Whatever Happened to Napoleon’s Penis?

Whatever Happened to Napoleon’s Penis?

If you thought that it was buried with the rest of him, you were wrong. In fact, his penis went on quite the journey after Napoleon’s death in 1821. As rumors of poisoning started swirling around as the emperor’s cause of death, an autopsy was performed in order to find out exactly what killed the French ruler. It was at this time that the doctor chopped off Napoleon’s little soldier and gave it to a priest in Corsica named Abbe Anges Paul Vignali (we’re not sure why).

Napoleon in profile

Whatever the reason, the priest enjoyed his present and kept it in relatively good condition without actually taking any efforts to preserve it. His family eventually sold the appendage to an American dealer of rare books in 1924 who put it on display.  The rest of the world got a chance to enjoy it in 1927 when it was featured at the Museum of French Art in Manhattan. However, by this time the appendage lost any visual appeal it might have had and looked like a shriveled eel.

The penis finally went on sale in 1972 when it was up for auction at Christie’s in London. As it turns out, there isn’t a huge market out there for 200-year old French military leader penises (this was before eBay). The bid failed to measure up (pun intended) to the reserve price so it was withdrawn from the auction. Five years later, the owners decided that they might have a better chance of selling the thing in France so they put it up for auction again in Paris.

That is when it was sold for a meager $3,000 to an American urologist who took it home and tucked it away safely for 30 years. This brings us to the present so, in case you were wondering where Napoleon’s penis is right now, it’s in New Jersey. The urologist passed it down to his son Evan Lattimer. Oh, and to answer the question you’ve had ever since you started reading – yes, it was small… 1.5 inches, to be exact.