Fantastic antique French Napoleon III or Victorian era 7 3/8" tall bronze desk top thermometer stand, a Grand Tour souvenir miniature of the Vendome Column, of the Place Vendome, erected by Napoleon Bonaparte to commemorate the Battle of Austerlitz! A wonderful piece! Surely made as a Grand Tour era souvenir, this one is in bronze with a great aged verdigris patina and mounted on a black marble plinth.
The original column was started in 1806 at Napoleon's direction and completed in 1810. It was modelled after Trajan's Column, to celebrate the victory of Austerlitz. Its veneer of 425 spiraling bas-relief bronze plates was made out of cannons taken from the combined armies of Europe, according to his propaganda (the usual figure given is hugely exaggerated: 180 cannon were actually captured at Austerlitz. These plates were designed by the sculptor Pierre-Nolasque Bergeret and executed by a team of about 30 sculptors. A wonderful desk or writing table top decorative accent!
Very good condition. It appears like one of the small figures mounted at the base of the pillar is missing, only three as opposed to one at each corner. The thermometer is original and mounted on a brass or bronze place that has remnants of a nickel plating or silvered finish. There are a few chips to the marble base. See pictures for all measurements.