Napoleon Bonaparte’s hat goes up for auction today in Paris. Experts estimate the value of the nineteenth-century hat at between 600,000 and 800,000 euros. “The hat was his symbol,” says auctioneer Jean-Pierre Osenat.
According to historians, Napoleon owned approximately 120 hats. Only twenty hats remain, all part of private collections. The hat is being sold alongside other items belonging to Napoleon, such as a silver plate from his carriage after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, and a wooden makeup box containing razors, a silver toothbrush and scissors.
Most officers wore their hats perpendicular to their heads, but it was different for Napoleon. He placed the headdress sideways on his head, a sign of his fighting prowess. “People recognized Napoleon by his hat,” says auctioneer Jean-Pierre Osenat. “It was his symbol.”
The hat is being auctioned off at Osinat Auction House in Fontainebleau. Experts estimate its value between 600,000 and 800,000 euros. In 2014, a wealthy South Korean paid at least 1.8 million euros to buy a headdress similar to Napoleon’s, a record amount. This hat was in better condition and came from the collection of the Princely Family of Monaco.
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