An extraordinary piece of history recently captivated bidders and collectors at an auction in France. A once-faded and damaged bicorne hat, famously worn by none other than Napoleon Bonaparte, sold for a whopping 1.5 million Euros (equivalent to approximately $1,641,700). This impressive sale took place alongside the auctioning of several other belongings belonging to the French emperor at the Osenat auction house.
The president of the Osenat auction house, Jean Pierre Osenat, expressed his excitement, stating, “We are at 1.5 million (euros) for Napoleon’s hat…for this major symbol of the Napoleonic epoch.” The winner of the auction, whose identity remains unknown, will solidify their ownership with the payment of a 28.8% commission fee, resulting in a total cost of around $2.1 million for the hat.
Initially estimated to be worth between $650,000 and $870,000, the final sale price far surpassed expectations, surprising both auctioneers and spectators. The hat’s historical significance and its connection to Colonel Pierre Baillon, a trusted quartermaster who served under Napoleon, contributed to its immense value.
Over time, the hat changed hands until it ultimately fell into the possession of collector Jean-Louis Noisiez. Noisiez, who dedicated his life to amassing a vast collection of Napoleon militaria, held onto this iconic artifact until his passing in 2022. Following his death, curators diligently prepared his collection for this remarkable auction.
Aside from the bicorne hat, the event showcased an array of other notable items linked to Napoleon’s era, such as Napoleonic swords, coins, and firearms. This diverse selection undoubtedly enhanced the auction’s allure for history enthusiasts and collectors alike.
The auction took place in the picturesque commune of Fontainebleau, approximately 35 miles south of Paris. The location, known for its rich historical associations, provided the perfect backdrop for this momentous event.
Napoleon’s reign is undoubtedly an essential part of French history. Serving as the First Consul of the French Republic from 1799 to 1804, he later declared himself Emperor of the French. His rule extended from 1804 until 1814, before being briefly restored in 1815. Ultimately, Napoleon met his fate on the remote island of St. Helena, where he spent his final days.
Q: How much did Napoleon’s hat sell for at the auction?
A: The iconic bicorne hat worn by Napoleon Bonaparte sold for over $2 million.
Q: Who bought Napoleon’s hat?
A: The identity of the buyer remains confidential.
Q: Where did the auction take place?
A: The auction occurred in Fontainebleau, France, approximately 35 miles south of Paris.
Q: What other items were auctioned alongside the hat?
A: The auction featured various Napoleonic artifacts, including swords, coins, and firearms.
Q: Who initially owned the hat?
A: Colonel Pierre Baillon, a quartermaster who served under Napoleon, was the first documented owner of the hat.