Monaco palace to part with Napoleon collection

Napoleon on his Imperial throne, 1806 painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Inges (French, 1780-1867). Collection of Musee de l'Armee.

Napoleon on his Imperial throne, 1806 painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Inges (French, 1780-1867). Collection of Musee de l’Armee.

PARIS (AFP) – The Prince’s Palace of Monaco will auction the contents of its museum dedicated to Napoleon this November in what experts describe as the “sale of the century” for fans of the period.

French auction house Osenat confirmed reports on Thursday that the palace’s museum would hold the auction on Nov. 15 and 16 in Fontainebleu, near Paris.

The collection, consisting of nearly 1,000 items including manuscripts, weapons and paintings, was mostly put together in the early 20th century by prince Louis II of Monaco.

A black felt cocked hat, which was worn by the emperor during his imprisonment on the island of Elba, is valued at between 300,000 and 400,000 euros ($410,000 to $545,000).

There are also items from other nobles of the age, including a gold, diamond-encrusted sword that belonged to Russian Csar Alexander II valued at between 600,000 and 800,000 euros ($820,000 to $1.1 million).

Experts told AFP it will be the “sale of the century” for buyers interested in the period, but not everyone is pleased.

“I regret that the contents of the museum are being dispersed,” said Jean Etevenaux, head of the “Remembering Napoleon” society, which brings together connoisseurs on the era.

“I suppose French museums will attempt to acquire some pieces, but will they have the means?”


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Napoleon on his Imperial throne, 1806 painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Inges (French, 1780-1867). Collection of Musee de l'Armee.

Napoleon on his Imperial throne, 1806 painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Inges (French, 1780-1867). Collection of Musee de l’Armee.