'Ceci n'est pas un Berceau': The Majestic Cradle of Napoleon's Son

Gal Ventura*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article explores the significance of the cradle given on March 1811, by the citizens of Paris for the birth of Napoleon's son-the King of Rome-by addressing the object, its designers, its user, and its socio-cultural environment. Through the inspection of the etymology and the history of the cradle, the configuration, material and aesthetics of the King of Rome's other cradles, and the 'economy of the gift', this article claims that the citizens' cradle was in fact not a throne-shaped cradle, but rather a cradle-shaped throne, representing a materialized contract between the inhabitants of Paris and their sovereign.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)323-339
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Design History
Issue number4
StatePublished - 6 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© copyright 2019 Crown.


  • Cradles
  • King of Rome
  • Napoleon
  • childhood
  • gift
  • sleep


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