The vase that Napoleon smashed up for auction

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Napoleon vase Its story is like something out of a novel. This amazing vase was once owned by Catherine the Great: the portrait on the side is believed to be Catherine herself. It was taken to rather unsuccessful peace negotiations between Austria and France, where Napoleon declared “The truce is now ended and war is declared — but beware! Before autumn is over, I shall shatter your empire like I shatter this vase.” His brother Joseph picked the broken pieces of vase out of the fireplace and had it restored. Joseph later took the vase to America, and gave it to a friend, who gave it to his fiancée, who gave it to her physician, who lost it to a nurse to whom she owed money.

The vase is now being sold by “relatives of a friend” of the nurse. Though the cracks created by Napoleon’s temper tantrum are still visible, it’s an absolutely beautiful piece: quite different from some Ugly Vases of my acquaintance. At the time of writing, with six days left to run, a single bidder at $30,000 (about £15,000) hasn’t reached its reserve price.

5 Responses

  1. Thats nothing – I bought a Ming & a Chippendale job lot off of Whirly to sell on….
    Ming was a crap carpenter & Chippendale was a shite potter according to Suthebys

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