Napoleon I Bonaparte, 1807-A

KM A688.1; Friedberg 481, PCGS graded XF Details

As with the preceding coins, this 40-franc and the following 20-franc transitional piece represent a further phase in Napoleon’s erosion of Revolutionary principles. Here his portrait appears for the first time wearing the imperial wreath, and yet the reverse still names the French Republic. He seems to have felt confident to replace his republican-style portrait with the new imperial (monarchical) portrait based on his mounting victories over the European coalitions and individual rulers ranged against him (at Austerlitz, Friedland, and in the Iberian Peninsula) and his reorganization of conquered territories as lesser kingdoms. Napoleon himself became King of Italy in 1805 and he appointed his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain in 1808.

Transitional issue. Paris. Head of Napoleon I left. Reverse: Denomination within wreath.

Ex CGB (18 June 2009), 872