napoleonic empire


France, Garde du Corps du Roi M1814 Officer’s Helmet, c. 1814.

Black varnished leather body and visors trimmed entirely with silver-plated copped fixtures. The body has two large palm leaf scrolls on each side with their curls forward, and the ends terminating behind a silver band that covers the seam between skull and rear visor. The front visor is edged in silver. A large sun ray plate embossed with crown over intertwined scrolls of palms crossing above the face of a deity, all above clouds with a bannered motto “Nec Pluribus Impar” (”without comparison under the sun”). Screwed to the skull, a crest with feather plume designs on both sides, holds a black chenille of horse hair cropped like a mane and falling forward over the front of the helmet. The ear bosses are sun rays behind the godly face at centre, and hold the scalloped, graduating chinscales to the helmet. The chinstraps fasten at the wearer’s chin with a cloth ribbon tie. On the left side, forward to the ear boss, a silver squared tube plume socket holds a two-tiered tulip cup holding the stem of a white cock feather plume. Interior sweatband of leather only. Green colour under the front visor and black under the rear visor. Say what you will about the Borurbon Restoration, but the excellent taste in uniforms the French possessed continued under them.

The Garde du Corps du Roi were the senior unit in the military branch of the Maison du Roi (King’s Household). It was disbanded in 1816.


💎Napoleon’s Coronation Sword used at his Coronation as Emperor of the French in 1804 can be seen in this François Gérard portrait of the Emperor in full Coronation Robes. Bejeweled with dozens of large diamonds from the former Royal Collections the greatest originally amongst them was the famous or infamous 140 carat “Régent Diamond ” ~diamonds can also be a man’s best friend, lol. 💎



Costumes of the Coronation of Napoleon I, First Emperor of the French, and Consecration of the Empress Josephine


I. Great dress of the Emperor:

The imperial purple velvet coat, dotted with golden bees; in the embroidery are entwined branches of olive, of laurel and of oak that surround the letter N. The lining, the border and the épitoge are in ermine. The open left side of the coat reveals the sword supported by a white satin sash embroidered and trimmed with golden twists; the robe of white satin embroidered with gold on all the seams, the bottom of the robe embroidered and garnished with a golden twist. The tie and the shirt collar are of lace. The gold laurel wreath on his head, the scepter in his right hand, and the “hand of justice” in the left, the Grand Collar of the Order on the épitoge. The white satin cothurnus, embroidered and laced with gold.

II. Great dress of the Empress:

A coat of purple velvet, sown with golden bees; .in the embroidery, are entwined branches of laurel, of olive and of oak, that surround the letter N. The lining and the border are in ermine. The coat is fastened with a clip, on the belt on the left side. The long-sleeved dress, of silver brocade, strewn with golden bees embroidered on seams … the bottom of the dress, embroidered and trimmed with gold fringes, the bodice and upper sleeves are studded with diamonds. The golden crown, enriched with pearls and colored gemstones, necklace and earrings with engraved gems, surrounded by brilliants, the collar lace in gold lamé.

III. Undress of the Emperor:

A coat of purple velvet, embroidered with gold and silver; the lining of white satin embroidered with gold on the cuffs and collar. The velvet coat is of the same color, embroidered with gold cobs on the seams; collar and cuffs of white velvet, embroidered in the same way. Black felt hat, topped with white feathers, diamond piping. Tie and shirt collar of lace, the Grand Collar and Grand Cordon of the Legion of Honor; sword enriched with diamonds on the hilt-guard, diamond known as the “Regent”; the white satin sash, embroidered and topped with gold twists, white velvet shoes with satin rosettes, embroidered with gold.

IV. Undress of the Empress:

The court mantle is in colored velvet with embroidery ten inches tall, and attached to the belt by two clips, the dress with short sleeves is in white satin, embroidered and studded with golden bees; the waist and the slashed sleeves are furnished with diamonds, the collar is in lace; diadem, comb, earrings and necklace are in diamonds.

V. Dress of the Pope:

A cope of golden cloth, embroidered with “bouquets detachés”, lined with colored moire; … the hood and the orfroi are embroidered in the same way, … the ratchet is trimmed with lace; … the tiara is in silvered cloth; … the three crowns and the cross are in gold, enriched with diamonds, pearls and colored gems; … the stole and the slippers are of golden stuff.

VI. Dress of a Princess:

Court dress in white silk, with long-sleeved, embroidered with gold, … Court tail of colored velvet attached to the belt, and it is sown and embroidered with gold, … the collar is of lace; … white feather headdress; … egret, necklace and earrings are of diamonds.

