Bohemian c.1820-1830 large decanter with three engraved portraits
A Bohemian large decanter made about 1820-1830 with thee engraved portraits. Two are of men, one in military uniform and the other in civilian dress. The third portrait is of a woman wearing an off the shoulder dress with her hair pulled back in a style fashionable at the time. None of the portraits is signed but they do bear a resemblance to the style of Dominik Biemann (1800-1857). The fact that three portraits appear on the decanter would suggest that it was an important and expensive piece at the time.
The engraving of the man in military uniform resembles portraits of Jean Bernadotte(1763 -1844) who was made Marshal of France by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804. In 1810 he was elected Crown Prince of Sweden by the Swedish Diet. In 1818 he became Charles XIV John.
The second man may be Baron Carl Otto Moerner(1781-1868) who was a Swedish courtier and member of the Diet who advocated the election of Jean Bernadotte in 1810. He was not popular for this and was arrested. Despite this, he managed to persuade a majority of the Diet to his point of view. As a result of this he helped to establish the Royal Family of Sweden which continues the Bernadotte line to this day.
If the assumption that this decanter represents the main figures in the establishment of the new royal line in Sweden at the beginning of the 19th century, the lady should be Désirée Clary(1777-1860). She married the then General Jean Bernadotte in 1798 having been previously the fiancée of Napoleon Bonaparte who cancelled their engagement in order to marry Josephine Beauharnais. When Bernadotte became King of Sweden, Désirée became Queen Eugenia Bernadina Desideria. There are several portraits of Désirée Clary which show her with the distinctive nose that this face has. She is, in at least one portrait, shown wearing a similar dress to this one with a similar hairstyle.
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