Cordys

A lock of hair cut off the Emperor Napoleon's head after his death at St. Helena

Estimate: $8,000 - $15,000


Lot Description

A lock of hair cut off the Emperor Napoleon's head after his death at St. Helena, kept within an original folded 19thC note. The note inscribed in manuscript: 'aged 52. Lock of hair cut off the Emperor Napoleon's head after his death at St. Helena & given to Mrs. Grimstone by Mons. Novarre (sic) - June 20th, 1823.' Provenance: The Estate Collection of Derek Blackler, a noted Christchurch antique dealer, was reported in a 2017 NZ House & Garden article '…his favourite item at the moment is a lock of Napoleon's hair'. Purchased from the estate auction of the contents of Blackler’s shop, Portobello Antiques. Blackler had recorded information regarding the lock on his blogspot [http://portobelloantiques.blogspot.com/2010/01/lock-of-hair-from-head-of-napoleon-with.html] The Monsieur Novarre referred to is Jean-Abram Noverraz (1790-1849) a Swiss born footman in the service of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1809, later valet, cabinet courier and his confident. He accompanied the Emperor on his exile to the island of St-Helena and was present at his death. Noverraz is known to have shaved Napoleons head after his death prior to a cast of his head being taken to produce his death mask. Noverraz was reportedly in possession of some of Napoleons hair as late as 1838, an authenticated lock of Napoleon’s hair (the “Noverraz” lock) was used in a 2000 forensic examination to determine whether Napoleon had been poisoned prior to his death- http://www.napoleonicsociety.com/english/dossierdepresseangl.htm