Napoleon’s boots command attention

A pair of Napoleon's boots in the Paris sale
The pair of Napoleon’s boots. Image credit: Binoche-Giquello/Drouot.

A pair of Napoleon’s leather riding boots that were worn by the exiled French emperor on the island of St Helena has sold for almost £80,000 (a hammer price of €91,000) in a recent Paris auction.

Auctioneers Binoche et Giquello at Drouot offered the boots, made for Napoleon by his regular bootmaker, Jacques, which are in fine black leather, with the insides lined with natural skin. Each of the boots is 48cm high and has two tie rods their woven and grooved canvas.

The boots were later loaned by the Grand Marshal Bertrand to the sculptor Carlo Marochetti (1805-1867) for the execution of an equestrian statue for the tomb of Napoleon.

Marochetti’s son, the Baron Marochetti, later gave Napoleon’s boots to senator Paul Le Roux, whose family has kept them until recently consigning them for sale in the Paris auction room.

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