Friday, October 26, 2007

Of "Che" Guevara's Hair and Napoleon's Penis


Gustavo Villoldo has had his payday at long last and I couldn't be happier for him. If everything else has been commercialized about "Che" Guevara, why not his goldilocks? The old freedom fighter will receive $100,000 (minus commission) for a tress of "Che" Guevara's hair which Villoldo snipped 40 years ago before burying the serial killer. The hair was offered by Heritage Auctions of Dallas, TX, which said there had been only one bidder for "Che's" hair, who won it at the reserve price. It's good to know that there is only one person in this world fool enough to bid for it. "Che's" greatest dupe is a Dallas bookseller named Bill Butler (there goes your 15 seconds). There's a sucker born every minute and since 1963 spawning suckers has been Dallas' major industry. Well, enjoy the hair, Bill. Villoldo will enjoy the 100,000 bills. He can also tell you, for a price, where the head to which the hair was once attached is buried, and it isn't in "Che" Guevara's mausoleum in Santa Clara, Cuba. If you are interested, Bill. Personally, I wouldn't mind having "Che's" skull on my desk. Although I don't smoke, I would take up the habit in his honor. I can also think of other uses less decorous than an ashtray. The people who would call me a monster — but would never call "Che" one — don't read this blog.

Pity Villoldo wasn't more creative. He might be taking home a million dollar check rather than $100,000. There was so much more that he could have snipped from the corpse of "Che" Guevara, who, contrary to his statement upon being apprehended, was worth more to his captors dead than alive.

The priest who administered last rites to Napoleon, Abbé Vignoli, snipped (or purloined) the "Little Corporal's" penis (that's all I'll say on the subject) in the course of the autopsy practiced on him by his personal physician, Dr. Francesco Antomarcchi. Napoleon's manservant, Ali, admitted in his Memoirs, published in the Revue de mondes, in 1852, that Vignoli and him had removed "bits of Napoleon" during his autopsy as "souvenirs." What a souvenir! "Look, do you see that in my curio cabinet, it's Napoleon's penis, really!" The appendage was been compared to a maltreated piece of leather shoelace or a shrivelled eel (defenders of the Imperial honor contend that only a part of it was removed).

Napoleon's dessicated penis was sold by Vignoli's heirs for $2000 in 1916 to a Philadelphia bibliophile, A.S.W. Rosenbach, who displayed it for years at the Museum of French Art, in New York. It was last put under the gavel (so to speak) at a Paris auction house in 1977. The winning bidder was John Kingsley Lattimer, professor emeritus and former chairman of the department of urology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He paid $38,000 for Napoleon's pride.

Professor Lattimer had an interesting history himself. He was the attending physician to the defendents at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. He also owned Lincoln's bloodstained collar and the glass ampoule that contained the dose of cyanide used by Hermann Goring to cheat the hangman (if Goring's penis is missing, they know where to look). He authored books on Lincoln's assassination and JFK's. His interest in Napoleon's penis was not merely professional; he believed that Napoleon, too, had been assassinated, poisoned by his personal physician at the orders of his British jailers (I wonder if they used cyanide too; no, probably arsenic).

The distinguished Dr. Lattimer, who discovered a cure for renal tuberculosis and is the father of pediatric urology, died earlier this year at the age of 92. Napoleon's penis is now owned by the doctor's daughter. It is the first time since Napoleon's death that a woman has owned Napoleon's penis. This unique item of napoleona now resides with its owner in Englewood, N.J.

The largest collection of Napoleon artifacts, sans the imperial penis, was assembled by the Cuban sugar magnate Julio Lobo, a Jewish-Cuban who admired the French emperor because he had enfranchised the Jews. His collection was confiscated by Fidel Castro at the triumph of the Revolution. It now is exhibited (what's left of it) at Havana's Napoleonic Museum. Napoleon's personal pistols, perhaps the most valuable item in the collection, were presented by Fidel Castro to Leonid Brezhnev.

Picture: not Napoleon's penis, but claimed as Rasputin's.

9 comments:

Charlie Bravo said...

I would assume that che's underdevelop manhood would have been a very unsightly item to keep in a formaldehyde jar....

Charlie Bravo said...

PS.
The picture -for the curious- is the pickled penis of Rasputin in the Museum of Erotica of Saint Petersburg.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

It's a hoax with quite an interesting history attached to it as well:

http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/weblog/comments/1162/

Charlie Bravo said...

I have heard of the famous sea cucumber hoax....
Actually a great history, including the assassination of Rasputin and his refusal to let go from life. The carnage supposedly ended up with his emasculation, and the Prince threw the "jewels of Rasputin" across the room.... they got tangled in a curtain and were found by a maid, after the assassins had disposed of the corpse.... that's was the first station of the trip the detached penis supposedly took....

Julio Rey said...

So John Wayne Bobbit had some famous antecedents. At least it looks like they died antes de que fueron despingados.

Anonymous said...

Secret operatives deep inside Cuba, sources which only I have access to, tell me with 100% certainty and a 0% margin of error, that Napoleon's Penis is dead!

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Anonymous:

Don't tell that to Josephine's ghost; she's been looking for it and the emperor's own ghost is not oblivious to its absence.

Vana said...

His collection was confiscated by Castro, how damn unfair, to have something you called yours just taken away, then given away as if it was yours to give!

Some humdinger of a penis there Manuel, do you know who it belonged to?...LOL.

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