Who will buy Napoleon’s boots?

A pair of Napoleon I's riding boots displayed at Drouot auction house in Paris ahead of their sale in November AFP

A pair of boots worn by Napoleon when he was in exile is expected to fetch up to €80,000 euros at a sale in Paris’ Drouot auction rooms later this month.

The size 40 boots were given to a sculptor working on an equestrian statue of Bonaparte by General Henri Gatien Bertrand, who had followed the French leader into exile on the far-flung South Atlantic island after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, auctioneers said.

The boots are expected to fetch between €50,000 and €80,000 euros when they are sold at the Drouot auction rooms on November 29.

Napoleon had a large collection of footwear, which he bought from the Paris shoemakers Jacques in Montmartre.

Although British propagandists often caricatured the Corsican as an authoritarian midget, at 1.69 metres he was actually above average height for his time.

The boots were gifted by the son of sculptor Carlo Marochetti to the French politician Paul Le Roux, a minister under the Second Empire of Bonaparte’s nephew, Napoleon III.

His family has kept them since, said auctioneers Binoche & Giquello.

General Bertrand returned to France after the death of his beloved leader in 1821. Many French people still suspect Napoleon was poisoned by his British prison guards.

Source: RFI