The Objects

20th Apr 1815

Source: gallica.bnf.fr, with permission of the Bibliothèque nationale de France

'Exercice du royal Eteignoir'

Contributed by: Tim Clayton

'Exercice du royal Eteignoir' listed in the Bibliographie de la France for 29 April 1815 as published by Lacroix, rue Ste-Croix, chaussée d’Antin, no. 15.

The print seller Lacroix published a lot of caricatures in 1815, veering from denunciation of royalists to support for Napoleon and back to vilification of the defeated emperor.
The royal candle-extinguisher was a symbol that had been much used as poised ready to snuff out Bonaparte in British and royalist caricatures during the victorious allied campaigns of 1814 and had then been adopted ironically by the Bonapartist journal 'Le Nain Jaune' (see article for 28 February).
In this etching soldiers are stuffing medals of the Legion of Honour into the inverted extinguisher which is supported by Louis XVIII with the help of a princess and a priest. Louis asks, ‘Is it almost full?’ and a soldier answers, ‘There will be room for everything,’ as he adds a list of soldiers who died for their country to the Constitutional Charter that he has just pushed into the extinguisher. Looking over his shoulder through a telescope another officer sees Napoleon’s ship approaching and exclaims in horror, ‘Oh my God! It’s him!’