This carriage was made in 1811/12 for the "King of Rome", the new-born son of the Emperor Napoleon I (1769 - 1821) and his wife Empress Marie Louise, Archduchess of Austria (1791 - 1847). The upper part of the slender, open box, originally equipped with a sunshade, is encased by four mudguards in the shape of eagle's wings. While they symbolise the powerful imperial father, the little prince, called "l'aiglon" in Paris, may be identified with the small wooden eagle sitting on the gilt chassis. Thus, the symbolic message of the carriage shows how the eaglet ("l'aiglon") grows up as the future emperor protected by the powerful wings of his father. The side walls are decorated with gilded copper reliefs and applied stars and bees, Napoleon's heraldic animal. The carriage was drawn by two Merino sheep trained especially for this task. (MKR)
L. 166 cm, H. 92 cm, B. 71 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Wagenburg
Wagenburg, W 71 1
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