The Napoleon III Pontifical Set

We have had the pleasure of presenting some of this set before, but today we are pleased to be able to provide some further details of the set than have previously been shown here or elsewhere. The set in question was a gift of the Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte III (1808-1873) to the Custodia of the Holy Land and now forms part of the estimable collection of the Terra Sancta Museum

The set in question is striking for its inclusion of the Napoleonic bees which are set upon yellow silk gros. The set in question was apparently first used at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in 1853 for the occasion of the emperors wedding. 

The symbol of the bees do, however, pre-date Napoleon himiself, having first been adopted as a symbol by Childeric, King of the Franks who died in the 5th century. (His remains were discovered with a purple toga that had over 300 golden bees embroidered upon it.) 

Let's take a look at the set in use first off:

One can better see the colours here, so typical of French work of the period. 

Here is a closer look at all of the various parts and pieces to the set, which is a pontifical set missing only the humeral veil. 

Chalice Veil



LAJ would like to thank the Director of the Terra Sancta Museum for sending these additional images at our request.

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