Throughout history, the arts and artists have thrived because of the unrelenting passion and support of patrons of art. Every year with its Patron of Art Edition, Montblanc recognizes one of history’s great patrons and the cultural legacy they left behind. Created in the Montblanc Artisan Atelier from precious materials and shaped by highly skilled master craftsmen with great care and dedication, the new Montblanc Patron of Art Edition celebrates the life and patronage of Napoléon Bonaparte (1769 –1821), Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1814, and again briefly in 1815 before his exile and death in 1821. Outside of his role as a formidable military leader and statesman, he was a champion of the arts. He ignited the revival of decorative arts and the era of Napoléon is regarded as the “Golden Age of French Craftsmanship“.
Napoléon paid particular attention to Neoclassicism, a movement in the visual arts, literature, music, theatre and architecture that drew inspiration from the classical art and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. He commissioned artists, craftspeople and architects to work in what became known as the Empire style, with famous structures including the church of La Madeleine and the Arc de Triomphe emulating the imposing edifices of the Roman Empire.
To create the four Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Napoléon Editions, Montblanc has leaned into the métiers d’art – gold work, lacquering, gem-setting, engraving cameo engraving – to tell Napoléon’s story of a meteoric rise from soldier to consul to becoming the French emperor. The neo-classic style of the writing instruments combines geometric design and pure lines with rich decorations
Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Napoléon Bonaparte Limited Edition 888
A tribute to Napoléon’s time as a consul, the role he established on his way to imperial power, this fountain with platinum-coated fittings features an intricate Au 750 solid yellow gold overlay rich in imperial symbolism. The precious blue lacquer underneath the overlay is reminiscent of the blue of his first uniform as consul. The skeleton spiral overlay in Au 750 solid yellow gold that covers the cap and barrel is inspired by the original Colonne Vendôme in Paris, a military structure inspired by Trajan’s column in Rome. The skeleton decoration features oak leaves from Napoléon‘s consul uniform to represent the strength and longevity, olive leaves from his uniform of the French academy as a symbol of strength and victory, wisdom and faithfulness, immortality, hope, wealth and abundance, as well as the sovereign bee symbol linking his dynasty to the first kings of France.
The sword-shaped clip is engraved with “N” and adorned with a red garnet. The Au 750 solid gold, partly rhodium-coated nib features the special embossing of Napoléon wearing his distinctive bicorn hat. The engravings on the cap top – a laurel wreath, the imperial crown and an eagle – refer to Napoléon Bonaparte’s coronation insignia. The cap is crowned by the Montblanc emblem in mother-of pearl. The antiqued palmetto motif is engraved on the cone, which also bears an engraved portrait of the emperor.