Lot 111 of 253:
Rare 1815 broadside for Cologne, Napoleon's favorite medicine  

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Lot closed - unsold
$1,200 - $1,500

"Eau de Cologne Perfectionnee"

[Legrand, Louis?]

Cologne, Germany


February 4, 1815


Broadside. French text. 6.5x8.5”. With engraved view of the city of Cologne at top. Probable first printing. 

Four months before Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, this small broadside appeared in French-occupied Cologne, touting the Emperor’s favorite cure-all, less male scent than medicinal remedy. He reportedly doused himself with Cologne, using up to 50 shipments a month, believing it essential to his health. Indeed, this rare promotional piece lauds the cosmetic as a panacea for stomach ache, toothache, burns, cuts, fevers and cramps. A very rare imprint.


The text is written anonymously in the first person.  A WorldCat citation for an 1810 Paris imprint in the Deutsches Museum Library with the same title, but possibly different text, lists the author as “Legrand”. Perhaps the Louis Legrand who maintained a Perfume shop in Napoleonic Paris owning the formulas and archives of the heirs to the Royal Perfumer of pre-Revolutionary days. (His successors, Oriza L. Legrand,  were purveyors to the royal courts of France, England, Italy and Czarist Russia).

Besides the German holding (which may not be identical), WorldCat locates only a single copy of this 1815 imprint – in the British Museum Library. There seems to be no original copy held by any American institution.

Lot Amendments

Very good.

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