Josephine de Beauharnais (1763-1814), Empress of France (1804-1809) was born in Martinique. Her first husband was guillotined in 1794, during the Revolution, but she escaped with a brief imprisonment. She married Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796. He later divorced her because she could not produce an heir.
This fantastic cast bronze belt buckle, circa 1880 - 1900, depicts a beautiful profile bust image of the Empress against a rayed background with foliage garland in the foreground. Probably cast by a French company, it is marked with a round coin emblem depicting he head of Napoleon surrounded by the words "Napoleon Empereur". The piece is also stamped with the letter "M" or "W" which probably is the factory insignia and the numbers "D - 72" The buckle measures 2 3/4' across and 3 3/8" in length. The condition is near mint with a wonderful old patina that has taken years to develop. Would be lovely to wear and outstanding if framed for display.