A delicate pair of slippers that had been sitting unnoticed in a Scottish university’s collection for more than a century may have actually belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister, Princess Pauline Borghese, researchers say.
The narrow silk and leather shoes, which measured just 1.5 inches (40 millimeters) across the toes and about 4 inches (10.2 centimeters) long, were marked on the sole “Pauline Rome.” They would fit a small child today, but might have been perfect for the famously petite princess who researchers say was often carried from room to room. Pauline would have been the youngest of Napoleon’s three sisters; Napoleon also had four brothers.
The tiny slippers were sitting inside a chest of clothes in the collection of the University of Aberdeen, where they attracted the attention of Louise Wilkie, a museum staff member. Wilkie said the slippers were given to the museum by Robert Wilson (1787 – 1871), who traveled the world extensively as a ship’s surgeon and had a friendship with Princess Pauline Borghese. Read more.