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The Incredible Journey of Napoleon’s Penis

 Napoleon Bonaparte Penis Travels

It rarely happens that a person’s penis travels more than the person. Napoleon Bonaparte is one of these cases.

The year is 1821 and the place is Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean. Bonaparte died of stomach cancer like his father, according to Napoleon’s doctor Antommarchi.

The Incredible Journey of Napoleon’s Penis




There is still a debate on the actual cause of his death, but today we focus only on Napoleon penis.

Antommarchi removed Bonaparte’s liver and intestines and dropped them into an ethyl alcohol jar for autopsy. He also took Napoleon’s penis during the autopsy and hid it. This is the beginning of the journey.

Napoleon’s penis was certainly not very long, it is said that it measured only 1.5 inches (3.81 cm).

Napoleon’s priest, Abbé Ange Vignali, received the penis and smuggled it to Corsica, his birthplace. When the priest died, the penis was inherited by his family until 1916.




The relic went to his sister and then to his son, Charles-Marie Gianettini.

Gianettini tried to sell the relic as a mummified tendon taken from Napoleon’s body during the autopsy. Finally, in 1916 A British collector Maggs Bros bought the penis from Gianettini.

Maggs sold it to legendary American antiquarian bookseller Dr. Rosenbach of Philadelphia for £ 400, around $ 2000, in 1924.

The eccentric American collector Rosenbach has proudly displayed it at parties and gatherings. He also loaned it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a very short time. The museum displayed it on a small velvet cushion.

23 years later, the penis was sold by Dr. Rosenbach to collector Donald Hyde. After Hyde’s death, his widow sold her penis to Dr. Rosenbach’s successor, John Fleming. Eventually, John J. Lattimer, a famous urologist, bought the relic in 1977.

Since that day, Napoleon’s penis is on display at the Lewis Latimer House Museum near New York.

The Incredible Journey of Napoleon’s Penis


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