Jet Cross Set in Gold

This exquisite mourning cross of jet set in gold belonged to Madame Mère, mother of Napoleon Bonaparte. It was one of 12 such crosses - one for each female member of the family - commissioned on the death of the Emperor in 1821, and passed to Harriet Wyse sister of Sir Thomas Wyse who had married Letitia Bonaparte, niece of Napoleon.

It is one of the centrepieces of the display on the Bonaparte Wyse family which opened at the Museum in 2002.

period: 19th century

inventory no.: 2001.017

dimensions: 50 height x 35 width mm

material: Jet, gold

collection: Waterford City Council by kind permission of Mr. Henry Bonaparte Wyse

location: Waterford Museum of Treasures exhibition

provenance: Private collection of Mr. Henry Bonaparte Wyse

Further Reading:

  • Olga Bonaparte Wyse, The Issue of Bonaparte Wyse: Waterford's Imperial Relations, Waterford Museum of Treasures, 2003
  • J. J. Auchmuty, Sir Thomas Wyse 1791-1862, London 1939
  • Gillian Smith, 'Thomas Wyse & the origins of an Irish system of national education', Decies 58 (Journal of the Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society), 2002. ISSN 1393-3116collection

previousPrevious - The Waterford Gold Ring Brooch
Next - Gold Finger Ringnext