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EMPEROR NAPOLEON BONAPARTE - EPHEMERA UNSIGNED - HFSID 256970

 

NAPOLÉON'S HAIR
Three strands of his hair, collected by his British Navy physician on St. Helena, with authenticating documents reproduced on verso
Three authenticated strands of Napoléon Bonaparte's hair mounted on an 8½x11 page. The page contains a facsimile reproduction of the following handwritten statement that was on a presentation card which accompanied the hair at one point and quotes R.P. BOYS. Boys was involved in monitoring Napoléon on St. Helena: "Napoleon Buonaparte's (sic) Hair...given to me at St. Helena July 4th, 1817 by Dr. O'Meara - Napoléon's Surgeon." Also on this sheet is a facsimile entry from Boys' Journal confirming his receipt of the hair, "If O'Meara should hereafter publish, which I have no doubt he will, his work will be by far the most interesting which has yet appeared. It is from O'Meara that I got a lock of Napoléon's hair." Reproduced at the lower right of the card is a portrait of Napoléon from life attributed to Boys. Boys, in his diary (not included here) describes a July 15, 1816 meeting with Napoléon when a party of officers was taken to Longwood by Admiral Pulteney Malcolm, in part: "the door was then thrown open and Napoléon took his station just at the entrance...He was a different looking man to what I expected to have seen - I think he stands about Five feet, Seven Inches, his head very large in proportion to his body - flat at top, with a high broad forehead - his hair, of which he had a good deal, except in front, where it appeared thin, of a darkish brown, and very fine, quite straight, hanging in all directions about his head, and apparently not often combed...in his walk he has the peculiar gait of an old cavalry officer - very corpulent - his hands almost constantly in his breeches pockets, turning over his money - frequently taking snuff...." Major R.P. Boys was Brevet Major of the Marines on board the Newcastle, the ship that brought out of St. Helena the island's Governor, Sir Hudson Lowe, ADMIRAL PULTENEY MALCOLM and the three Allied Commissioners charged with confirming that Napoléon was indeed on the island. Lowe was Governor of St. Helena during Napoléon's entire exile on the island from 1815 until the French Emperor's death in 1821. Irish physician BARRY EDWARD O'MEARA, a surgeon in the British navy, attended Napoléon on St. Helena. He publicly criticized Lowe's strict vigilance of Napoléon and was forced to return to England. These strands of Napoléon's hair were part of the "Biggest Famous Hair Collection" listed in The Guinness 1999 Book of Records. Fine condition.


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EMPEROR NAPOLEON BONAPARTE  


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EMPEROR NAPOLEON BONAPARTE
Born: August 15, 1769 in Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Died: May 5, 1821 in Longwood, Saint Helena



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