Wreath apparently sent to Napoleon on St Helena, €12,000 (£10,300) at Costa Blanca Auctions.

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Lady Elizabeth and Lord Henry Holland had led liberal opposition to the emperor’s imprisonment and treatment in the South Atlantic. They sent him plants native to Corsica to soften his days on the island.

According to the long inscription in the frame, after Napoleon died on May 5, 1821, the wreath was given to Henri-Gatien Bertrand (1773-1844), the head of his military household who had followed him into exile, first in Elba and then St Helena. W

hen he died Bertrand was buried near Napoleon’s tomb at Les Invalides.


The inscription in the frame of the wreath that sold at Costa Blanca Auctions.

The text documents its presentation to a series of names – all ‘longtime supporters of The Empire’ – so it ‘would not fall into unsympathetic hands … being such a precious keepsake of the most loyal friend of the Grand Homme (The Great Man)’.

It came for sale in Spain at Costa Blanca Auctions in Calpe, Alicante, on May 5 with a guide of €7000-9000 and did a little better, selling at €12,000 (£10,300) plus 23% buyer’s premium.