Napoleon Bonaparte's knife and fork sell for £11,250

A knife and fork once belonging to Naploeon Bonaparte have been sold at auction by Woolley and Wallis for £11,250 against an estimate of £3,000 - £5,000.

Napoleon knife and fork sold at auction
Image: Woolley & Wallis


The silver gilt cutlery, with Paris Marks for 1809-1819, was originally made by Martin-Guillaume Biennais a famed French goldsmith and silversmith who was also responsible for the insignia worn by Napoleon at his Coronation in 1804.

The knife and fork had originally been purchased by Alfred William Weston in the 1920s and passed to his daughter and ultimately inherited by her godson.

Weston was an illustrator who was employed by John Logie Baird to edit his book 'Television: the world's first television journal'.

The buyer had somewhat of a bargain as a knife from the same set of cutlery made by Martin-Guillaume Biennais sold for $15,535 in October 2004 at Sothebys, and one other knife is known to exist in the Royal Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Perhaps the most infamous item of Napoleon memorabilia is the legendary 'Napoleon's penis' which was amputated from his cadaver during autopsy and is now in an American collection, and described as looking like a "piece of leather or a shriveled eel".

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