Dated 1811, it was modelled by Alexandre Brachard after a plaster bust by sculptor Henri Joseph Rutxhiel.
The only other known example of this rare bust, with its original pedestal, is in the collection of the châteaux de Malmaison et Bois-Préau.
By family repute this example, offered by Bonhams (27.5/25/20/14.5% buyer’s premium) as part of the Five Centuries of Ceramics sale on July 7, was previously in the possession of Napoléon’s sister Pauline Borghese (1780-1825) and taken from Saint-Cloud by General Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Fürst von Wahlstatt (1742-1819) after Waterloo. It was sold from his family seat of Schloss Radun, Breslau, at Sotheby’s in Monaco in 1976.
Modestly estimated at £2000-3000, it did rather better in bringing £13,000.
Napoléon-François-Charles-Joseph, the son of the Napoleon and Empress Marie Louise, was Prince Imperial of France and the King of Rome from birth. He briefly became emperor of the French as Napoleon II in 1814, but from the age of three lived in exile in Austria.