Napoleon’s Hat, Dropped at Waterloo, Is Picked Up at Auction for $400,000

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tags: Napoleon, Battle of Waterloo

A hat attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte and said to have been dropped on the battlefield at Waterloo 203 years ago was bought on Monday for over $400,000. It was another sign, if one were needed, that the French emperor continues to fascinate collectors and curators across the globe.

The hat — one of Napoleon’s iconic black felt bicorns — was sold at an auction in the central French city of Lyon for 350,000 euros, or about $407,000, including fees, far beyond the presale estimate of 30,000 to 40,000 euros. The buyer was a private collector from Europe whose identity was not made public.

The hat is one of about 120 two-cornered military dress hats that Napoleon was said to have worn during his rule between 1799 and 1815, as first consul and then emperor, minus a period of exile on the Mediterranean island of Elba.

Historians have identified only 19 remaining hats, most of them now in museums. At an auction in 2014, the South Korean founder and chairman of the Harim food conglomerate bought one for more than $2 million — about five times the asking price.

Read entire article at NYT