The toenails of King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy

Victor Emmanuel II, who was king of Italy from 1861 to 1878, had a strange habit which isn't recorded on his wikipedia page.

Each year he would let the nail of his big toe grow. Then he would cut the nail off and have a jeweler polish it and frame it in gold. The king would then present this oddity to his mistress (and eventual wife), the Countess Rosa Mirafiori. She eventually accumulated fifteen royal toenails.

I assume these royal toenails must be preserved in a museum somewhere. But if so, I haven't been able to track down where. Nor can I find any pictures of them.

Unless, of course, the story is an urban legend. The lack of good sources does make me a bit suspicious.

Chicago Tribune - Mar 26, 1961

Nebraska Advertiser - May 15, 1896

     Posted By: Alex - Thu Aug 27, 2020
     Category: Royalty | Nineteenth Century | Feet

I'm leaning towards the urban legend story, Alex.
Posted by KDP on 08/27/20 at 10:48 AM
Toenail sounds suspicious, but pinkie nails have been grown by various members of the Imperial family in China to show their nobility. Other fingernails have been grown to help play the guitar or various string instruments. Either that or my ex is a liar.
Posted by Yudith on 08/28/20 at 05:31 AM
Disgusting, true, but not quite on the level of Edward VII and Lillie Langtry's remarks about battleships.
Posted by Richard Bos on 08/29/20 at 08:11 AM
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