luxury

The hat Napoleon is said to have worn at the Battle of Waterloo sells for more than $400K

Updated 19th June 2018
A Dutch captain picked up this hat after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Credit: Courtesy De Baecque Action House
The hat Napoleon is said to have worn at the Battle of Waterloo sells for more than $400K
Written by Ben PickmanBrandon Griggs, CNN
A hat said to be worn by Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo sold for more than $400,000 at an auction in Lyon, France.
The De Baecque auction house told CNN the buyer is a European collector passionate about the First French Empire.
The hat, which was sold 203 years to the day after the French emperor's defeat at the famous battle, is believed to be one of about 120 two-cornered military dress hats worn by Napoleon. Historians have identified only 19 remaining hats, most of them now in museums. According to the auction house, Napoleon constantly had 12 hats in service, each of which had a three-year life span.
A portrait of Napoleon from  1810.
A portrait of Napoleon from 1810. Credit: De Agostini/Getty Images
Counting fees, the hat sold Monday for $405,212. But that price paled in comparison with another of Napoleon's hats that was recently sold.
At an auction in 2014, a South Korean collector purchased one of the French emperor's hats for $2.4 million, far exceeding the more than $500,000 that it was expected to fetch.
That hat, which came from a collection belonging to Monaco's royal family, was in much better shape than the one sold Monday, which is faded, torn and cracked in some places.
The auctioned hat came with its own box.
The auctioned hat came with its own box. Credit: Courtesy De Baecque Action House
Napoleon declared himself France's emperor in 1804 and made a lasting impact on the country as a military leader and emperor, waging wars against many of the Europeans powers of the time.
After his defeat at Waterloo in 1815, he abdicated for the second time and was exiled to the remote island of St. Helena, where he died in 1821.
The hat sold Monday is believed to have been picked up after the Battle of Waterloo and the flight of Napoleon by a Dutch captain, Baron Arnout Jacques van Zuijlen van Nijevelt.