Spooky Spotlight – Deathly Depiction

Welcome to a week of Spooky Spotlights! To celebrate Halloween we will be delving into the Museum’s collections and putting the spotlight on the terrifyingly gruesome & frighteningly peculiar objects that lurk in the stores…

In Mexico, instead of Halloween, the Day of the Dead is celebrated, so day two of the spooky spotlight, and today’s object, is this deathly depiction of Napoleon. The original casting of the Death Mask of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 – 1821) was made by Dr. Antommarchi on St Helena on the day of Napoleon’s death, 5th May 1821; the cast held by the Museum is an early copy of this cast. Napoleon had been exiled, by the British, to St Helena, an island in the Atlantic Ocean, for 6 years before his death. Originally his death was blamed on stomach cancer, but there has been much debate surrounding this, with speculation of murder through arsenic poisoning.

Napoleon's Death Mask

Napoleon’s Death Mask

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About uoamuseums

The University of Aberdeen's Museums include King’s Museum and the University's Zoology Museum. The museums can claim to be Scotland's oldest, with records of museums and collections as far back as the late 17th century. Thanks to their status as a Recognised Collection of national significance, the Zoology Museum’s displays are currently being improved, while King's Museum hosts changing exhibitions drawn from across the collections, particularly those formerly in Marischal Museum. Visitors are warmly welcomed to the museums, and there are no charges for admission. Marischal College now houses the Museums Collections Centre, caring for and conserving many of the collections.
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2 Responses to Spooky Spotlight – Deathly Depiction

  1. There’s an autopsy report on Napoleon’s body in the University Archives!

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