An iconic piece of history is set to be auctioned off in Paris this week. A hat that once belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte, the formidable ruler of the French empire in the 19th Century, will soon find a new owner. The bicorne black beaver felt hat, known for its distinctive sideways tilt, is estimated to be worth between €600,000 and €800,000.
The significance of this hat goes beyond its monetary value. Historians believe that Napoleon’s choice to wear the hat sideways during battle made him instantly recognizable. It became a symbol of his authority and presence on the battlefield, striking fear into the hearts of his enemies. While Napoleon owned around 120 bicorne hats throughout his life, it is believed that only 20 of these iconic hats remain, mostly in private collections.
This particular hat has an exceptional provenance. It belonged to the quartermaster of Napoleon’s palace and stayed within the same family throughout the 19th Century. It also bears a cockade that Napoleon himself fixed to the hat in 1815, during his crossing of the Mediterranean from his exile in Elba to Antibes, where he briefly reclaimed power.
The auction, organized by the Osenat auction house in Fontainebleau, will also feature other remarkable Napoleonic memorabilia. These include a silver plate that was looted from Napoleon’s carriage after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, as well as a wooden vanity case containing personal items such as razors, a silver toothbrush, scissors, and other belongings owned by the emperor.
For history enthusiasts and collectors of rare artifacts, this auction is an opportunity to own a piece of Napoleon Bonaparte’s legacy. The hat, in particular, holds great fascination for experts in the field. Its historical significance and unmistakable association with Napoleon make it a true treasure and a highly sought-after item.
Q: How much is the Napoleon Bonaparte hat estimated to be worth?
A: The hat is estimated to be worth between €600,000 and €800,000.
Q: Why is the hat significant?
A: The hat’s sideways tilt became a recognizable symbol of Napoleon’s authority and presence on the battlefield.
Q: How many of these hats are believed to still exist?
A: It is believed that only 20 of Napoleon’s iconic bicorne hats remain.
Q: What other items are being auctioned alongside the hat?
A: Other items include a silver plate looted from Napoleon’s carriage after the Battle of Waterloo and a wooden vanity case containing personal belongings.
Q: Where can I find more information about the auction?
A: For more information about the auction, you can visit the Osenat auction house website (insert URL here).