JOSEPHINE, Empress (1763-1814). Wife of Napoleon I.
Document Signed, ('joséphine'), 1 page 4to with integral blank, Navarre (Eure), 27 January 1811. An invoice submitted to the Empress and signed by her for roses and alpines for her garden at Navarre, also signed by Aimé Bonpland.
The invoice details five cases of plants shipped from Switzerland to Josephine's residence at the chateau de Navarre, near Evreux in Normandy, which Napoleon had purchased for her following her divorce in order to keep her at a distance from Paris when he married Marie Louise. The grounds had been neglected until Napoleon acquired the chateau for her and she occupied herself in planting and laying out a garden there. Bonpland, a celebrated botanist and explorer who had accompanied Alexander von Humboldt on his expedition to South America, was superintendent of the gardens at Malmaison and at Navarre; he published a Description des plantes rares cultivées à Malmaison et à Navarre in 1813. The shipment listed here included 88 willows, 10 rose bushes, and some 300 alpines, which are not further identified, at a cost of 431 francs. Bonpland signs to acknowledge receipt of the shipment, and Josephine signs to authorise payment to a 'botaniste' in Berne. The chateau of Navarre was demolished in 1836.
Provenance: from a collection formed by A.M. Broadley in 1903.
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