Napoleon Signs and Seals an Ornate Baronial Appointment of One of His Most Heroic and Loyal Generals

An incredibly rare surviving Napoleonic seal still intact

Louis Paul Baille first studied surgery before joining the military in 1791. He served continuously throughout the Directorate and then Napoleon’s rule, embarking with the army of the East for the campaign in Egypt from 1798 to 1801. He returned with Napoleon to France, and fought heroically at the Battle of Austerlitz,...

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Napoleon Signs and Seals an Ornate Baronial Appointment of One of His Most Heroic and Loyal Generals

An incredibly rare surviving Napoleonic seal still intact

Louis Paul Baille first studied surgery before joining the military in 1791. He served continuously throughout the Directorate and then Napoleon’s rule, embarking with the army of the East for the campaign in Egypt from 1798 to 1801. He returned with Napoleon to France, and fought heroically at the Battle of Austerlitz, as well as many other campaigns as Napoleon’s territory grew.

On June 7, 1808, Napoleon made him Baille, Baron de Saint-Pol and the Empire, and thereafter he served in Spain until 1813.

During the First Restoration, Baille de Saint-Pol was given a command in the Army of Louis XVIII. But he once again joined Napoleon on his escape from Elba, showing his loyalty to Napoleon.

Document signed, Bayonne, France, June 7, 1808, the very document that conferred the title of Baron on Baille. The document begins by stating Bonaparte’s titles: “Napoleon, by the Grace of God, Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine.” It continues, “We have reserved for ourselves the power to bestow titles we deem appropriate to those subjects who have distinguished themselves in service to the state and to us. The knowledge that we have of the zeal and the fidelity of our dear Sir Baille has shown for our service… We have by these documents signed by our hand, conferred to our dear and beloved Sir Louis Paul Baille, Officer of the Legion of Honor, Colonel of the 51st Regiment of Battle, born a Brignolles…the title of Baron of the Empire.”

These documents are increasingly uncommon, but even more so is one still with the full seal intact and in such good condition. This is the finest we have seen.

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