Napoleon Bonaparte’s hat sells for €1.9m at Paris auction


Authored by Emily McGarvey and Vicky Wong.

An auction was held in Paris where a hat that was once owned by Napoleon Bonaparte, who was the ruler of France in the 1800s, was sold for €1.9m ($2.1m; £1.7m).

Napoleon - Figure 1
Photo BBC News

The double-cornered black beaver felt hat was assessed to be worth somewhere between 600,000 and 800,000 Euros (which is equal to £525,850-£701,131).

The identity of the hat purchaser remains undisclosed.

Experts in history claim that the hat was an important aspect of his image. By sporting it at an angle, he stood out on the battlefield. Throughout his lifetime, he amassed a collection of roughly 120 bicorne hats.

Only 20 are currently believed to exist, with many of them being held in private collections.

A Napoleonic hat is available for purchase along with various other historical items gathered by an entrepreneur who passed away recently.

According to the auctioneers, experts consider the hat to be the ultimate holy grail.

The king had his hat positioned with the corns in a line with his shoulders, which is referred to as "en bataille". However, the majority of his officers wore their hats at a right angle to their shoulders.

The man who auctions off items, Jean Pierre Osenat, shared that the hat was very famous. If someone saw the hat during battles, they knew that the famous Napoleon was present.

In private settings, he consistently wore it on his head or kept it in his grasp, occasionally even chucking it to the ground. This item served as a representation or emblem for the emperor.

According to the auctioneers, this hat has an excellent history. It was in the possession of Napoleon's palace quartermaster's family during the entire 1800s.

Osenat auction house located in Fontainebleau is putting up for sale a hat that was once worn by Napoleon. The hat features a cockade that he affixed to it in the year 1815, while he was voyaging across the Mediterranean from Elba (where he was exiled) to Antibes. During this trip, he briefly regained power.

There are other things up for sale, like a silver dish that was stolen from Napoelon's carriage after his loss at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Also, there is a box for makeup that he owned which includes razors, a toothbrush made of silver, scissors, and more of his personal belongings.

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