A bicorne black beaver felt hat that had belonged to sold for a record €1,932,000 ($2.11 million) in Paris on Sunday.
The hat, sold at the Drouot auction house was initially expected to fetch € 600,000 to 800,000. The hat, black, with the colors of the French flag — blue, white and red — on its insignia was previously owned by French businessman Jean-Louis Noisiez who passed away last year.
The , based in Fontainebleau, south of Paris did not reveal the buyer of the hat.
The record was last broken when another of Napoleon’s hats was sold for €1,884,000 to a South Korean businessman in 2014, an auction house official said.
What makes the hat significant
Auctioneer Jean-Pierre Osenat told Reuters news agency that the hat was a trademark for Napoleon, and that he owned 120 such hats in his life.
“The hat was part of the image he constructed, as Napoleon was a man of communication,” Osenat told Reuters. He also said Napoleon always wore the hat with the corners aligned with his shoulders, while most people at the time wore it with the corners front to back.
Napoleon’s hats are a frequent appearance at auctions. In October 2021, a newly discovered hat with DNA evidence that said it belonged to Napoleon was auctioned at Bonhams in London.
Napoleon was a prominent figure during the French Revolution. He served as first consul, before crowning himself as emperor in 1804 and leading armies .
A new biopic is set to reach cinemas in a few days, with actor Joaquin Phoenix playing the part of Napoleon.
tg/ab (AFP, Reuters
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