Crown of the kings of Bavaria (gold, silver, diamonds,
imitation blue diamond, rubies, emeralds;
height 23.3 cm, diam. 26.5 cm); Marie-Étienne Nitot (jeweller)
and Jean-Baptiste Leblond (goldsmith), Paris 1806-07
On 1 January 1806 Elector Maximilian Joseph IV of Bavaria was proclaimed King Maximilian Joseph I of Bavaria. Royal insignia were immediately commissioned from craftsmen in Paris: a crown, sceptre, sword and belt, imperial orb and seal container for the king, and a crown for the queen. Among the artists at Napoleon's court who worked on the insignia was the leading goldsmith of the day, Martin-Guillaume Biennais..
The insignia were duly delivered to Munich, but political events precluded a coronation ceremony. In fact, no king of Bavaria was ever to wear the crown in public. On occasions such as the accession of a ruler to his throne and his lying in state the insignia were presented on special cushions.
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