Riding boots owned by Napoleon – €91,000 (£77,780) at Binoche et Giquello.

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First, that they would not have seen much use for the last third of the emperor’s detention. This was because Napoleon refused to ride out under the conditions imposed on his exercise by the island’s governor, Sir Hudson Lowe.

Napoleon was forbidden to engage in conversation with any one he met or to enter any private residence he would have to be accompanied by a military escort. This, of course, the emperor could not accede to so despite encouragement from both his retinue and the British to ride for his health’s sake neither he or the governor would back down.

It does not surprise me that they left St Helena in the hands of the Count Bertrand as he made off with anything that was not nailed down, and one or two things that were.

Were they worth the €91,000 paid? For all that history – oh yes, every penny.

Graham Bowers

Newport, Isle of Wight