The marriage contract between Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine is due to go under the hammer in Paris at the end of September.
The document was signed on March 8, 1796 and the wedding took place the following day.
Theirs may have been a passionate love affair, but the lovers were practical. The contract states that the pair will “in no way be responsible for the debts and mortgages of the other” and that there will be “no common property.”
The couple also lied about their ages – covering up the fact Josephine was six years older – something that would have provoked a scandal at the time.
Jean-Christophe Chataignier from Osenat auction house in Paris explained why the contract is stirring interest.
“The contract fits in with their love, with their union, with the union of the world’s most legendary people. Go to the United States, to China, to Japan and people talk about Empress Josephine, people talk about Napoleon. So this contract fits in with their story. It’s an administrative document but it’s more than just administrative, it’s a contract which is political but also a love contract,” Chataignier said.
The marriage was annulled ten years later by the Pope after Josephine failed to give the Emperor any children.
The marriage contract is expected to fetch 80,000 to 100,000 euros.