Napoleon's bicorne hat will auction for the first time in 40 years

A bicorne hat worn by Napoleon Bonaparte will be offered at auction for the first time in 40 years, as it surfaces from the collection of the Prince of Monaco.

The hat is perhaps the most iconic piece of Napoleon memorabilia, and has not been seen at auction for 40 years - big bids are to be expected

The iconic hat is being sold by French auction house Osenat on November 15-16 in Fontainbleu, where the emperor had his palace.

Osenat has valued the bicorne at $380,784-507,712. It is one of many hats worn by Napoleon, with this believed to have been employed during his exile on the island of Elba.

Most of the generals and staff officers under Napoleon wore bicornes, but today the hat is mainly associated with the leader himself. Many of the most famous images of Napoleon show him wearing one, making it perhaps the most potent emblem of his rule.

Joseph Giraud, Napoleon's personal vet and the source of many Napoleon collectibles, first acquired the hat. It was then bought by Prince Louis II of Monaco, whose mother was the granddaughter of Stephanie de Beauharnais, the adopted daughter of Napoleon and Josephine.

Also consigned from the collection is a baby's cot given to Stephanie de Beauharnais ($317,320-380,784), as well as the baby shoes for the baptism of the King of Rome, or Napoleon II ($76,156-101,542), and a plate used by Napoleon I during his exile on St Helena ($101,542-$126,928).

Paul Fraser Collectibles has an authentic strand of hair from Napoleon for sale.

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