New Orleans Gallery Selling Napoleon Death Mask For $34,500!
I love mysteries and historical stuff so, obviously, I was intrigued by a story I came across on Newsbreak regarding a creepy bronze death mask of the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Apparently, they are very rare because only four were cast. What's freaky is back in those days, casting a dead person's face was a tradition. This had to be a very stinky and gory job.
The emperor was exiled in 1814 and was sent to Elba. He would escape eventually to the island of Saint Helena and six years later died. An autopsy revealed the cause of death was stomach cancer. According to reports, Napoleon was dead for roughly 40 hours when they poured wax and plaster on his face to make a mold for his death mask. There was allegedly nine casts, but only four were made of bronze. Though this was the norm back then historians don't seem to agree on who ordered the masks to be made or why they had four of them done in bronze. It was widely believed that Dr. Francesco Antommarchi, one of Napoleon's doctors had them created.
It is also believed that Antommarchi donated one of the genuine bronze masks to the City of New Orleans in 1834 and that's how one of them ended up in Louisiana. The death mask has been on display at the New Orleans Cabildo Museum. Now the spooky artifact is reportedly up for auction at Nola gallery M.S. Rau Antiques for $34,500.