A hat once worn by Napoleon Bonaparte has sold at auction for more than $2 million.
The iconic bicorne, faded and damaged over the centuries, sold on Sunday for 1.5 million euros (about $1,641,700) amid sales of the French emperor’s other possessions.
“We are at 1.5 million (euros) for Napoleon’s hat… for this major symbol of the Napoleonic era”, announced Jean Pierre Osenat, president of the Osenat auction house, at the end auctions.
The winner of the Osenate auction remains anonymous and will be forced to pay a 28.8 percent commission, bringing the total cost of the hat to approximately $2.1 million.
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The final sale price exceeded expectations after the hat was initially valued at $650,000 to $870,000 before the auction.
Auctioneers say the hat was first documented in the possession of Colonel Pierre Baillon, who served as quartermaster under Napoleon.
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After changing hands several times, the hat was purchased by collector Jean-Louis Noisiez, who amassed a large stock of Napoleonic soldiers during his life.
Noisiez died in 2022 and curators began preparing his collection for auction.
Other notable items in the sale included Napoleonic swords, coins and firearms.
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The auction took place in Fontainebleau, France. The small commune is about 35 miles south of central Paris.
Napoleon was First Consul of the French Republic from 1799 to 1804 before declaring himself Emperor of the French.
He ruled the French Empire from 1804 to 1814, then briefly in 1815. He was eventually banished to the island of Saint Helena, where he died.
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