Signature Napoleon hat fetches record €1.9 million at French auction
On Sunday, an auction house in France announced that a hat that once belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte, back when he was the emperor of France, had been sold for almost two million euros. This sale set a new record.
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The Napoleonic hat was sold for a whopping 1.932 million euros or approximately $2.1 million during an auction. This sale beat the previous record set by the same auction house back in 2014 when they sold another Napoleonic hat for 1.884 million euros.
The bicorne hat in black color with blue-white-red insignia was the trademark of Napoleon. It was sold in an auction that attracted collectors from all around the world. However, the auctioneers, Osenat, did not disclose the identity or nationality of the buyer.
The previous owner of the property was a businessperson named Jean-Louis Noisiez who passed away in the previous year.
According to the auction house situated in Fontainebleau, which is located in the southern part of Paris, the ultimate cost exceeded the initial approximated range of 600,000 to 800,000 euros by over two times. Additionally, it was nearly four times higher than the minimum set price.
It is said that Napoleon used to possess approximately 120 hats altogether, but a majority of them cannot be found anymore.
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Before the sale, an auction house specialist named Jean-Pierre Osenat informed AFP that the hat symbolized the emperor's appearance.
According to the auction house, Napoleon donned this specific hat during his reign as emperor between 1808 and 1815, roughly in the middle of his rule.
Napoleon had an exceptional silhouette that was easily distinguished by his troops during battles, thanks to wearing his hat tilted to one side, which was not a common practice among most people back then.
Napoleon gained popularity during the time of the French Revolution and became a significant figure in the wars that followed.
As the initial consul, he was devoted to the republic but later on, he became an emperor in 1804 by putting the crown on his own head.
He was banished from his country in 1815 following his defeat at the hands of the British and Prussian armies at the famous Waterloo battle.
In the year 1821, his life came to an end on the Saint Helena island situated in the vast Atlantic Ocean.
The hat sale on Sunday is happening just a few days prior to the global release of a biographical movie about Napoleon in theaters.
Ridley Scott's movie showcases epic wars across Europe while diving into the intricate bond between the main character and his spouse, Josephine.
Joaquin Phoenix, the actor who portrays Napoleon in the film, commented that the deceased emperor had difficulty in social situations, but was also a passionate and idealistic person.