A two-cornered hat believed to have belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte sold for a record 1.932.000 euros ($2,11 million) today at the Drouot auction house in Paris.
It was originally estimated at 600.000 to 800.000 euros. The price surpassed the 1.884.000 euros paid for another Napoleon hat at Drouot in 2014, an auction house official said, according to Reuters.
"One million four hundred and fifty thousand (euros) to my left, 1,5 million, we have 1,5 million in the room, 1,5 million for Napoleon's hat. We leave 1,5 million for this major symbol of Napoleon, I sell for 1,5 million (before royalties), no regrets, sold,” auctioneer Jean-Pierre Ossenat said as he lowered the gavel to applause.
Ahead of the auction, Osenat told Reuters that the black beaver hat in the traditional two-horned shape was a trademark of Napoleon, who owned about 120 such hats during his lifetime.
"The hat was part of the image he constructed, because Napoleon was a man of communication," Osenat said, adding that Napoleon always wore his hat with the corners aligned with his shoulders, while most people at the time wore it with corners forward.
Hats believed to have been owned by Napoleon regularly appear at auction. In October 2021, Bonhams auctioned a newly discovered hat with DNA evidence proving it belonged to Napoleon at an auction in London.