NAPOLEON DEATH MASK
Lot 196
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE - THE BOYS DEATH MASK. Death mask of Napoleon, taken on the Island of St Helena on 7 May 1821, two days after his death, cast in plaster and presented to the Rev Richard Boys, Senior Chaplain of St Helena, with an autograph note of authentication by him, [cast for the Rev Richard Boys by Joseph William Rubidge on St Helena in May or June 1821]
Sold for £169,250 (US$ 273,413) inc. premium

Lot Details
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE - THE BOYS DEATH MASK. Death mask of Napoleon, taken on the Island of St Helena on 7 May 1821, two days after his death, cast in plaster and presented to the Rev Richard Boys, Senior Chaplain of St Helena, with an autograph note of authentication by him, [cast for the Rev Richard Boys by Joseph William Rubidge on St Helena in May or June 1821] NAPOLEON BONAPARTE - THE BOYS DEATH MASK. Death mask of Napoleon, taken on the Island of St Helena on 7 May 1821, two days after his death, cast in plaster and presented to the Rev Richard Boys, Senior Chaplain of St Helena, with an autograph note of authentication by him, [cast for the Rev Richard Boys by Joseph William Rubidge on St Helena in May or June 1821] NAPOLEON DEATH MASK NAPOLEON DEATH MASK NAPOLEON DEATH MASK NAPOLEON DEATH MASK NAPOLEON DEATH MASK NAPOLEON DEATH MASK NAPOLEON DEATH MASK NAPOLEON DEATH MASK NAPOLEON DEATH MASK NAPOLEON DEATH MASK
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE - THE BOYS DEATH MASK
Death mask of Napoleon, taken on the Island of St Helena on 7 May 1821, two days after his death, cast in plaster and presented to the Rev Richard Boys, Senior Chaplain of St Helena, with an autograph note of authentication by him, written prior to his departure from the island in 1829: "This Cast was taken from the Face of Napoleon Buonaparte as he lay dead at Longwood St. Helena 7th May 1821 which I do hereby certify/ R. Boys M.A. Sen.r Chaplain/ By Rubidge"; the inside of the cast inscribed in pencil "Rev Mr Boys"; on a mahogany stand of circa 1830, to which the note is affixed, in white plaster of Paris, incorporating an internal plaited rope for suspension, exterior with a fine and varied aged patina, including normal minor wear, glass dome and one foot of the stand lacking, 317 x 155 mm., [cast for the Rev Richard Boys by Joseph William Rubidge on St Helena in May or June 1821]

Footnotes

  • NAPOLEON'S DEATH MASK, CAST FOR THE REV RICHARD BOYS, WITH A NOTE OF AUTHENTICATION WRITTEN BY HIM IN HIS CAPACITY AS SENIOR CHAPLAIN ON ST HELENA. The mask was made by, or was the gift of, the portrait-painter Joseph William Rubidge, and therefore must have come into Boys's possession prior to Rubidge's departure from St Helena in June 1821, and very probably before 27 May when his colleague Dr Francesco Antommarchi left the island, taking the moulds of the mask with him.

    IT IS, WE BELIEVE, THE MOST SIGNIFICANT EXAMPLE OF NAPOLEON'S DEATH MASK REMAINING IN PRIVATE HANDS, AND INDUBITABLY ONE OF ONLY A TINY HANDFUL WITH A PROVENANCE LINKING IT DIRECTLY TO ST HELENA. For a full description of the mask and its history, please click on the following link: Download PDF .

    The Property of Andrew Boys, Esq
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