Napoleon Bonaparte’s famous bicorne black beaver felt hat has been sold on a Paris auction for €1.932m (£1.69m).
According to the BBC, historians say the headwear was part of Napoleon’s brand. Wearing it sideways made him recognisable in battle. The emperor wore his hat with the corns parallel to shoulders – known as ‘en bataille’ – in contrast to most of his officers, who wore their hats perpendicular to the shoulders.
Napoleon owned around 120 bicorne hats over the years, with only 20 thought to remain – many in private collections.
The auctioneers say this hat has an impeccable provenance, having remained throughout the 19th Century in the same family of the quartermaster of Napoleon’s palace.
The hat being auctioned by Osenat auction house in Fontainebleau has a cockade that Napoleon fixed to his hat in 1815, during the crossing of the Mediterranean from his exile in Elba to Antibes, where he led a brief return to power. He was defeated in June 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo.
The hat was part of a collection of Napoleonic memorabilia assembled by an industrialist who died last year.