Death mask of Napoleon
1833 (circa) - 1835 (circa)
When Napoleon died at St. Helena on May 5, 1821, his doctors -- Francis Burton and Francesco Antommarchi -- made a gypsum cast of his head. With the rehabilitation of the former French Emperor's reputation in the 1830s, Dr. Antommarchi produced plaster and bronze copies from the original death mask mold which he sold by subscription. Dr. Antommarchi later emigrated to Cuba where he met the young Philadelphia-born physician Richard Wilson to whom one of the plaster subscription masks was given. Dr. Wilson's son brought the mask to Philadelphia in the late 19th century and it descended through the Wilson family.
7.5" H x 6.0" W x 14.0" L
On permanent loan from the descendants of Augustus Wilson of Santiago de Cuba.
Bonaparte Collection, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia