Friday, October 09, 2009

Contents of Bonaparte’s Carriage – Windsor soap, Moroccan slippers and eau de Cologne

Browsing through Saturday morning’s Hobart Town Gazette - 14 September, 1816 (as one would), I read a remarkable article about Bonaparte’s carriage.
This fine vehicle was taken by General Kellerman at the Battle of Waterloo (June 1815) and sold to the Prince Regent for 3000 guineas.
The news article describes the interior in fine detail.

Inside the carriage were many compartments for maps and telescopes, a small writing desk beneath which was a hole for an iron bed (folding), two merino mattresses, and a liquor case.
The accessaire, an elegant mahogany box, contained mother-of-pearl razors, silver toothbrush, shaving box, ink stand and sand box, teapot and sugar box and two elegant candle sticks.
Napoleon’s personal items included several bottles of eau do Cologne, and eau de lavender – even (despite his old English enemy) bars of Windsor soap.
Apart from rum and sweet wine in his liquor case, there was also a silver mustard box, silver plates and cutlery, even a box for sandwiches.
Other items in the coach – a pair of red morocco slippers, green velvet cap, a silver chamber pot and a large silver watch on a chain with an alarm.
Bonaparte obviously valued his comfort when travelling.

Sadly in 1825, the carriage on display at Madame Tussaud's was consumed by fire You can read more in the following post.

Pic: Replica of Napoleon’s carriage created by Lewis Colburn for Interregnum (1815-1969)

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