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Napoleon the battle of Waterloo hat auctioned for $325G

Napoleon wore the hat on the 1815 battle of Waterloo (De Baecque)

An extremely rare ‘bicorne, or 2-pointed hat, which was worn by Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo was sold at auction in France for $325,000 on Monday.

The hat went under the hammer for €280,000 ($325,052) in Lyon on the basis of auction house De Baecque. The bicorne had a pre-sale estimate of €30,000 to €40,000 ($34,881 $46,441).

The Baecque told Fox News that the hat was bought by a private European collector who has “driven” over the period of the First French Empire.

The bloody battle of Waterloo, fought on 18 June 1815, saw Napoleon’s forces defeated by a British-led allied army. By the end of the 10-hour battle, 45,000 soldiers were dead or wounded, though some estimates put the casualty count even higher. The last military engagement fought by Napoleon, Waterloo was the end of the Napoleonic wars.

FIRST FULL BATTLE OF WATERLOO SKELETON IDENTIFIED AS GERMAN SOLDIER

File photo – Frenchman Frank Samson is taking part in the re-enactment of the battle of Ligny, as the French Emperor Napoleon, during the bicentennial celebrations for the Battle of Waterloo, at Ligny, Belgium, June 14, 2015.

(REUTERS/Yves Herman)

After Napoleon fled the battlefield, the hat was collected by Dutch Dragoon captain Baron Arnout Jacques van Zuijlen van Nijevelt, according to the auction house.

The hat is one of 120 bicorne hats that Napoleon is believed to have worn during his life. Only 19 of the hats are still in existence, Lyon on the basis of The Baecque says.

“There were always twelve hats in service, each of them have a lifespan of three years; they were renewed at the rate of four years,” the auction house explains, in a statement. The servants would wear hats to break them in before they were worn by Napoleon.

BOOKSTORE FIND RARE NAPOLEONIC WAR JOURNAL HIDDEN IN THE STORAGE CLOSET

File photo – Performers take part in the re-enactment of the battle of Ligny, during the bicentennial celebrations for the Battle of Waterloo, at Ligny, Belgium, June 14, 2015.

(REUTERS/Yves Herman)

Napoleon wore his trademark bicorne hats sideways (unlike with points on the front and back), so his troops could recognize him on the battlefield, according to the BBC.

In 2015, a 200-year-old skeleton discovered under a car park in the Battle of Waterloo site was identified as a German soldier. The remains of the first complete skeleton to be recovered from the famous battlefield in Belgium.

The remains were unearthed by an excavator at the site in 2012.

200 YEARS LATER, EXPERTS LOOK TO UNEARTH THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO ‘ S SECRETS

In 2016, a bookshop in Tasmania, Australia, has unearthed an extremely rare magazine from the Napoleonic wars, that was hidden in storage for decades.

Cracked and Spineless New and used Books in the city of Hobart was shocked when one of her customers found the leather-bound diary, which is more than 200 years old.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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