Napoleon’s uniform from St Helena magnificently restored

Napoleon’s uniform from St Helena magnificently restored
Napoleon's Chasseur colonel uniform, Museums of Sens, photo © Fondation Napoléon / Rebecca Young

After the appeal to “Save Napoleon’s House on St Helena“, the Fondation Napoléon launched another appeal, in April 2016, to raise the necessary funds for the restoration of the Chasseur Colonel’s uniform of the Imperial Guard worn by the Emperor on St Helena. After Napoleon’s death in 1821, the uniform was brought back to Europe by Mamluk Ali, who later bequeathed it to the town of Sens, in whose museum it now cohabits with the “little hat” worn by Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.

Thanks to 250 donors, the appeal, now closed, was a success: the 25,443 euros donated by the public, more than covered the 20,000 euros needed. The managers of the Museums of Sens and the Fondation Napoléon successfully negotiated the cost of this operation keeping it within the budget but also respecting the highest conservation standards. The hat was likewise restored (financed directly by the Fondation Napoléon), as was the tombstone of Mamluk Ali in the cemetery of his city, Sens. Donors also gave their permission for the remaining 5,443 euros to be consecrated to other future heritage operations.

These pictures of the uniform were taken before, during and after conservation work in the Paris atelier of textile expert, Raphaëlle Déjean, who performed the restoration and conservation work.

On 18 May 2017 at 5pm, the Museum of Sens is organising a public presentation of the conservation project with an unveiling of the restored uniform and hat. Both iconic relics will only be on show briefly (until 22 May), awaiting future exhibitions.

The appeal is now closed for this operation, but you can support other projects of the Foundation and its partners here.