Napoleon hair lock auction to take place on March 12

A lock of Napoleon's hair is to auction at Duke's in Dorchester, UK with a valuation of around ?�400 ($600) on March 12.

It's accompanied by a note of provenance identifying it as "Hair of Napoleon given by Marchand, the Emperor's Valet de Chambre when in St Helena."

Napoleon hair Dukes
The value of Napoleon memorabilia is on the rise

Marchand returned to France soon after the former emperor's death in exile on the island.

Auctioneer Tim Medhurst commented: "Napoleon's hair is held down with some red wax and has an historic note about where it came from.

"A theory had been put forward that Napoleon was killed by arsenic poisoning and a previous sample of his hair showed high levels of the drug.

"However, that theory is now thought to be unlikely and it is far more probable that he died of stomach cancer as the original autopsy concluded.

A lock of hair from a horse used during the Battle of Waterloo will auction with an identical ?�400 ($600) estimate.  

Medhurst said: "These two relics have come from the same vendor and are especially relevant this year - the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

"The hair from the charger is a rare item of something that actually took part in the battle in June 1815.

"Now 200 years after Napoleon was finally defeated there is still huge interest in him and the battles of that era. We anticipate interest from collectors around the world who want a little piece of history."

There has been a surge of interest in Napoleon memorabilia of late, with one of his iconic bicorne hats achieving $2.2m at Osenat in Paris last year.  

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