VII. Dress of a Lady of the Palace, Carrying the Offerings:

Court dress with long sleeves, of satin, embroidered on seams and on the trimming; … court mantle of colored velvet, fastened at the waist; … silver embroidery; … lace collar; … the headdress is of hair and pearls. The tray-cloth is of batiste, embroidered in gold lamé.

VIII. Dress of a Prince, High Dignitary:
Velvet coat, embroidered on all seams; … coat in the same way, with white lining and cuffs, embroidered with gold; … the coat is full of bees; jacket, pants and stockings are white; … Sash of gold stuff, at which the sword is attached; … black felt hat, raised by a braid and a button of gold; … white feathers; … lace tie, the Grand Cordon is carried on the coat; … the collar of the Legion of Honor is worn at the neck; … plate of the Legion of Honor is fastened on the dress and on the coat.
Every great dignitary has a color assigned to him, namely: the great elector in poppy-red, the constable in big blue, the arch-chancellor of the Empire in violet; the arch treasurer in black; the arch-chancellor of State in light blue, the great admiral in green.

IX. Dress of a Marshal of the Empire, Carrying the Honors:
Dress and coat are in dark blue, lined with white satin, embroidered in gold on all seams, with oak and laurel leaves … black velvet cap, surmounted by a white feather; … tie of lace; … the sword is attached to a sash of golden cloth. The cushion, on which the crown of Charlemagne is resting, is in purple velvet, embroidered with golden bees.


From Livre du sacre de l’Empereur Napoleon by Isabey, Percier, and Fontaine. Text by Frederic Masson. Bibliothèque Nationale, Réserve des Imprimés, Paris.


I always remake this post when I make a new Tumblr blog so, here it is!


Britain’s Last French Invasion Scare

British troops at Fort Weymouth, one of a number of fortifications built along the British coastline during the invasion scare of 1859. 

Because qsy-complains-a-lot was curious to know more;

On the 14th of January 1858, three bombs exploded among the travelling entourage of Emperor Napoleon III of France, killing eight people and wounding 142. The Emperor himself was unharmed. The would-be assassin, Felice Orsini, was soon in custody.

Orsini, an Italian revolutionary, had targeted the French Emperor because he believed he was an obstacle to Italian unity. It emerged that not only was Orsini a popular man in Britain, but that his bombs had been made and tested by the British. Despite having been recent, and successful, allies with Great Britain during the Crimea War, the French were outraged. French expansionist threats in Italy, Belgium and along the Rhine had already caused tensions. The situation deteriorated to such a degree that war seemed imminent. 

Britain had been experiencing French “invasion scares” for centuries. Aside from occasional ill-judged forays into Ireland and Wales, these purported attacks, real or imaginary, had rarely materialised. Regardless, the British public went into a recruiting frenzy. On an interesting personal note, this was the last time the garrison at Fort George in the Scottish highlands were put on a full defensive alert. French warships were expected in the firth. 

Thankfully the politicians sorted things out, not least due to the fact that Napoleon III was an Anglophile with no desire to start a war. The nationalistic furore in both countries had petered out by 1862. Orsini, meanwhile, went to the guillotine. 

The Aftermath of the Battle of Austerlitz

Napoléon just bitch-slapped two other emperors with yet another one watching. What happened next ? Two things mostly.

After the battle, the captured artillery of the defeated armies, more than ten dozens cannons, went right into a foundry and came out as monument of Napoleonic glory, the Colonne Vendôme, still standing in Paris to this day. The 44m tall column was made of 49 stone sections covered in the bronze Russia and the Holy Roman Empire generously contributed.

It’s like Napoléon ripped out the penis of these armies to erect a giant one for himself.

Speaking of the Holy Roman Empire, after the capture of Vienna and the fabulous beatdown it got served with, it simply ceased to exist. Holy Roman emperor Francis II became Francis I, emperor of Austria and king of Hungary, and the whole slew of duchies and principalities and whatnot where reorganized into the German Confederation. Which was renamed the Northern German Confederation when Prussia took it over in 1866. Which became Germany in 1871.

Bet you didn’t know Napoléon made both modern Germany and a huge metal dick in one battle.

The North American colonizers broke the traditional bonds of fealty and feudal obligation but, unlike the French, they only gradually replaced the traditional bonds with bonds of patriotism and nationhood. They were not quite a nation; their reluctant mobilization of the colonial countryside had not fused them into one, and the multi-lingual, multi-cultural and socially divided underlying population resisted such a fusion. The new repressive apparatus was not tried and tested, and it did not command the undivided loyalty of the underlying population, which was not yet patriotic. Something else was needed. Slave-masters who had overthrown their king feared that their slaves could similarly overthrow the masters; the insurrection in Haiti made this fear less than hypothetical. And although they no longer feared being pushed into the sea by the continent’s indigenous inhabitants, the traders and speculators worried about their ability to thrust further into the continent’s interior.

The American settler-invaders had recourse to an instrument that was not, like the guillotine, a new invention, but that was just as lethal. This instrument would later be called Racism, and it would become embedded in nationalist practice. Racism, like later products of practical Americans, was a pragmatic principle; its content was not important; what mattered was the fact that it worked.

Human beings were mobilized in terms of their lowest and most superficial common denominator, and they responded. People who had abandoned their villages and families, who were forgetting their languages and losing their cultures, who were all but depleted of their sociability, were manipulated into considering their skin color a substitute for all they had lost. They were made proud of something that was neither a personal feat nor even, like language, a personal acquisition. They were fused into a nation of white men. (White women and children existed only as scalped victims, as proofs of the bestiality of the hunted prey.) The extent of the depletion is revealed by the nonentities the white men shared with each other: white blood, white thoughts, and membership in a white race. Debtors, squatters and servants, as white men, had everything in common with bankers, land speculators and plantation owners, nothing in common with Redskins, Blackskins or Yellowskins. Fused by such a principle, they could also be mobilized by it, turned into white mobs. Lynch mobs, “Indian fighters.”

Racism had initially been one among several methods of mobilizing colonial armies, and although it was exploited more fully in America than it ever had been before, it did not supplant the other methods but rather supplemented them. The victims of the invading pioneers were still described as unbelievers, as heathen. But the pioneers, like the earlier Dutch, were largely Protestant Christians, and they regarded heathenism as something to be punished, not remedied. The victims also continued to be designated as savages, cannibals and primitives, but these terms, too, ceased to be diagnoses of conditions that could be remedied, and tended to become synonyms of non-white, a condition that could not be remedied. Racism was an ideology perfectly suited to a practice of enslavement and extermination.

The lynch-mob approach, the ganging-up on victims defined as inferior, appealed to bullies whose humanity was stunted and who lacked any notion of fair play. But this approach did not appeal to everyone. American businessmen, part hustlers and part confidence men, always had something for everyone. For the numerous Saint Georges with some notion of honor and great thirst for heroism, the enemy was depicted somewhat differently; for them there were nations as rich and powerful as their own in the trans- montane woodlands and on the shores of the Great Lakes.

The celebrants of the heroic feats of imperial Spaniards had found empires in central Mexico and on top of the Andes. The celebrants of nationalist American heroes found nations; they transformed desperate resistances of anarchic villagers into international conspiracies masterminded by military archons such as General Pontiac and General Tecumseh; they peopled the woodlands with formidable national leaders, efficient general staffs, and armies of uncountable patriotic troops; they projected their own repressive structures into the unknown; they saw an exact copy of themselves, with all the colors reversed - something like a photographic negative. The enemy thus became an equal in terms of structure, power and aims. War against such an enemy was not only fair play; it was a dire necessity, a matter of life and death. The enemy’s other attributes - the heathenism, the savagery, the cannibalism - made the tasks of expropriating, enslaving and exterminating all the more urgent, made these feats all the more heroic.

The repertory of the nationalist program was now more or less complete. This statement might baffle a reader who cannot yet see any “real nations” in the field. The United States was still a collection of multilingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural “ethnicities”, and the French nation had overflowed its boundaries and turned itself into a Napoleonic empire. The reader might be trying to apply a definition of a nation as an organized territory consisting of people who share a common language, religion and customs, or at least one of the three. Such a definition, clear, pat and static, is not a description of the phenomenon but an apology for it, a justification. The phenomenon was not a static definition but a dynamic process. The common language, religion and customs, like the white blood of the American colonizers, were mere pretexts, instruments for mobilizing armies. The culmination of the process was not an enshrinement of the commonalities, but a depletion, a total loss of language, religion and customs; the inhabitants of a nation spoke the language of capital, worshipped on the altar of the state and confined their customs to those permitted by the national police


Fredy Perlman,

The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism (1984)


