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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 November 2005, 10:20 GMT
'Napoleon's tooth' up for auction
Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon's gums "bled easily" by the time of his death
A tooth believed to belong to Napoleon Bonaparte is expected to fetch up to 8,000 at a Wiltshire auction.

The tooth is thought to have been pulled in 1817 when he suffered from a mouth inflammation diagnosed as scurvy.

It was first passed by his physician Barry O'Meara to General Maceroni, aide de camp to the King of Naples. The current owner acquired it in 1956.

It will go under the hammer at the Dominic Winter auction house in Swindon on 10 November.

It is believed to have been extracted during Napoleon's exile to the South Atlantic British island of St Helena, following his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

"Historically, we know that Napoleon had had toothache in 1816 and this was put down to a mouth inflammation diagnosed as scurvy," valuer Chris Albury said.

"By the time of his death in 1821, he was a physical wreck and his gums were soft and bled easily and his teeth were loose.

"In dental terms, this (the tooth) appears to be an upper right permanent canine of a male in his forties. This would fit with Napoleon's profile at the time O'Meara knew him."

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