According to ‚Le Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène‘, Napoleon was born precipitately in his parents’ house in Ajaccio on a carpet that displayed heroes from the Iliad and ancient mythology. This episode well-known during Napoleon’s lifetime may be read as an ironic or even burlesque inversion of the ‚Herrschaftszeichen‘ royal carpets have traditionally been. Picking up the myth concerning Napoleon’s birth, this paper pinpoints the transformations of the art of tapestry during the 18th century and shows how it adapted literary topics taken from mock heroic epics. On the other hand, it investigates representations of the art of tapestry in 18th century literature. – The short birth narrative remains fascinatingly ambiguous, provoking Chateaubriand, Napoleon’s self-made twin, to rewrite it in a burlesque way.