Happy new year 2014 !
I have been working for fifteen years as an expert and I have developed a passion for military art for 20 years now, which has led me to think out this web site. I have been an Expert to the "Chambre Nationale des Experts Spécialisés en objets d'art et de collection CNES" since 2016, and to the Union Française des Experts UFE" since 1991. I carry out expertising, I trade old objects and I take part in auction sales in France and abroad – I have thus expertised the Charles Bremner Hogg Jackson collection, the collections of the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Institution – Washington USA, 1994. I have expertised the sale of Russel B. Aitken collection, the French Militaria section – NY USA, April 2003; the Gabriel Cimetière collection, the Bourbon-Lancy Military Museum – Angers, May 2003. In april 2010, the Pierre Benoit collection, Hôtel Drouot Paris.The 20 june 2012 Hotel des Ventes de Drouot in Paris, with collaboration of Philippe Missillier and Jean-Christophe Palthey Auction House Binoche Giquello present « la Tenue de cérémonie de Maréchal d'Empire Duc d'Elchingen et Prince de la Moskowa, classée Trésor National ».
My work is based on the detailed study of objects, which is completed by an in-depth research in archives and contemporary historical texts, and by drawing comparisons with the objects that are preserved both in public and private collections in France and abroad. Since 1988, I have published the result of my research in the most prominent French, English, German and Italian reviews dealing with 18th, 19th and 20th century military objects. Some of my work has also been published in national museum reviews in France and in Belgium : Tradition magazine (France), Militaria magazine (France), Revue des Amis du Musée de l'Armée (France), Revue des Amis du Musée Royal de Bruxelles (Belgium), INFO (Germany), IMME (Germany), Military Illustrated (Great Britain), Uniformi (Italy).
In 1993, the Fondation de la Maison de la Chasse et de la Nature (the Hunting and Nature Trust), together with the Versailles Lambinet Museum, asked me to write the chapter devoted to reward arms and arms of honour of the book entitled La Manufacture d’armes de Versailles et Nicolas Noël Boutet (The Manufacture of Arms of Versailles and Nicolas Noël Boutet) and to take part in the exhibition organized in Versailles, in the Lambinet Museum from 23rd November 1993 to 6th March 1994.
In order to regularly publish quality works on the history, the uniforms and the armament of men at arms, I launched the Editions du Canonnier in 1997 and I have published a dozen books in nine years, on various topics; Le Hausse-col français (The French Gorget), Le Bouton d’uniforme (The uniform button), Tracé descriptif de divers objets d’habillement et du harnachement à l’usage de l’armée française 1828 (Descriptive drawing of various clothing items and of harness for the use of the French army 1828), Des Sabres et des épées, de Louis XIV à nos jours (Sabres and swords, from Louis XIV to today); La Garde Impériale de Napoléon III (The Imperial Guard of Napoleon III) ; Lettres de guerre de la Révolution et de l’Empire (War letters during the French Revolution and the First Empire) ; L'Armée française sous la Restauration 1814-1815 (The French Army during the Restoration 1814-1815) ; Jean-Louis de Crabbé colonel d’Empire laissé pour mort à Waterloo (Jean-Louis de Crabbé, colonel d’Empire, left for dead in Waterloo); or Le Sabre d'Abordage, histoire du sabre de bord français de Louis XIV à la Troisième République (The cutlass, a history of the French cutlass from the reign of Louis XIV to the Third Republic).
In December 2006, I published the complete works of a friend of mine, Louis Delpérier, under the title La Cavalerie Légère de 1845 à 1915, Hussards et Chasseurs à cheval – The Light Cavalry from 1845 to 1915, Hussars and Chasseurs à cheval- in collaboration with André Jouineau; this work is exceptional; it was published in two volumes, in a presentation box, and was the result of a more than five-year research. It was followed by the new edition of a book by Alphonse Lalauze, Costumes militaires de l’armée française 1902-1907 (Military uniforms of the French army, 1902-1907), with historical notes by Louis Delpérier. At the end of 2008, an ambitious project has just been fulfilled with the first edition of the whole set of famous engravings by Martinet Les Uniformes du Premier Empire (The Uniforms of the First Empire), Galerie des enfants de Mars, offrande à sa Majesté l’Impératrice et Reine (Gallery of the sons of Mars, as a gift to her Majesty the Queen and Empress). The work is composed of the 339 plates of the original series, completed by 927 variations and 30 original watercolours. 2010 new book by Michel Pétard : «Les Sabres de Hussards, l'histoire des des sabres des hussards de Louis XIV à nos jours».
In 2012, a new collection of books dedicated to the uniforms of the cavalry of Garde Impériale : LES GARDES D'HONNEUR (2010), LES CHASSEURS À CHEVAL (2011) First Empire is to be published.
The aim of the web site is not to gather only outstanding and rare objects; my work consisted in selecting military objects and authentic historical items that are representative of the armies of the past few centuries. Not unlike the French History, those objects testify to a past rich in events, whether they be glorious, unfortunate, great, modest, exceptional or ordinary events… It is a privileged means for you to observe History through its objects and to purchase them if you will.
Collecting military objects is a passion that requires time, patience, modesty and reliable sources. Being demanding is all the more important as with time, objects become more rare and more and more difficult to have access to. However, military objects are a collection theme that still enables people, according to their possibilities, to find first choice historical objects, without their being over expensive. I always feel thrilled when, after carrying out some historical research, I become aware that an apparently insignificant yet history-laden object turns out to be sometimes more telling than a very prestigious object. That is a unique opportunity for potential collectors or for those who had rather have not too costly a passion to develop an interest in military curios. Contrary to what people could generally think, militaria still offers a few objects available to a majority of collectors, provided we know how to walk off the beaten tracks of highly valued periods or objects. The July Monarchy brass items, the military buttons of the second part of the 19th century, the Third Republic uniforms, the National Guard headgear; the miniature portraits of the reigns of Louis-Philippe and of Napoleon III, military photographs, some brass items of the National Guard during the French Revolution, epaulettes from the Restoration to the Third Republic, regimental souvenirs, some town swords of the Louis XVI era… All of these can be the opportunity to make up series of authentic, interesting, aesthetic and historical objects with usual means. That is the reason why we have decided to present on an equal footing prominent historical objects like the glaive which was given to general d’Armagnac by Bonaparte First Consul; unique items like the standard pole of Penthièvre-Cavalerie, Louis XVI era (1760-1776); objects readily accessible to anyone like engravings or brass items of the late 19th century; but also curios like a dog’s collar of the 4th Infantry Regiment or Line Cavalry, probably of the 2nd part of the 19th century.
The objects presented in this catalogue are carefully described; they are authentic –unless any mistaken appraisal was made; their condition is objectively stated – only the parts that can be dismantled could be checked. Each object is for sale according to its availability in stock, as this catalogue has been under way for several months and as it is delivered throughout the edition year.