Napoleon I Bonaparte, 1815-A

KM 705.1; cf. Friedberg 522 (for business strike), PCGS graded PR-65+ Cameo

On February 26, 1815, an amazing thing happened. Napoleon slipped away from exile on the island of Elba and made his way to southern France, thereby beginning a crisis period known as the Cent Jours (“Hundred Days”). As news of his arrival spread and he began to travel through France, many of his old officers and soldiers flocked to him. Dissatisfaction with Louis XVIII and his foreign supporters soon convinced the civilian administration to join him as well. With France again largely under his control, on April 22, 1815, Napoleon reconstituted the French Empire as a type of constitutional monarchy with himself at its head. He then set about mobilizing his forces for a confrontation with the Seventh Coalition. The final showdown came at Waterloo on June 18, 1815. In this famous battle, the Emperor was decisively defeated by the Duke of Wellington thanks in large part to the timely arrival of Prussian reinforcements. Napoleon fled back to Paris to rally political support, but there was little to be found. On June 22, 1815, he officially abdicated and attempted to take ship for the United States, but when he realized that he would not make it through the British blockade instead surrendered. Napoleon was again sent into exile on the small island of St. Helena where he remained until his death in 1821.

Paris. Laureate head of Napoleon I left. Reverse: Denomination within laurel-wreath; date in exergue.

Ex CNG/St. James (1 August 2014), 367