Sunday, January 17, 2010
A LOCK OF HAIR FROM THE HEAD OF NAPOLEON WITH PROVENANCE
A lock of hair shaved from the head of Napoleon by Jean Abram Novarre on May 6, 1821, the day after his death
contained in a piece of paper bearing the inscription
"Lock of hair cut off the Emperor Napoleons head after his death at St Helena and given to Mrs Grimstone by Mons,r Novarre June 20th 1823"
Obtained from a direct descendant of Mrs Grimstone
Close examination of the hair reveals it has been cut with a razor and its color and type is the same as other authenticated "Novarre" examples ie very fine and soft auburn in colour.the paper is also of the period.
JEAN ABRAM NOVARRE (1790 - 1849)
Loyal servant of Napoleon 1st
Originally from Riex, Jean Abram Novarre entered the service of the Emperor Napoleon
Bonaparte in 1809 and obtained the post of valet.
In 1814, he stood sword in hand between the hostile populace and Napoleon as he was about to sail for the island of Elba. He accompanied the Emperor on his exile to the island of St-Helena and was present at his death.
Napoleon left Novarre 125,000 francs in his will and asked him to convey his saddles and shotguns to his son.
Novarre is known to have shaved Napoleons head after his death prior to a cast of his head being taken to produce his death mask.
It is known that Novarre was still in posession of some of Napoleons hair as late as 1838
The “ Novarre” lock: cut on.
The lock was sent by Noverraz on September 8, 1838 (and postmarked on the 9th) to a
person named Mons-Riss, who lived in Saint-Gall, Switzerland.
“It is,” wrote Noverraz, “a great pleasure today, Monsieur Mons, to send you some hairs of the Emperor Napoleon which I took from his head after his death. That was May the 6 th, 1821.”