An antique french grand tour model of the vendome column in the form of a thermometer. napoleon erected the present column, modelled after trajan's column, to celebrate the victory of austerlitz; its veneer of 425 spiraling bas-relief bronze plates were made out of cannon taken from the combined armies of europe, according to his propaganda (the usual figure given is hugely exaggerated: 133 cannon were actually captured at austerlitz). these plates were designed by the sculptor pierre-nolasque bergeret and executed by a team of sculptors including jean joseph foucou, louis-simon boizot, franois joseph bosio, lorenzo bartolini, claude ramey, francois rude, corbet, clodion and henri-joseph ruxthiel.
a statue of napoleon, bare-headed, crowned with laurels and holding a sword in his right hand and a globe surmounted with a statue of victory (as in napoleon as mars the peacemaker) in his left hand, was placed atop the column. this statue was pulled down in 1814 and another erected later by louis philippe ( which is the version here) and another later still, more classical by napoleon iii. the thermometer scale is silvered bronze with engraved farenheit scale and alcohol thermometer. the column and statue are bronze and the base of black marble. 10.75 inches high by 3.75 inches square ( 26.875 cms by 9.375 cms).