July 21

Emperor Napoleon’s “little boy” and the strange journey when a part of the great man’s body was auctioned


The famous emperor’s penis and other body parts were removed during the autopsy.

For most of human history, we were fascinated and even a little obsessed with the body parts of famous greats getting lost. However, there must be very few cases of special interest like the phallus of Emperor Napoleon.

Napoleon is one of the greatest military leaders in history. He once brought France to the top of glory, but then when defeated, the fate of the emperor made many feel regret. Of the many doubts and unresolved anecdotes surrounding this military genius, what many people are most interested in is how his body is disposed of after his death. Since Napoleon was a great man, it was understandable that some parts of his body were taken away.

In 1821, Napoleon died on the island of St. Helene, a few days later your body was sent for an autopsy. The participants in this autopsy were very large, including: Francesco Antommarchi – the emperor’s personal physician and 17 witnesses (including 7 British doctors, 2 servants, priest Vignali, servant Ali and 6 people) others). The surgery seemed to go in a rather chaotic way.

According to the memoirs of a servant present at the autopsy, he said the Corsican doctor “took advantage of the British inattention, taking two small pieces from one rib”. Another account also claims that the penis was amputated, and when placed on the tray was only about 3.8 cm long. It was then taken away by Dr. Autommarchi and given to priest Vignali. The priest had intended to bring it back to Corsica but before he could do so, he was murdered.

Since then, traces of this body part have become hazy. It is rumored to have been passed on to a London bookseller – the item is politely listed as “mummy tendon”. It then wandered to Philadelphia. In 1927, the body part was exhibited at the Museum of French Art in New York.

Image of Napoleon’s lost body part

A Time magazine journalist attended the event, he closely watched Napoleon’s penis and recorded the sensations. The journalist described it as “like an abused deerskin shoelace”. Another newspaper described it as a “shrunken eel”. As described by Tony Perrottet, author of Napoleon’s Privates, the artifact “is in a small leather box, dried, without formaldehyde, no chemicals, so it looks like a piece of beef jerky”.

After 30 years on display at the French Museum of Art in New York, the item was purchased by a urologist named Lattimer in New Jersey for $38,000 in 1977. Until 2007, when Dr. Lattimer passed away. life, it belongs to his daughter – Mrs. Evan. It is now in the private collection of Mrs. Evan’s family and will probably remain in her home for a long time, as Mrs. Evan has stated that she will not be selling this particular antique.

On May 10, 2011, in a Time magazine article, Napoleon’s penis topped the list of the top 10 most famous stolen body parts in the world then and now.


discover, history, life, napoleon

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