Waterloo Battlefield - 18 June 1815

French Soldier's Breastplate from
The Battle of Waterloo
38 x 34.4 x 30cm
Musee de L`Armee, Paris

I attended an exhibition of Napolean's treasures and personal items in Memphis, Tennesee in 1993. The show contained many works of art but this piece of aumour impressed me the most. Found on the Battlefield at Waterloo, this breastplate belonged to Francois-Antone Fauveau (1792-1815) a former butter dealer, who was exceptionally tall for the period - almost 5 ft. 9 in. The breastplate retains its original shape while the speeding cannon ball cuts cleanly through both sides and the occupant. This piece of sculpture attests to the horror of the balttlefield on 18 June 1815. 124,000 French soldiers faced 220,000 English, Dutch and Prussian soldiers at The Battle of Waterloo in one of the most famous battles of all time.

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