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Napoleonic memorabilia collected after the Battle of Waterloo

Martin Guillaume Biennais (1764–1843)

Knife c.1798-1809

RCIN 48460

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 As a seasoned campaigner, Napoleon travelled with every possible necessity for eating, dressing, grooming, writing and map-making. His travelling equipment, created in an elegant, pared-down style, was packed into numbered mahogany boxes or nécessaires, with many of the pieces fitting inside others. Among them was this knife. Its design is typical of those supplied by the craftsman Martin Guillaume Biennais to Napoleon after his coronation. It incorporates emblems associated with the Emperor, including his personal symbol of a bee as well as his arms and cipher.