European Decorative Arts and Sculpture
"Napoleon and Henri IV" Chess PiecesMade in France, Europe
Early 19th century
Artist/maker unknown, French
Currently not on view
1964-91-26(1--32)Gift of John F. Harbeson, 1964
LabelIn the early nineteenth century French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte (1769–1821) was a popular subject for chess sets, appearing opposite a variety of historical figures. Here, the king and queen are represented on one side by Napoléon (in his familiar tricorne) and his wife Joséphine, and on the opposing side by the earlier French ruler King Henri IV (1553–1610) and his wife Marie de’ Medici. As is often the case in French sets, the bishop is replaced by a jester.