Marshal Nicholas Charles Oudinot
The ceremonial coat of Marshal Nicholas-Charles Oudinot that sold for €90,000 (£79,640) at Artcurial. Photo credit Artcurial.

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The château de Malicorne was acquired in the mid 19th century by Caroline Oudinot. She was the daughter of Nicholas-Charles Oudinot and the château housed mementos belonging to her father as well as his eldest son (her brother) and his grandsons.

The ensemble of over 270 items was put under the hammer by the French auction firm Artcurial on June 13.

Topping the bill at €90,000 (£79,640) was Nicholas-Charles Oudinot’s version of the ceremonial uniform designed for Empire period marshals by Napoleonic portrait painter Jean-Baptiste Isabey for the occasion of Napoleon’s coronation.

Made from blue silk velvet lined with ivory satin and embroidered in silver-gilt thread with oak leaves, it had been modified at some point during the restoration period.  

Institutional Interest

There was interest from various French institutions in the family’s historical archive. The National Archives exercised their right of pre-emption to secure three lots while the Museum of Freemasonry secured a further two.

Among the other items one lot that saw much keener than predicted demand was a large meerschaum pipe carved in detail with cavalry and scrolling foliage. The grandest of a large collection of pipes at the château, it was contested to €5500 (£4870).