"Duport's position as Napoleon's favorite cellist almost resulted in disaster for his Stradivarius when the emperor appeared, booted and spurred, at a private recital in the Tuileries. As the French historian Antoine Vidal later recounted, 'He listened with pleasure and, as soon as the piece was over he approached Duport, complimented him, and, grasping the cello with his usual forcefulness, asked, "How the devil do you hold this, Monsieur Duport?" while, sitting down, he squeezed the unfortunate instrument between his spurred boots.' Some say the marks of the spurs can still be clearly seen in the sides of the cello."
Stradivarius: Five Violins, One Cello and a Genius, Toby Faber, Stradivarius: Five Violins, One Cello and a Genius