The Historic Auction of Napoleon’s Iconic Hat and its Symbolic Significance

The Historic Auction of Napoleon’s Iconic Hat and its Symbolic Significance

The iconic bicorne hat worn by French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte has made history once again, selling for a staggering $2.1 million at auction. This remarkable achievement surpasses all previous records, including the sale of another Napoleon hat for approximately $2 million in 2014 at the same auction house, as reported by AFP.

Napoleon, a renowned French general who played a pivotal role in the French Revolution, went on to overthrow the French government and ascend to the position of emperor. The felt bicorne hat, adorned with the emblematic colors of the French flag – red, white, and blue – dates back to the 1800s, according to Osenat, the French auction house responsible for the sale. The hat’s lineage can be traced back to Colonel Pierre Baillon, a military officer who cherished it within his family until the 19th century when his grandson decided to part with it.

Previously owned by esteemed antiques dealer Charles Meyer, the hat eventually found its way into the possession of Jean Brunon in 1928, where it remained within the family’s ownership.

The hat’s historical significance becomes even more apparent when considering its usage by Napoleon himself. The Osenat website describes its role during Napoleon’s reign from 1806 to 1815 when Baillon was assigned to the Emperor’s Palace. Notably, Napoleon wore this very hat as he returned from exile on the island of Elba in 1815. Having been banished to the island in 1814, Napoleon staged a daring escape and triumphantly returned to France a year later, resuming his role as emperor.

Napoleon’s fondness for distinctive headwear is well-documented, often wearing hats tilted to the side, as detailed by BBC News. While the emperor possessed around 120 hats, only 16 are known to survive today, predominantly held within private collections.

The significance of this particular hat lies not only in its association with Napoleon but also in its representation of the transformative history Napoleon brought forth upon France and the world. Auctioneer Jean Pierre Osenat explained that this hat had witnessed a multitude of events, symbolizing the remarkable 15 years that revolutionized France and left a lasting impact on global affairs. The image of Napoleon donning this uniquely positioned hat, distinct from his contemporaries, has become deeply ingrained in our collective perception of his era.

The auction house, Osenat, has been contacted for additional information, and further updates are eagerly awaited. This historic sale serves as a reminder of the enduring fascination with Napoleon Bonaparte and his indelible imprint on history.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Who is Napoleon Bonaparte?

Napoleon Bonaparte was a French general who played a crucial role in the French Revolution and subsequently overthrew the French government, eventually becoming the emperor of France.

2. What was the significance of Napoleon’s hat?

The bicorne hat worn by Napoleon Bonaparte holds great historical value and symbolizes the transformative period in the history of France. Napoleon’s distinct style of wearing his hat, tilted to the side, has become iconic and representative of his era.

3. How much did Napoleon’s hat sell for at auction?

Napoleon’s bicorne hat recently sold at auction for an astonishing $2.1 million, setting a new record for the most expensive Napoleon hat ever sold.

4. How many hats did Napoleon own?

Napoleon owned approximately 120 hats during his lifetime. However, only 16 of these hats are known to exist today, with the majority held within private collections.

– [AFP](
– [BBC News](