France: Christening of Napoléon, Prince Imperial

France: Christening of Napoléon, Prince ImperialFrance: Christening of Napoléon, Prince Imperial
Form: Circular
By: Valentin Maurice Borrel
Date: 1856
Ref:  Laidlaw: 0411;
25.0 mmBronze7.9 gm$25

Edge: Plain. Stamped: "CUIVRE" (the 'C' the wrong way round) and the cornucopia mark of the Paris Mint.

Obverse: Bare head of infant, left. Signed: "BORREL" below truncation. Legend: "NAPOLEON EUG.L.J.JOS (left) PRINCE IMPERIAL (right)".

Reverse: Infant being lowered into a christening font by woman standing on right and being blessed another on the left holding a staff topped by a cross. Above, Eagle, front, and sun-burst. Leafy sprig at bottom. In the exergue: "14 JUIN 1856."

Notes: Napoléon, Prince Imperial (1856-1879) was the only child of Emperor Napoleon III of France. Born in Paris, he was baptized on 14 June 1856, at Notre Dame Cathedral. His godmother was Queen Victoria.

His father was dethroned in 1870 and the Prince move to England with his family. He was proclaimed Napoleon IV in exile on the death of his father in 1873.

In England he trained as a soldier and, at the outbreak of the Anglo-Zulu war in 1879, was sent to South Africa as a lieutenant in the British Army. While on a scouting expedition he was killed in a skirmish with a party of Zulu warriors. His death ended any hopes for the restoration of the Bonapartes to the throne of France.