Napoleon bronze commands high price in Zurich auction

Bronze of Napoleon by Meissonier – SFr150,000 (£115,385) at Koller.

The biggest surprise at the sale of works of art at Koller (25/22/15% buyer’s premium) in Zurich on March 28 was the result for a bronze figure by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier (1815-91).

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Jonathan Franks

Bronze of Napoleon by Meissonier – SFr150,000 (£115,385) at Koller.

During his lifetime the artist was known only for his paintings and drawings, many of which showed historical scenes from the time of Louis XIV and XV, but he also painted several episodes from the life and military career of Napoleon I.

Only after his death were 20 sculptures discovered, among them the original model for Napoléon à cheval, also known as Le voyageur.

In 1895 the Parisian art dealer Georges Petit commissioned the founder Edmond- Gustave Siot-Decauville with a posthumous bronze edition of this figure.

Koller was selling number 3 of the 19in (48cm) high figure and was expecting SFr20,000-30,000. In the event, the anonymous purchaser went to SFr150,000 (£115,385) to secure his prize.