Sunday Tribune

Cloth placed over Napoleon’s body on auction


COLLECTORS had a rare opportunit­y to buy some of Napoleon Bonaparte’s DNA when a blood-stained cloth placed over his body during an autopsy went on sale at an auction to mark the 200th anniversar­y of his death.

The former French emperor died on May 5, 1821, aged 51, on the southern Atlantic Ocean island of Saint Helena, where he had been banished by the British following his defeat in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo.

Around 360 objects were put on sale by auction house Osenat on Wednesday, with other highlights including a lock of Napoleon’s hair, a pair of his silk stockings and a long-sleeved shirt embroidere­d with the letter ‘N’ in red stitching.

The blood-stained cloth came with a note written in 1875 by the Duke of Bassano, whose father was gifted the bandage by the Marquis of Montholon, a military general.

“In this bloodstain you have the emperor’s DNA. You cannot get more intimate than that,” auctioneer Jean-pierre Osenat said | Reuters

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