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Napoleon Bonaparte's hat sold for a record $2.1 million at an auction in France

A hat worn by Napoleon Bonaparte during his reign as French emperor has been sold for a record 1.932 million euros ($2.1 million) at auction in Paris.

Bidding began at the Osinat Auction House in Fontainebleau, Paris, on Sunday, November 19, and it was expected that the hat would be sold for between 600,000 euros (about 655,000 dollars) and 800,000 euros (about 873,000 dollars).

But the famous hat was sold for 1.9 million euros, or about 2.1 million dollars, to a buyer whose identity has not yet been announced.

This hat is one of 20 remaining hats out of 120 believed to have been owned by the French military leader during his rule in the 19th century.

The sale price is believed to have been inflated by the hype surrounding the release this month of Ridley Scott's Napoleon biopic, starring Joaquin Phoenix.

Napoleon wore his hats sideways to make him easier to spot in battle, because it distinguished him from other officers who wore their hats facing forward.

Pierre Osignat, president of Osignat Auctions, said the hat can be identified by its “hat badges,” a group of distinctively colored bands said to have been added by Napoleon himself in 1815 when he was traveling across the Mediterranean to Antibes from his exile on Elba. This led to a temporary return to power before his eventual defeat at Waterloo.

Source: The Guardian Publication date: 21/11/2023

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