Napoleon's St Helena Sword up for
First time Balcombe sword available
in 200 years
collectors take note - you have the chance to pick
up a very rare personal item from Emperor Napoleon
is Napoleon's ceremonial sword, pictured right, that
the French emperor took with him into his final exile
on St Helena.
sword is currently in the possession of the last descendant
of the Balcombe family - which lived on St Helena
at the time of Napoleon's exile (1815 to 1821).
Balcombe was a British merchant on St Helena and his
family - particularly his daughter Betsy - became
friendly with France's former leader.
fact Betsy Balcombe was a favourite of Napoleon's
- he spent a lot of time talking with the girl - and
he allowed her to play with the sword that is now
token of his affection for the Balcombes, Napoleon
gifted many items to the family - including the ceremonial
of the historically significant artefacts are on display
at The Briars museum homestead, just south of Melbourne,
include furniture, a lock of Napoleon's hair and one
of his death masks.
sword remains in the Balcombe family some 200 years
after being given it by Napoleon Bonaparte.
fellow of the International Napoleonic Society Dr
William Mayo says when William Balcombe moved to Australia
from St Helena he brought the sword with him and it
ended up with his grandson Alexander Balcombe and
was then left to its present owner, who is also from
the Balcombe family.
Mayo says the provenance of this sword is outstanding
- One of the main reasons being the unbroken link
of 200 years it has been with the Balcombe's.
has prepared an authentication letter for this historical
Mayo says he cannot give an exact dollar value for
the weapon but the only other recent sale of one of
Napoleon's swords was in Paris in 2008, where it fetched
Balcombe sword has a little damage, it was caught
in a house fire, but Dr Mayo says the weapon still
can contact Patrick O'Connell, the Balcombe family's
sales agent for the sword, for expressions of interest/offers/questions
on his email: mayoinavalon @yahoo.com.au.