Napoleon's final will set to sell for $160,500 in Drouot auction


2015-06-26 13:26:07


Napoleon's final will set to sell for $160,500 in Drouot auction

The two codicils to Napoleon's final will were written 19 days before his death

Two codicils, or amendments, to Napoleon's final will are sure to attract strong attention as they cross the block on November 6 through Drouot in Paris.

Napoleon Death Bed paintingHorace Vernet's 1826 panting Napoleon on his Death Bed

The handwritten documents are expected to achieve between $107,000 and $160,500. They are the only surviving copies of the French emperor's will remaining in private hands.

The codicils were written on April 16, 1821, just 19 days before Napoleon died in British captivity on the island of St Helena. One of the documents records his famous quote: "I want my ashes to rest on the banks of the Seine, among the French people whom I loved so much."

They were given to his aide General Montholon, as Napoleon reportedly feared that his British captors would steal his belongings after his death. The documents have since been passed through Montholon's family to the present owner.

Napoleon bequeathed his possessions to a number of beneficiaries with the condition that they should not be sold for profit at any time. This was, of course, largely ignored, and Napoleon-owned items are some of the most valuable on the collectibles market.

A table that Napoleon is believed to have eaten his breakfast at while exiled in St Helena sold with a 600% increase on estimate at Lyon & Turnbull in June.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has some fantastic Napoleon handwritten letters for sale, as well as an authentic strand of hair from the Emperor of the French.

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