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Statue of Napoleon

Carved out of a single piece of oak, the Merchant Adventurer Hall's statue of Napoleon Bonaparte is one of three imported from France in 1822 and is believed to be the only one that still exists.  The statue's original purpose was to advertise snuff, for which Napoleon had a great fondness.

The statue had some local fame having spent a 153 years outside Mrs Clarke's tobacconists in Bridge Street, and another 24 years outside Mrs Judith Thorpe's tobacconists in Lendal.

Like his historic counterpart, the statue has had an eventful time.  He was captured and flung into the River Ouse by a group of celebrating soldiers during WWII.  Fortunately he was saved at Naburn Lock.  Also like the real-life Napoleon, the statue has spent some time in custody, staying a night with the Police after mistakenly being left outside Mrs Thorpe's shop one evening.

Napoleon joined the Company's Collections in 1997 thanks to the kind loan of Mrs Thorpe.  Napoleon currently resides in the Hall's Committee Room.


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