Napoleon's 'arrogance' revealed in sale of officer's diaries

New Zealand auction house Art and Object is dedicating a sale to the final days of Napoleon Bonaparte on June 29.

The lots have been compiled from an archive once belonging to Denzil Ibbetson, a British officer who was with the French Emperor up until his death.

Especially remarkable among the items for sale is a diary kept by Ibbetson during he and Napoleon's voyage to the latter's exile in the South Atlantic in 1815.

Among Ibbetson's extroadinary revelations is Napoleon's apparent belief that, despite being defeated at Waterloo and exiled to the Island of St Helena, he could still conquer Britain - and that the British people may even wish to join him.

Also appearing in the sale is a lock of Napoleon's hair, with inscription, in a
67mm diameter case (estimated at $12,000-15,000)

"Napoleon talks of invading England... but was uncertain of the disposition of the people of England, whether they would be for or against him," wrote Ibbetson on August 7, 1815.

"He was induced to believe a great number would join him."

Alongside the diary, Ibbetson's archive includes a number of well-executed drawings and sketches of Napoleon, drawings of St Helena and even bills from the island's local playhouse.

Overall, this stunning collection is expected to sell for $150,000.

Also appearing in the astonishing collection is a lock of Napoleon's hair, cut the morning after his death in 1821, aged 51.

The lock is contained within a 67mm diameter case, and estimated at NZD 12,000-15,000 (roughly $8,000-10,500).

All price translations are shown in US dollars.

Meanwhile, collectors on the look-out for rare and valuable memorabilia linked to the life and times of Napoleon can find an number of other great items on the market.

A rare deep red sash belonging to the Emperor and three signed letters - one bearing his lesser-seen "Bonaparte" signature and the others written to the Duc de Feltre, his Minister of War, in 1812 and 1813 - are all presently for sale on the collectors' markets.

Follow the links for more details.


Join our readers in 173 countries around the world - sign up for your free weekly Collectibles Newsletter today


Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock