Description

    A Lock of Napoleon's Hair With 1868 Documentation. A substantial lock of Napoleon's hair is affixed to this fascinating 19th century vellum document detailing the hair's provenance. One page, manuscript, 14" x 17.75", reading in full: "A Copy of a certificate accompanying a small lock of Hair form the head of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte-- The undersigned certifies to the identity of the accompanying hair, it being true and verifiable hair of the late Emperor Napoleon. At the commencement of the Exile of the emperor at St. Helena in 1816; the undersigned, who was then stationed with his regiment at the cape of God Hope, received orders to proceed with his 'company' to St. Helena, and during his three months sojurn (sic) there, he became acquainted with a Mr. George Balcomb, Purveyor, to the Emperor and the other French exiles, at that time on the island. This Mr. Geo. Balcomb was on terms of great intimacy with the Emperor and with the gentlemen who were his companions in exile. To the daughter of Mr. Balcomb (a Mrs. Abel) the Emperor was very partial, and to this lady M. Marchand (the first valet of Napoleon) gave some locks of hair which he cut from the Emperors head; and she presented them to her father. The 'Governor of the Island' reported to the home government, the intimacy between Mr. Balcomb and the French exiles; and it was deemed expedient to remove him from St. Helena. He was sent to Australia. The undersigned, some years after retiring from the service, went to Australia where he met with Mr. Balcomb and the acquaintance formed at St. Helena ripened into a strong friendship. On the death of Mr. Balcomb, the undersigned (who had been his constant companion during his illness) received from Mr. Balcombs own hand, just before he died, these locks of hair, The Hair of Napoleon Bonaparte. F. Lahrbush L. Capt H. B. M. Service

    The above certificate I obtained from from Captain Lahrbush, who gave me the few locks of hair of Napoleon which I possess and now divide with my brother Col. S. W. Benjamin of the U. S. Army. Mr. Fred De Peyster of N. Y. has a few locks obtained from the same source - William H. Benjamin.

    I received the portion of Napoleons hair from my brother the Rev. William H. Benjamin on the 30th day of October 1867. It having been promised me for some time before, while I was away from New York and on the same day gave a portion of it to Mrs. Edwards Pierpont, for whom I had the above certificate copied. Captain Lahrbush is well known to the members of the 'Church of the Ascension' New York City, and its present Rector the Reverend John Cotton Smith D.D. Mr. Fred De Peyster, Mr. Frederick Foster, and many others can vouch for the integrity of Captain Lahrbush - Samuel W. Benjamin Bvt Lt Col U. S. A. Capt. 2nd Art - y. West Point N. Y. September 15th 1868.
    " Slight fading, else very fine condition. Heritage recently sold three strands of Napoleon's hair for over $2,000. This lot contains several times that many hairs and a some wonderful antique documentation.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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