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Bee

In Ancient Greek, Chinese, and occasionally Christian art, bees represent industry and order, and less frequently, rebirth and immortality. Adopted as an emblem by both the powerful Barberini family in Rome and French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (r.1804-14, 1815), the bee ornamented the buildings commissioned by Pope Urban VIII in the 17th century, and featured in the lavish decoration of textiles, furniture, and architecture glorifying the reign of "the little emperor" Bonaparte. Following the fashion for insect ornament, bees appeared on ceramics and silver from the mid-18th century, and until the 1920s were a popular motif on elaborate tableware dedicated to the serving of honey.

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