Sunday, June 13, 2021

Napoleon Map, Les Drapeaux de France


Drum 🥁 roll The Napoléon Paris map is done & shipping out Monday📮. On Friday I was supposed to go on a press trip to the chateau at Auver-sur-oise, but ADHD, dyslexia and karmic destiny stepped in. After searching for #1 Boulevard Gouvion St. Cyr instead of #81😳 I realized my error. By that time the bus had gone. What to do with my day? Go to Giverny or Champs-Elysées and browse Galleries Lafayette? 

On the metro I decided on Palais Royale. I haven't been in a year. Didn’t Napoléon dine at Le Grand Vefour with Josephine on the edge of the park. Time for research my favorite pastime.

Heading into the park, I spotted a toy shop to the left of famous Cafe Nemours. Le Drapeaux des France (AKA Boutique Noxa) is at #1  Place de Colette, 75001.

Inside a plethora of Napoleonic tin figurines 👏 Perfect for map research. Who doesn’t love tiny things?

Napoléon on horseback, wearing as always on campaign, his grey greatcoat that fashion houses still copy. One of his 21 nicknames was ‘Redingote Grise’.

Le Drapeaux is an intimate L-shaped shop, first opened in 1949, though it feels more like 1849. It’s a lovely step back in time. 

If you look up you’ll see the original owner’s handy work who specialized in tin flags/drapeaux 🇫🇷 of all countries.

The shop owner, Benjamin Zerbib, explained how tin figures are made (all over Europe) by pouring tin onto stone molds. A single figure can have 8 arms later to be cut off. Many of the figures are painted onsite. They also resell collections.

It is not just for tin soldiers collectors. If you love Alice or Tin Tin or The Tour de France, Boutique Noxa have it. Plus lovely little metal-framed glass boxes to hold your treasures and keep them safe from babies and hungry hounds.

Did you know Bonaparte commissioned 15 fountains in 1806 so citizens could have free, clean water? He also created canals Saint Jean and Orque. It’s embarrassing to admit I’m a blank slate 🤔as far as Napoléon goes. You can’t love ❤️France without acquainting yourself with his story. I’ve been in deep immersion since the exhibition. 

‘Boney’(his British nickname) was more than the 60 battles he won. Most Paris’ monuments we take for granted - Arc de Triomphe, Place Vendôme, la Madeleine, were created to commemorate his soldiers fallen in various battles. Who knew? My friend Louise, NYC knew Nappy invented camping ⛺️ furniture. 

The story is told in detail on the grilles of la Madeleine how Napoleon beautified Paris. 

The Napoléon map awaits you on Etsy unless you’re a Paris letter subscriber

Luxembourg chairs are at Palais Royale. A few are left in my etsy shop. 
        🇫🇷 🐻 💋 🐝 BON DIMANCHE dear PBers 🐝 💋 🐻 🇫🇷 


  1. What a surprise fun day that turned out to be for you.
    Always an adventure when you step outside your door!

  2. We are very familiar with this shop, Les Drapeaux de France. Hubby collects tin figurines of Napoleon, and his Marshals, on horseback, bien sur. I’ve never begrudged the time he spends in this shop…and it can be a considerable amount of time…discussing Napoleonic history with the extremely knowledgeable and lovely shopkeepers…as there is so much for me to see…and covet! Every square inch of the shop has something to fascinate! Les Drapeaux de France is a wondrous step back in time. Thank you for the serendipitous tour, Carol.

  3. Aww…you’re so welcome Bonnie
    I remember we were walking around Paris and you pointed out a place and said Bob buys his tin soldiers there.
    What a treasure chest!

  4. This is a labor of love! Brilliant, intricate detail.
    Who would have imagined you would find an abundance of Napoleon figures in a shop in the Palais Royal.
    I probably have stepped inside that shop. Palais Royal is a special favorite of mine.👏👑⛲️

  5. A lot of legwork and prep/Bravo!!So much Napoléon!

  6. Love your Napoleon posts, your letter, and map. They help people to know Napoleon’s achievements. Not only his military genius, but his soft politics. How he used his power to help the people of France in a myriad of ways.

  7. I’m thinking more and more Napoléon made Paris, Paris.

  8. Sybilla8:58 AM

    Such a unique little shop…so easy to miss, in the corner by Café Nemours, as you make a beeline to the Palais Royal entrance. You can spend a considerable amount of time just viewing everything in their windows.

  9. Anonymous2:23 PM

    Oh my, I love the bee garland around your map!

  10. So many tourists go to Cafe Nemours and never notice Les Drapeaux. Could spend hours in there.

  11. I love that toy store - found my great-grandson a marvelous tin moon Christmas ornament there. Awaiting my map with bated breath as I adore Napoleon - thanks, Carol. Hugs to Bear, of course.

  12. Bon Lundi Carol! Thanks for sharing these Tim figures. I don’t know much about Napoleon either, so I learnt from your blog post, merci.

  13. Wow Amazing Suki that you know of it…or maybe amazing I didnt!
    So much fantasy!

  14. Love this preview💚 Great history lesson!

  15. Awesome, thank you so much, Carol!
    It's been a crazy year for the whole world and your dear blog and paintings have kept a lot of us sane

  16. Beautiful post!
    My mother was born in Napoleon, Ohio. I wonder how many Napoleons there are
    in the USA. And why? And the bakery products named napoleons? What a world.

  17. In your studies about how Boney beautified he perhaps the one who decreed they should add big carved tassels to the spears topping many of the tall gates/fences/grillework in Paris? (here’s the best example I can find online, but they’re everywhere.)

  18. No idea joan but they dont look neoclassical or Égyptien to me so I am thinking not..

  19. I love this shop. Have they added dolls. I have purchased just a couple of miniatures there.
    You can spend a lot of time in there just looking at all of the soldiers.


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