand Pounds - / and a friend of the Doctor's told me a short time ago, that he / would be delighted to possess my Collection, but I have invariably refused to listen to any propositions for them, / altho' // many have indirectly been made to me, untill, my interview / with you yesterday, for I had not the resolution of doing / so - Two reasons have, however, induced me to consider the / matter, the first is the increasing expense of my large family / and the other, that I should not give up all hopes of seeing / them again, for I may be able sometimes, with your kind / permission to enjoy a sight of them, if they were in your / splendid museum, and nothing would give me greater pleasure / than to be allowed to assist, or to suggest, the placing of them in / your house, as there is not an object which can be considered / too large for an apartment of the ordinary size, I have / therefore, carefully gone over the several things stated in the / Catalogue, and find the whole have cost me about Four / thousand five Hundred Pounds, and considering the time, the / trouble, and the labour I have employed in collecting them / which, I think, I might fairly estimate at fifteen hundred Pounds / more, consequently the whole cost to cannot be less / than Six Thousand Pounds, at which sum, I beg respectfully / to offer to you the whole collection, as described in my catalogue, / including the catalogue also, 120 copies only, of which have been / printed for private circulation, and the first of which I / assure you, I had the honor of presenting to yourself / yesterday - Will you permit me to add that these, / coupled with your own splendid Collection, would / hand your name down to posterity as the munificent / Patron of the Arts, and it could not fail to be associated / with // the Greatest Hero of both Ancient and Modern / times - I allude to the Immortal Napoleon - / I have the honor / Sir John / to remain Your Very Faithfull / J.Sainsbury. And at the side in a PS / The newspapers state / today, that Napoleon's Hat / which was sent to, Gros, the / eminent Painter for the / purpose of finishing the / Emperor's Portrait in 1808 / sold at an Auction in Paris / on the 30 Novr. last for 1920 [und] francs / I have enclosed memorandums / herewith, relative to the other things you desired - . Despite a follow-up letter from Sainsbury on 26 December (Priv. Corr. XVI.F.150) Soane was apparently not be drawn on this offer, however, and Sainsbury renewed and expanded his proposal on the occasion of presenting a copy of the Supplement (q.v.) in June of the following year.

Binding Stab-stitched in C19th green ribbed morocco-grained polished paper boards having Napoleonic emblems in gilt on upper and lower covers, red paper pastedowns, gilt edges. Later numbered '45' in a series of sale catalogue volumes.

Reference Number 1531


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