An ivory ring Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) gave to his “first love” sold for $39,108 at Osenat Auctions in Fontainebleau, France over the weekend.
That’s more than double its $16,206 estimate.
Napoleon and Caroline du Colombier shared a pleasant morning together in 1786
It was among the highlights of a collection of lots from across the history of the French Empire.
The piece is made from gold and ivory and displays a delicate tableaux of men and women harvesting cherries.
It belonged to Caroline du Colombier, a woman Napoleon met while stationed as a lieutenant in Valence, France in 1786 during the early years of his military career.
With the permission of Caroline’s parents, the two went cherry picking together one summer morning.
While their relationship never went any further, Napoleon treasured that memory for the rest of his life.
When Napoleon took to the throne, Caroline and her husband were awarded important titles. He also gave her this ring as a reminder of that morning.
Other highlights included a Napoleon III Legion of Honour worn by the emperor himself.
The medal is France’s highest civilian and military honour. This example is the Great Cross, the highest classification available and extremely rare.
After his death, Napoleon III (1808-1873) left it to his valet de chambre.
It realised $11,462.
We have a genuine strand of Napoleon Bonaparte’s hair for sale, find out more here.
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