An Italian Portrait Miniature of a Lady mounted in a Piqué Tortoiseshell Box, Probably Maria Anna Elisa, grand duchess of Tuscany, sister of Napoleon Bonaparte,
Early 19th Century.
The miniature is set into the lid of a tortoise shell box with a gold tooled bezel and gold piqué work.
The inscription is "mi dono a te, per esser sempre tua" or "... I give myself to you, to be always your." The sitter bears a strong resemblance to Maria Anna Elisa, grand duchess of Tuscany, sister of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Provenance: Purchased from The Norton Galleries, 1975
Signed at the right edge-F. Roncalli.fecit.
Diameter: Box: 2-1/2 inches x 5/8 inches deep. Miniature: 2 inches diameter.
Maria Anna (Marie Anne) Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi, Princesse Française, Duchess of Lucca and Princess of Piombino, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, Comtesse de Compignano (January 13 1777 August 7 1820) was the fourth surviving child and eldest surviving daughter of Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino.
Elisa was born in Ajaccio, Corsica. She was a younger sister of Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon I of France and Lucien Bonaparte. She was an older sister of Louis Bonaparte, Pauline Bonaparte, Caroline Bonaparte and Jérôme Bonaparte. Her sharp tongue often caused troubles in her relations with her brother Napoleon.
She was established as a member of the Imperial family of the First French Empire on May 18, 1804. She received the title of Imperial Highness. On March 19, 1805, Napoleon awarded her with the Principality of Lucca and Piombino.
Her separation from her husband was seen favorably by Napoleon. On March 3, 1809 he gave Elisa the honorary title of a Grand Duchess of Tuscany, which had been annexed by France in 1807. Her husband soon rejoined her however.
Elisa remained Grand Duchess of Tuscany until February 1, 1814, when Grand Duke Ferdinand III was restored to the throne he had occupied before 1801. Elisa spent the later years of her life in seclusion and died in Trieste. She was buried in the San Petronio Basilica of Bologna. She was also the only adult sibling of Napoleon Bonaparte who did not survive him.
She married Félix Pasquale Baciocchi, a member of Corsican nobility, on May 1, 1797, created Prince Français, Duke of Lucca and Prince of Piombino and Prince of Massa-Carrara and La Garfagnana. They were parents of four children:
* Felix Napoléon Baciocchi (1798 - 1799).
* Elisa Napoléone Baciocchi (1806 - 1869).
She married Philippe, Comte Camerata-Passioneï de Mazzoleni, one son Charles Félix Jean-Baptiste Camerata-Passionei di Mazzoleni
* Jérôme Charles Baciocchi (1810 - 1811).
* Frédéric Napoléon Baciocchi (1813 - 1833).
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