NAPOLEON UNDER THE HAMMER … YET AGAIN … THIS TIME IT’S A TOI ET MOI RING …

      The engagement ring Napoléon Bonaparte gave Joséphine de Beauharnais in 1796 will soon be on the finger of some lucky lady. The ring, being called here in Paris the toi et moi ring, with reminders of the toi et moi ring Dodi Al Fayed bought Princess Diana but never gave her because […]

 

FRANCE-HISTORY-AUCTION-NAPOLEON

 

 

The engagement ring Napoléon Bonaparte gave Joséphine de Beauharnais in 1796 will soon be on the finger of some lucky lady.

The ring, being called here in Paris the toi et moi ring, with reminders of the toi et moi ring Dodi Al Fayed bought Princess Diana but never gave her because death intervened, has been described by Osenat, the Fontainebleau-based auctioneers, as in gold with a diamond and a pear-shaped sapphire.

Said Jean-Christophe Chataignier, Head of Osenat’s Department of Historical Objects: “The ring is a very ordinary one.”

Osenat has not released any photos of the ring.

As we are being told, Napoléon did not have a lot of money when he became engaged to the widowed Joséphine, mother of two children on February 24, 1796. Despite his family’s opposition to the brilliant ‘soldier’ marrying a woman older than him, the two were married on March 9 – 13 days after the announcement of the engagement – in a civil ceremony.  Two days later Napoléon set off with the French army for Italy.  As happens, in 1810 – 14 years later – the two were divorced: Joséphine already in menopause was unable to give Napoléon the son and heir he wanted and needed.

Osenat is to auction the ring on Sunday, March 24.

It is expected to fetch between €8,000 to €12,000. ($10,77 / $16,000 – £6,900 / £10,400)

I am sure it will double that. Even triple that. Wait until the Angelina Jolies of the world learn of the auction. Pity Richard Burton and Liz Taylor are no longer alive, because it sure would have tempted him to buy it for her.

Last year in December a letter written by Napoléon was auctioned by Osenat. In the letter, dated October 20, 1812, written in code and signed Nap, the emperor informs his external relations minister, Hugues-Bernard Maret, Duke of Bassano (1763-1839) of his decision to blow up the Kremlin. You can read about it here

Already in June of 2011 Osenat auctioned three yellowed scraps of paper on which were some squiggles drawn by Napoléon and alongside them a few words in English: the Emperor was learning English.

 

UPDATE: FRIDAY: MARCH 29, 2013

Josephine’s ring (see photo above) was sold on Sunday, March 24.

The buyer has remained anonymous but not the price he/she had paid: €730,000 ($949,000).

This amount is fifty times more than the €20,000 the auction house estimated as its worth.

The identity of the seller was also not revealed, but the ring has apparently been the property of Emperor Napoléon 111 and his wife Empress Eugénie. Napoléon 111 – Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte – first he was President of France and then Emperor, died in exile in England in 1808, aged 65.  He was overthrown after which France was again declared a Republic: this makes him France’s last monarch.

Eugénie died in her native Spain in 1920 while on holiday there but she lies buried in England.  She was 94.

The couple’s son Napoléon Eugène Louis Jean Joseph Bonaparte, known as the Prince Impérial, died in South Africa, in Natal (today KwaZulu-Natal) in 1879 fighting with the British against the Zulu nation.  He was 23. He had 18 assegai wounds. One assegai had gone right through his right eye and into his brain.

With him died Royalty’s last hope of France ever being a monarchy again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

3 Responses

2-16-2013 at 20:35:25

Marilyn, I agree with you…..the ring will go for a pretty high figure. Historical value will decide the price.

2-18-2013 at 13:53:56

Who is the beneficiary of the sales ?

[…] >more […]

If you wish not to miss one of my blogs, do subscribe.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

HOW TO CONTACT ME

Should you wish to contact me you can do so by email: marilyn@marilynztomlins.com