“He [Napoleon] was very fond of children and would often have the little sons of his brother Louis and Queen Hortense to breakfast with him and Marie Louise. He liked to tease them. One day when the two little Princes were at breakfast Louis [future Napoleon III], aged three years and a half, was eating a boiled egg. Napoleon made him turn his head to look at a toy and took away the egg. When the child missed it he took up his knife and said to the Emperor: 

“Give me back my egg or I will kill you.”

“What you rascal would you kill your uncle?” 

“I must have my egg or I will kill you.” 

The Emperor gave it back to him saying, “You will be a fine fellow.”

-From the memoirs of Sophie Durand, 1819. 


Imperial Napoleonic Egg -  House of Carl Fabergé, c. 1912

Maker: Workmaster: Henrik Emanuel Wigström (1862–1923)

Artist: Miniatures by Vassily Ivanovich Zuiev (Russian)

Gold, guilloche’ enamel, rose-cut diamond, platinum, gold, ivory, gouache, velvet, silk, 4 5/8 x 3 ½ (max diam.) in. (11.7 x 8.9 cm)

“I look nuts. There’s something that people like about a guy who looks a little bit crazy. They never know which way he’s going to jump, whether he’ll turn out to be a poached egg or Napoleon. I guess that my other selling point would be titled, ‘pugnacity.’ I look the kind of guy who’s just about to pick a fight.” – James Cagney

Source: Caroline S. Hoyt (1938)