The 200th anniversary of this momentous event coming in 2021 is perhaps one reason why interest in items related to or associated with the emperor will still attract much interest in the saleroom, as related in the report (ATG No 2432) of the sale of a bronze equestrian figure of Napoleon and a copy of the well-known watercolour of him sitting on what became known as the ‘Emperor cannon’ on board the Northumberland en route to St Helena.
His period of detention on that tiny island, which was surrounded by circling warships teeming with soldiers whose only purpose was to keep him on the rock, was the most difficult in his life.
The squabbling collection of hangers-on that had followed him into captivity brought little relief to his hopeless situation.
Maybe it is that which draws people to him: wondering what we would have done in his shoes or is it that not one of us could imagine even at the centre of all this chaos how alone he really was.
Isle of Wight