Pistols Napoleon Planned to Use for Suicide Sell in France for $1.84 M. - The World News

Pistols Napoleon Planned to Use for Suicide Sell in France for $1.84 M.

Two pistols previously belonging to Napoleon Bonaparte were sold at auction in France for €1.69 million ($1.84 million) after the government banned as they were declared national treasures.

The decorated guns are inlaid with gold and silver, as well as engraved images of Napoleon, and carried an estimate from the Osenat auction house of €1.2 million to €1.5 million. The auction took place on July 7 in the city of Fontainbleau, south of Paris.

According to auction house president Jean-Pierre Osenat, the weapons were nearly used to end the French ruler’s life in 1814 after his army was defeated by foreign forces.

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Pistols Napoleon Almost Used For Suicide Sold at Auction for $1.84 M.

“After the defeat of the French campaign, he was totally depressed and wanted to commit suicide with these weapons but his grand squire removed the powder,” Osenat told AFP, which first reported the sale.

As that failed suicide, Napoleon ingested poison but survived that attempt after vomiting. The French emperor later gave the two pistols to his squire General Armand de Caulaincourt, whose descendants consigned them to the auction house.

Other sales of Napoleon memorabilia that have garnered seven-figures include one of the famous “bicorne” hats, which sold for $2.1 million at another Osenat auction in November. Its original estimate was $650,000 to $870,000.

The French Ministry of Culture announced it designation of the two pistols as national treasures on July 6, shortly before the auction took place.

The designation and issuance of the export ban certificate meant the beginning of a 30-month period where the French government can make an offer to purchase the two pistols from their unidentified new owner, who also has the right to refuse.

Any cultural property deemed a national treasure, regardless of its value or age, can only leave France on a temporary basis.

“Being classified as a national treasure gives an incredible value to the object,” a representative of the Osenat auction house told the AFP, asking not to be named.

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