Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Le duc d'Orléans "Ier conscrit de France" Gambier Clay Pipe 1890

"Prince Philippe Robert d'Orléans, the Duke of Orléans (1869 - 1926), was the eldest son of the Comte de Paris, the heir to the abolished French throne. Although France had been a republic since 1848, there were many who agitated for the return of the Orléanist monarchy.

The Duke of Orléans was born in England. He was the great grandson of Louis Philippe, the French King who abdicated from his throne in 1848. King Louis Philippe had taken refuge in England, and Philippe was born during his family's exile.

Photographer: Walery, Photographer to the Queen, Regent Street, London, ca 1890
"Under French law, all male citizens of twenty-one were required to report for compulsory military service and, as Philippe counted himself as a citizen of France, he planned to defy the edict of exile and report for military duty. On February 7, 1890, he presented himself at a recruiting office in Paris and requested that he be enlisted as a humble private. When the bewildered sergeant asked his name he replied emphatically, "Louis Philippe Robert, duc d'Orléans".

La Conciergerie et le Pont au Change, Paris, 1890

The duke was arrested, convicted and sentenced to two years in prison -  but not before he had made a declaration that moved every patriotic Frenchman. In a vibrant voice he cried out in court:"Prison will be less cruel than exile, for this prison will be on the soil of France".

So magnificent a gesture could not fail to melt hearts. Monarchists, some republicans, even socialists gathered beneath his window in the Conciergerie prison, cheering and waving. 

They called him "Le Premier Conscript de France" - the first conscript of France. 

Caricature by Guth in Vanity Fair (English paper), 1890-04-12 , HRH The Duke of Orleans, Ier Conscrit de France

Embarrassed by his popularity, the French president (Garnot) signed an order for his release and on June 4 he was escorted by train to the Swiss border." (as described by Ann Blainey in her biography "I am Melba" 2009).

Louis Philippe's popularity in France and in England, made him an ideal model for Gambier, the famous French clay pipe manufacturer, who had opened an office in London in 1860 and by 1890 employed 400 employees who produced over 200 million clay pipes...

Le duc d'Orléans "Ier conscrit de France" Gambier Clay Pipe 1890, L. 5cm/2" ; H. 5cm/2", Musée Louis-Philippe, Eu, France

Le duc d'Orléans "Ier conscrit de France" Gambier Clay Pipe 1890, L. 5cm/2" ; H. 5cm/2", Musée Louis-Philippe, Eu, France

In September 1890 Philippe accompanied his father on a two month trip to the United States where they visited the battlefields of the Civil War in which his father had fought...

Philippe d'Orleans, Comte de Paris (1838 - 1894), in the uniform of a Captain in the U.S. Volunteers and staff officer to Major General George B. McClellan, 1862.

In 1905 Philippe chartered the ice strengthened Belgica to explore the coast of Greenland.  It had 3 wooden masts and a 160 hp steam-engine that allowed it 7 running-knots. Made of wood it measured 32 m in length, 6.5 m in width, had a total loading capacity of about 260 t, 

The "Belgica" was icebound in the Bellingshausen Sea for over a year, 1898

He hired Adrien de Gerlache de Gomery who had conducted the Belgian Antarctic Expedition of 1897-1899 sailing the Belgica,

This photo was taken circa 1897 using a Hasselblad CF528-39 - Hasselblad H Series.
with Roald Amundsen as his first officer on what was Amundsen's first polar expedition...

This photo was taken in June 1899 using a Hasselblad/Imacon Ixpress 528C - Hasselblad H1.

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