YOUNG DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS JR.’S BRONZE CAST OF NAPOLEON
FAIRBANKS, Douglas, Jr. Bronze plaque of Napoleon. Paris: 1923. Original bronze cast (17 inches in diameter), finished with brown gesso. $750.
Original bronze plaque of Napoleon, signed “Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Paris 1923,” produced by the 14-year-old Fairbanks when he attended school in Paris.
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was nine when his parents divorced, beginning a series of travels with his mother in Europe and America that ended in Paris, where he was enrolled in the Lycéee Janson de Sailly. There he excelled in sports and art. “Very early in his life Douglas Jr. developed a taste for the arts and later became a painter and sculptor” (Guy Bellinger). It seems fitting that as a 14-year-old schoolboy in Paris he should produce this bronze plaque of Napoleon. And it seems ironic that, in 1949, Douglas Jr. played the Irish swashbuckler O’Flynn in the movie The Fighting O’Flynn, in which he tries to foil Napoleon’s invasion plans and manages to save the fair Lady Benedetta in the process.