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Napoleonic memorabilia collected after the Battle of Waterloo

French

Napoleon's Cloak (Burnous)

1797 - 1805

RCIN 61156

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This burnous, or cloak, was taken from Napoleon's carriage immediately after the Battle of Waterloo. It was presented to Field Marshal Blücher, who in turn gave it to the Prince Regent, accompanied by the dramatic tale of its capture by a Prussian officer. Contemporary biographies and other works, including Tolstoy's War and Peace, describe Napoleon wearing a cloak of this nature during his campaigns in Egypt in the late 1790s. Its design is modelled on the burnous worn by the Berbers of North Africa, but in this case the practical woollen material is lined in silk and appliquéd with a design resembling an eagle – more appropriate for an Emperor.