Bonaparte's sabre sold at auction
A SABRE, carried by Bonaparte at the battle of Marengo, was sold at the Fontainebleau auction house of Osenat for 4.2 million euros.
Napoléon Bonaparte gave the sabre to his brother Jerome, the future king of Westphalia, in 1805 for his marriage and it has never left the imperial family.
Nicolas-Noel Boutet a weapons manufacturer at Versailles produced it around 1800.
The weapon has been preserved in perfect condition and was inspired by the Eastern sabres in the form of an 'S', it is 97 centimetres in length and its ebony handle is decorated with gold macadam binding on the sides. The sabre has an Eastern belt of gold braided, crimson silk cord, ending in two decorated tassels of coral pearls.
All are contained in a wooden case covered in leather, probably made in the late 19th century and carries the inscription Sabre de Napoléon le Grand à la bataille de Marengo.
"Napoleon had noticed the Arabian sabres in Egypt, which were engraved and very effective for cutting off French heads," according to the auctioneer Jean-Pierre Osenat. Upon his return Napoleon commissioned the sabre not only as a weapon of war but also as an object of beauty.
As Premier Consul Napoléon Bonaparte carried the sabre at the battle of Marengo, in Northern Italy. The future emperor, he became emperor in 1804, was driven to inspire courage in his troops when all seemed lost, gaining a decisive victory over the Austrians during the second Italian campaign.
The sabre has been on public exhibition several times, notably at l’Hotel des Invalides in Paris and la Malmaison in les Hauts-de-Seine. It has remained in Jerome Bonaparte’s family until his descendants decided to put it up for sale.