Treuille de Beaulieu Mle 1854 pistol

Issued in 1856, designed in 1854 by Antoine Hector Thésée Treuille de Beaulieu, then capitaine of artillery, following his appointment along with Louis Gastinne and Arcelin in 1851 to design breech-loading firearms for the French army’s most elite regiments.
It uses a small caliber high-powered pinfire cartridge, which along with its action similar to its carbine counterpart set it well above the muzzle-loaders of his time, with the only military weapons surpassing it in quality arguably being the Colt revolvers. However, unlike them, these guns were only issued to the Cents-Gardes, Napoléon III’s personal bodyguard, and were never used in battle. It still holds the distinction of being, along with its carbine counterpart, the first metallic cartridge firearm issued to a military - if only in very limited number, barely more than a hundred.
Treuille de Beaulieu strong with this success would go on to work on rifled cannon for the new Lahitte artillery overall in the French army, in parallel to the adoption of the Armstrong cannon across the Channel.
I am screaming in glee right now.

Why are you racist when you say that Fassbender playing a Spanish is whitewashing:

First of all I want to say sorry if I make some grammar or spelling mistake. English isn’t my first language because I’m Spanish from Spain. Also, since this morning, I’m very angry with this whole topic. I don’t use to write statements like this but I’m very tired of seeing how ignorant people can be.

This morning I saw a tweet of Max Landis (@Uptomyknees) in which he said Fassbender couldn’t play a Spaniard because he’s white. He erased the tweet but I’m sure you’ll find a screencapture of it on Internet. I quoted him a few times and I wrote this things:

-I’ve just discovered that here in Spain WE’RE NOT WHITE. OMG I’VE BEEN LIVING A LIE. (I was just being sarcastic).

-Dear USA: Spain is in Europe. In Europe we don’t give a fuck about races because we’re all fucking mixed. (I didn’t want to generalize this much but I was angry)

-I can see why Donald Trump is being voted there. Open a book and learn about how culturally rich people we’re. (Sorry if I offend someone, again, I was angry).

Finally, I wrote:

“So it’s okay for an Aussie to play a Spaniard in the old Hispania but not for a British-German to play a Spaniard after the Visigoths. OK”.

As you can see I was very angry and disappointed. I couldn’t really understand how people who thought they weren’t being racist, they were. If you say Fassbender can’t play a Spaniard is because you think here we’re all latinos. And that is the first mistake that Americans always make.

I need you to understand two things:

-First, here in Europe we don’t say we’re white or we’re 20% or 50% latino, African, etc… When you Americans do that it’s really weird to us. Because we’re all mixed, we’re not sure from where or who we came from. My ancestors could be German because of the Visigoths or Charles V Empire, maybe French from the Napoleonic Empire, or African from the Islamic Empire. Can you see my point? We’re white or black, we’re Christians or Muslims or Jews, we can be from the East or the West, from the North or the South, but at the end it doesn’t matter, we’re all the same. Maybe I share blood with a German or an Egyptian, I don’t know and it’s okay.

If you ask me what I am, I’ll say I’m Spanish. And maybe you’ll ask again, “yeah, but, what are you?” and I’ll answer the same. If you ask a German, British, French, Italian or Polish…, they’re going to answer with the same simple answer. We’re Europeans and being European means that our history is all connected and our ancestors too.

-Latino and Spanish are not the same. Latino is from South America. And not all the South Americans look or are the same, be careful with that. Spanish are from Spain, Europe. We’re all Hispanic, because we all speak Spanish.

In South America people are generally darker than in Spain because of their geographic situation, of course.

In Spain, there are people very different, but we’re mostly white. Maybe you find the olive skinned of some people from the south (mostly from the south but not everybody who is olive skinned is from the south) as dark as the dark people in South America, but you’re wrong, sorry. That’s because the olive skinned people from Spain have that skin because of the Sun (so they’re just tanned, guys) or because the Al-Andalus times. While the people from South America are darker because of the sun, our colonization and the people who lived there before us.

When you say people from Spain are POC you’re saying that because you think we’re the same as our friends and brother from South America. And I think that’s racist. Because I’m sure you wouldn’t say that an Italian is POC and they’re our historically, geographically and culturally buddies.But you think Spanish means South American and you think South Americans are all dark.

Coming back to the main point: Fassbender can play a Spanish perfectly. In the XV century when the story takes place, the Visigoths and the Celtics had been in Spain. Visigoth were from Germany (mostly) and Celtics came to Spain from the UK. Fassbender is British and German so he’s perfect for the role.