But a man Perrottet calls "perhaps the leading collector in the U.S. of strange relics" was very interested in the penis. Interestingly, he was a urologist.
Dr. John Lattimer possessed Abraham Lincoln's bloodstained collar and a treasure trove of items from his own idiosyncratic relationships to some of the most important historical events of the 20th century. He was an attending urologist to Nazi prisoners at the Nuremberg trials and had acquired Herman Goering's suicide vial. He worked on the autopsy of John F. Kennedy and possessed upholstery from the president's limousine in Dallas.
An Object Of Derision?
Lattimer bought Napoleon's penis to take it out of circulation, says Perrottet: "He thought that fun was being poked at it, that it was an object of derision." Lattimer put it in a briefcase and stored it under his bed at his home in New Jersey. He refused inquiries from people who wanted to see the penis, including Perrottet.
But after Lattimer's death, Perrottet finally got the opportunity, when one of Lattimer's daughters showed it to him when he wasn't even expecting it.
"It was kind of an amazing thing to behold," he says. "There it was: Napoleon's penis sitting on cotton wool, very beautifully laid out, and it was very small, very shriveled, about an inch and a half long."
"It was like a little baby's finger," he says.