Napoleons command base, step two, Mameluke Ali

15 Aug
Napoleons command base, step two, Mameluke Ali

Today is the turn of Mameluke Ali. The funny thing about him is that he was no Mameluke and that his name was not Ali. He was a Frenchman named Louis-Etienne Saint-Denis who was born on September 22nd, 1788 in Versailles.Originally he served on Napoleons household staff and became his second valet on the 11th of December 1811, taking on the name of the man he replaced, the Mameluke Ali. His first valet was a real Mameluke named Roustan who served Napoleon from August 1799 till his first abdication in 1814. When Napoleon contemplated taking his own life, Roustan left his service for fear of being made responsible for his death. When Napoleon returned to France and power in 1815, Roustan returned to him offering his services. Napoleon would not forget his perceived betrayal the previous year, refused and Ali became his first valet. He stayed at his side till Napoleons death and participated in the return of his ashes. The former Emperors last will left him with a sizeable sum and the mission to bring his library to the king of Rome, something he never fulfilled. After Napoleons death he took on a job in a riding school in Paris. He was decorated with the Legion of Honor on February 23, 1854 and died May 3rd, 1856 in Sens.

The Emperor in his deathbed by Michael Brandmüller (1793-1852)

The Emperor in his deathbed by Michael Brandmüller (1793-1852)
[yellow frame showing Louis-Etienne Saint-Denis, click for detail]

And here is the mini itself. His dress gave me some trouble. The picture above is the only one I could find of him. So in the end I picked a Mameluke dress I liked and painted him that way. Same goes for his horse, so I simply picked a chestnut, since I felt it would compliment the other colours quiet well. I chose leather dyed green for the bridles and so on. This was not uncommon with the Mamelukes and I felt this would add a little colour to the base.

Mameluke Ali

Mameluke Ali

I had a minor issue with this mini though. There was a slight mould misalignment. Most of this could be scraped off, but it shows somewhat on his face. As nice as the Perry poses are, you have a fair chance of a defect like that and I really hate this, especially with character minis.

Right now Maréchal Soult is on my table and you will see him tomorrow.


6 responses to “Napoleons command base, step two, Mameluke Ali

  1. Monty

    August 15, 2012 at 03:30

    Spectacular. What a beautiful figure! Thank you for the back story as well.


  2. John Michael

    August 15, 2012 at 03:45

    another terrific figure.



  3. The Angry Lurker

    August 15, 2012 at 09:04

    I have the foundry Roustan figure but yours is quite spectacular, lovely work and history sir!


  4. Burkhard

    August 15, 2012 at 09:33

    Thank you all guys!


  5. Achilles

    August 16, 2012 at 09:05

    beautiful work! can’t wait to see the whole command base finished!


    • Burkhard

      August 16, 2012 at 09:33

      Thank you. Might take a little longer though, since I will be away later this month.



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