As soon as the Consulate period started, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) became aware of the importance of having his portrait shown to the French people. Thus, he initiated the edification of his own legend. All the supports were used, from sculptures to snuff boxes and fans. The multiplicity of objects bearing the effigy of the Emperor or representing imperial symbols constituted an extraordinary tool of propaganda for the Napoleonic legend.
During the Restoration, however, Bonapartists were forced to hide and prepare their revenge, spreading more and more seditious objects. The Emperor’s death in 1821 made him less dangerous in the eyes of Royalists and copies representing his main actions once again multiplied.