At Aguttes' upcoming auction, the Grimm collection boasts clothing and accessories owned by Napoleon, as well as ancient militaria.
On May 28, the second part of the Grimm collection will be auctioned at Aguttes in Paris, featuring almost 200 lots of Napoleonic memorabilia. From a shirt and. headscarf worn by the Emperor to Sevres porcelain dating to the Napoleonic era, the sale boasts one-of-a-kind antiquities, art and more. Here are the highlights:
The marquee lot of the sale is Napoleon's cane from his exile on St Helena, the island off the coast of southwestern Africa. The 3-foot-tall cane was made on the island by a Chinese craftsman out of narwhal tooth.
Another personal item from Napoleon's exile is a white batiste shirt that he wore on the island. It is identified as the emperor's because his insignia (an N under a crown) is embroidered on the shirt in red silk thread. With the shirt comes a handwritten note from the son of Napoleon's aide-de-camp General Henry Bertrand. General Bertrand accompanied Napoleon to St Helena and brought Napoleon's remains back to France for burial at the Invalides after his death and willed the shirt to his eldest son. The shirt is consigned from the Napoleonic collection of the Prince's Palace in Monaco.
A madras silk headscarf belonging to Napoleon will also enter the auction room. In 1830, painter Charles de Steuben painted Napoleon dictating his memoirs to General Gourgaud on St. Helena wearing his characteristic headscarf. Napoleon was said to have over sixty scarves, six of which he brought to his exile to St. Helena.
It is embroidered with the emperor's red silk insignia and was originally in the collection of Valérie Masuyer (1797-1878), lady-in-waiting of Queen Hortense, Napoleon's step-daughter. This scarf also comes from the Monaco royal collection.
Another piece from the Monaco royal collection is this flag that covered Napoleon's coffin when it was transported aboard boat back to France from St Helena in July 1840. The tricolor flag was representative of France and had returned to prominence as the symbol of France under Napoleon's rule. General Bertrand, Napoleon's loyal aide-de-camp, accompanied the coffin back to France and the flag passed to his descendants before entering the royal collection.
On May 29, the auction continues with the third part of the Grimm collection. This sale features ancient arms and accessories, including helmets, swords, weapons and armor.