The legendary black hat worn by Napoleon Bonaparte during his reign has been sold for an astounding $2.1 million at an auction in France. This sale has set a new record for the military dress hat known as the bicorn, which was Napoleon’s signature style. With only 16 of these hats remaining, most housed in museums for their historical significance, this particular piece is a rare and highly sought-after artifact.
The hat, made of black beaver felt and adorned with a tricolor cockade, was a part of a collection belonging to French industrialist Jean Louis Noisiez. It was skillfully crafted by a furrier at the emperor’s palace, which further adds to its historical value. It is believed that Napoleon wore this specific hat during the middle of his reign and affixed the cockade to it in 1815, upon his return to France from his exile in Elba.
Auctioneer Jean-Pierre Osenat described the hat as a symbol of Napoleon’s power and prestige, stating that people could easily recognize the emperor when they saw his distinctive headwear. Napoleon wore the hat with the corners aligned with his shoulders, a notable distinction as most individuals of that era wore it with the corners front to back.
In addition to this iconic hat, the auction also featured other personal items of Napoleon Bonaparte, including his vanity set and a handkerchief he used while he was sick on the remote island of St. Helena, where he was exiled after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
This remarkable sale comes at a time when Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated epic movie portraying Napoleon Bonaparte is hitting the big screen. With Joaquin Phoenix taking on the role of the renowned emperor, interest in Napoleon’s historical artifacts and legacy is reignited.
Q: How much did Napoleon’s hat sell for?
A: Napoleon’s hat sold for an astonishing $2.1 million in an auction in France.
Q: How many hats of this kind are still in existence?
A: There are only 16 of Napoleon’s bicorn hats remaining, with most of them currently housed in museums.
Q: What is the historical significance of Napoleon’s hat?
A: Napoleon’s hat is a symbol of his power and prestige. It was recognized by people everywhere and became synonymous with the emperor himself.
Q: Who wore these types of hats during the same era?
A: While most individuals during that time wore the bicorn hat with the corners front to back, Napoleon wore it with the corners aligned with his shoulders, setting himself apart.
Q: What other personal items of Napoleon were featured in the auction?
A: The auction also included Napoleon’s vanity set and a handkerchief he used while he was sick on the island of St. Helena.