Signature Napoleon hat fetches record €1.9 million at French auction

© Christophe Ena, AP

A hat belonging to Napoleon Bonaparte when he was French emperor sold for a record of nearly two million euros at a French auction on Sunday, the auction house said.

It went for 1.932 million euros ($2.1 million), breaking the previous record for a Napoleonic hat, held by the same auction house, of 1.884 million euros in 2014.

The hat, known as a bicorne, is in Napoleon's trademark colours – black, with the French flag's colours blue-white-red as insignia – and attracted collectors "from the world over" auctioneers Osenat said, declining to give the identity or nationality of the eventual buyer.

It was last owned by businessman Jean-Louis Noisiez who died last year.

The final price was more than double the estimate of 600,000 to 800,000 euros, and nearly four times the reserve price, the auction house based in Fontainebleau south of Paris said.

Napoleon is believed to have owned around 120 such hats in total, most of which are now lost

Read moreNapoléon: Tyrant or genius – or both?

"The hat in itself represented the emperor's image," auction house expert Jean-Pierre Osenat told AFP ahead of the sale.

Napoleon wore this particular hat towards the middle of his time as emperor which lasted from 1808 to 1815, according to the auction house.

Napoleon rose to prominence during the French Revolution, becoming a key figure in the revolutionary wars.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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