A two-cornered hat, or bicorne, attributed to Napoleon has sold for €280,000. With additional costs the final bill will be around €350,000.
Monday’s auction took place in Lyon, 203 years to the day after Waterloo in which Napoleon’s forces were defeated by the British.
As Napoleon fled the battlefield, his bicorne was picked up by Dutch Dragoon captain Baron Arnout Jacques van Zuylen van Nijevelt and has passed through many hands since.
The hat was bought by a private European collector.
Étienne De Baecque, auctioneer of De Baecque et associés described the hat.
"It's a very simple hat, it's not a ceremonial hat at all," he said.
"You have specifities mainly underneath. The emperor couldn't stand the sweatband, so it was removed. He had reinforcements put in so he could grab it with his hands. Otherwise there is the question of the condition which shows that the hat is 200 years old and has suffered a little. Which makes it even more charming!"
The original guide price was between €30,000 and €40,000 euros. The hat was sold in a wooden box in which it was presented at the Brussels International Exhibition in 1897.
Euronews’ Anne Devineaux explained that Napoleon Bonaparte's passion is still very important. The price rose rapidly, but did not reach the record set four years ago. A similar bicorne was sold for nearly €2 millions to a South Korean businessman".