PxPixel
University Archives

Description:

Napoleon's Death Bed: 2 Artistic Renderings, Ex-Nicholson Napoleon Collection

Two period artistic renderings showing French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) on his deathbed.
From the Nicholson Napoleon Collection.

Napoleon Bonaparte had been in exile on St. Helena, the tropical island in the south Atlantic Ocean, since October 1815. He died at his residence there, Longwood House, of suspected stomach cancer on May 5, 1821 at the age of 51.

The lot is comprised of:

1. A pencil on paper drawing, unsigned and possibly from life, depicting the prone Napoleon at left profile. Scattered foxing and discoloration, else near fine. Contained behind glass in an early gilt frame. Not examined out of the frame. The sight size of the drawing is 7.625" x 5.5" while the overall frame size is 9.75" x 7.875" x .75."

2. A color print depicting the deceased Emperor facing right published by G. Virtue (London, England). Entitled "Napoleon / ut in morte recumbit," with the caption "Taken at St. Helena in Presence of Countess Bertrand, Count Montholon, &c." The print was excised from a book; there are light typeset impressions overall and isolated foxing, else very good to near fine. The print is loosely encapsulated and mounted on a piece of cardboard. The print measures 8.125" x 5" while the overall mount size is 11.875" x 8.375."

Together, these artistic renderings provide a 180 degree panoramic view of Napoleon's corpse, given that the drawing shows the body from the left, and the print from the right. Other notable depictions of Napoleon on his deathbed include Jean-Baptiste Mauzaisse, "Napoléon Ier sur son Lit de Mort, une Heure Avant son Ensevelissement" (Ca. 1843). [Translated title: Napoleon Ist on his Deathbed, an Hour Before Burial."] See the attached image for points of comparison.

After Napoleon expired, his body was cleaned, an autopsy was performed, and various postmortem rituals were undertaken, including the removal of certain organs and the taking of plaster and wax masks. The body was then dressed in the white and green Imperial Guard cavalry uniform that Napoleon loved so much, and the Legion of Honor medal, an award which Napoleon had created in 1802, was pinned to his tunic.

The artists have taken a few liberties in the depiction of Napoleon's corpse; for example, we know from accounts of Napoleon's tomb opening on October 15, 1840 that his bicorne hat was positioned over his thighs in the coffin, not on his head. There is no mention of a tricolored sash around his torso.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

WE PROVIDE IN-HOUSE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE!

Online Payments Accepted

Accepted Forms of Payment

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Money Order / Cashiers Check, Paypal, Personal Check, Visa, Wire Transfer

Shipping

We do our own in-house worldwide shipping!

Applicable shipping and handling charges will be added to the invoice. We offer several shipping options, and remain one of the few auction houses who proudly provides professional in-house shipping as an option to our clients. All items will ship with signature required, and full insurance. Most items are sent via Federal Express, with P. O. Box addresses being sent through USPS. We insure through Berkley Asset Protection with rates of $.70 per $100 of value, among the lowest insurance rates in the industry. Our shipping department cameras document every package, both outgoing and incoming, for maximum security. In addition, we compare our shipping and handling rates against those of other auction houses, to ensure that our charges are among the lowest in the trade.

Upon winning your item(s), you will receive an invoice with our in-house shipping and handling fees included. ***We will ship to the address as it appears on your invoice, unless you inform us otherwise, immediately upon your receipt of invoice***

International shipments: In order to comply with our insurance provider, all international shipments will be sent via Fed Ex and customs paperwork will show a value of $1.00. International buyers should contact our office directly with any questions regarding this policy.

Third Party Shipping Option: If a third party shipper is preferred, the buyer is responsible for contacting them directly to make shipping arrangements. For your convenience, we have provided some recommended shippers. For your protection, we will require a signed release from you, confirming your authorization for us to release your lots to your specified third party Please copy and paste this following link into your browser: http://universityarchives.com/UserFiles/ShippingInfo.pdf. At that point, our responsibility and insurance coverage for your item(s) ceases. Items picked up by third party shippers are required to pay Connecticut sales tax. Items requiring third party shipping due to being oversized, fragile or bulky will be denoted in the item description.

Please see our full terms and conditions for names of suggested third party shippers.


After payment has been made in full, University Archives will ship your purchase within 5 business days following receipt of full payment for item.


Please remember that the buyer is responsible for all shipping costs from University Archives' offices in Westport, CT to the buyer's door. Please see full Terms and Conditions of Sale.

November 11, 2020 10:30 AM EST

Westport, CT, US

You agree to pay a buyer's premium of up to 25.0% and any applicable taxes and shipping

View full terms and conditions

From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000