A hat belonging to Napoleon Bonaparte sold for 1.932 million euros ($2.1 million) at French auction house Osenat in Fontainebleau, Paris on November 19.
The black felt bicorn is one of some 20 hats said to still exist of Napoleon’s two-cornered military dress hats that he wore as part of his everyday uniform when he was French emperor. It is in his trademark colours — black, with the French flag’s colours blue-white-red as insignia — and attracted interest from collectors “the world over”, said Osenat, declining to give the identity or nationality of the eventual buyer.
The final price for the hat was more than double the estimate of 600,000 to 800,000 euros, and about four times the reserve price. It broke the previous record for a Napoleonic hat, held by Osenat, of 1.884 million euros in 2014 shelled out by a South Korean businessman.
The hat was last owned by businessman Jean-Louis Noisiez, who died last year.
Other Napoleon memorabilia from the Noisiez collection were also auctioned, including a Legion of Honour medal and a pair of silver spurs. Napoleon is believed to have owned around 120 such hats in total over 15 years, most of which are now lost.