Top 10: Napoleon Bonaparte memorabilia



2015-06-26 10:29:01

10) Napoleon’s wine glass - £10,800

A cordial or wine glass with fitted case, owned by Napoleon Bonaparte, sold for £10,800 at Bonhams in June 2011.

9) Napoleon’s resignation letter - $54,000

A letter to Paul Francois Jean Nicholas, dated September 1797 and signed Bonaparte. In it, Napoleon tenders his resignation as Commander of the Army of Italy, and expresses indignation at criticisms levelled at him. Sold for $54,000 at Sotheby’s in June 2007.

8) Napoleon’s letter mobilising the marines - €47,375

Draft letter to the marine army in the Mediterranean in September 1797, mobilising them against the royalists after the coup,. Handwritten with corrections, it sold for €47,375 at Sotheby’s in December 2003.

7) Napoleon service boat flag - $80,500

An early 19th century service boat flag used by Napoleon at the Isle of Elba, 1814-1815. Sold for $80,500 at Sotheby’s in December 2008.

6) Napoleon’s Bicorn hat - £66,000

An early 1st Empire Bicorn hat, said to have been worn by Napoleon himself, sold for £66,000 ($115,170) at Christie’s in October 2005.

5) Napoleon vows to blow up the Kremlin - €150,000

Coded letter, dating from the emperor’s ill-fated invasion of Russia. In it he vows to blow up the Kremlin. Sold for €150,000 at Osenat Auction House in September 2012.

4) Napoleon learning English - €325,000

A letter written in English by Napoleon during his time as a prisoner on Saint Helena, determined to learn the language of his captors to fill his time. It was sent to his English teacher for correction. It sold for €325,000, five times its pre-sale estimate, at Osenat in June 2012.

3) Napoleon’s love letter - £276,000

A love letter from Napoleon to Josephine, one of only three letters known that Napoleon sent to Josephine before their marriage, apologising for a fight, sold for £276,000 at auction at Christie’s in July 2007. The letter was discovered in a Swiss laundry room, part of a treasure trove of 1,000 documents.

2) Napoleon’s engagement ring to Josephine - €730,000

A gold ring with two pear shaped stones, a diamond and blue sapphire, the engagement ring Napoleon presented to Josephine when he was but a poor man, long before he became the Emperor of France. Sold for €730,000 after a €10,000-€15,000 estimate at Osenat Auction House in March 2013.

1) Napoleon’s sword - €4.8 million

Napoleon’s gold-encrusted sword, used at battle of Marengo in June 1800 when he forced Austrians out of Italy with surprise attack. It featured a curved blade, the better for beheading. The sword sold for €4.8 million (£3.3m, $6.5m) at Osenat in June 2007.


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