One of the most classic and timeless pieces ever done by the design house of Hermes is Napoleon. First issued in 1963, it was later re-issued in the years 1985, 1995, and 2002. The design was done by Phillipe Ledoux one of the most prolific designers of Hermes scarves in their history. No collection would be complete without a Ledoux design, as he is perhaps the most beloved of all designers by Hermes. I am not speaking regarding collectors, I am speaking regarding representatives of Hermes, they speak regarding the works of Ledoux with a reverence that they seem to rarely give others. Monsieur Ledoux has long since past, but his designs will live on forever.
Many collectors I know prefer their Napoleon scarves in the colorway that best represents France, such as the colors of the flag. I however, prefer the soft elegance suggested in soft pink border, perhaps giving the suggestion of the memory of Josephine.
The original Napoleon was produced with a bee jacquard as seen here. Hermes no longer produces Jacquards as they proved to be very expensive to produce.
William Henry Ireland in 1822 wrote:
Source: Encyclopaedia Universalis
Below is a picture of the Merovingian Bees from the Gallica web site
I am fascinated by the pure luxury of the Hermes Napoleon Scarf, it seems to carry with its name a since of the decorum of the era it represents. I thought it would be interesting to do a photographic study of the scarf, a kind of visual meditation of it. Letting my camera be my eyes as it swirled the twill of bees. Below is the result of that meditation. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I did.