Monaco: Napoleons bees

On the occasion of the bicentennial of Napoleon's birth (1769-1969) Yemen and the Principality of Monaco issued, a bit prematurely, two stamps that show Napoleon surrounded with bees.

Historically the decission to adopt the bee as symbol of the Empire was taken on the 15 of August 1804, feast of .... Saint Napoleon !

That day to Cambaceres, Archichancelier of the Empire, who asked him if the inperial coat will be sown with eagles or bees Napoleon answered: "It will sown with golden bees. This last emblem will have some "thing of national" because some bees were found in the tomb of Childeric".

Indeed the day of his coronation Napoleon wore the conseeration costume covered by an immense crimson velvet coat doubled of ermine, shown with golden bees. Its weight was of 80 pounds with a surface of 58 m2 !

This year for celebrating the bicentennial of the consecration (December 2, 1804) the Principality of Monaco has issued two stamps, one that shows the Emperor wearing the coat shown with bees and the other with 10 bees and an eagle on a red drapery.

Why bees are accompained by the eagle on this last stamp ? Napoleon considered the bee as the symbol of intense activity but also the sovereignty and this symbol was used frequently in the civil ceremonies and in the administration." So the "bonnes villes" (good eitles) of the Empire, will be obliged to include in their coat of arms a strip of red color with three golden bees.

However the eagle will always remain to the bottom of his heart as he declared to Cambaceres during the above mentioned conversation.

by Jan de Crom  
taken from "The Postal Bee"  4/2004 
Contact Group Bee Philately

Eine Seite zurück / one page back

Die Welt der Bienen auf Briefmarken
The world of bees on stamps

© 2004-2010 by TAURACHSOFT

zur Startseite / to the start