Anonymous buyer pays $2.1 million for a chapeau worn by Napoleon



Santa Fe New Mexican


In artwork depicting the Napoleonic Wars, gunpowder often clouds the scene, but among the hundreds of troops, one figure is immediately recognizable as Napoleon Bonaparte. What makes the French emperor stand out from the other uniformed men on horseback? Naturally, his bicorne hat. Napoleon’s penchant for croissant-shaped headwear made him one of the few historical figures who can be instantly identified by mere silhouette. His obsession with the headpiece drove him to accumulate an estimated 120 bicorne hats over his lifetime. On Sunday, an unidentified buyer put down 1.9 million euros — about $2.1 million — for one of them. The cracked black beaver felt hat sold by the Osenat auction house in Fontainebleau, France, is one of approximately 20 that remain from Napoleon’s collection. The hat sold Sunday was worn by Napoleon around 1810 as he established French hegemony over much of continental Europe.