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Napoleon hat goes under the hammer

Auction of 1,000 of emperor's belongings will raise money for renovation of Monaco's princely palace

A BLOOD-STAINED hat belonging to Napoleon Bonaparte is among 1,000 of the emperor's items going under the hammer this weekend, with an estimated total value of about €5 million.

The items have been put up for auction by Prince Albert II of Monaco to raise funds for a renovation of the princely palace.

They had been collected by his grandfather, Louis II, between 1895 and 1920 and until now have been on display at a museum in the principality.

Napoleon's black felt bicorne hat is one of the rarest items in the collection and has a guide price of €400,000-€500,000.

It is believed to date from 1814, when the emperor was in temporary exile on the island of Elba, a year before the Battle of Waterloo.

Other lots include a pair of gloves left in his coach after the Battle of Waterloo, a watch worn by the Emperor during the retreat from Russia, plus medals, rifles, furniture and paintings.

The sale takes place on Saturday and Sunday morning in Fontainebleau, on the outskirts of Paris.

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