Many of us have jewellery that has been passed on to us through generations. They are prized and revered as they should be. But one man (we cant be sure as the buyer remained anonymous) now has his hands on a piece of jewellery that is part of history. I am talking about the diamond-sapphire engagement ring that Napoleon had given to his beloved wife Josephine. The auction took place in French town of Fontainebleau and was conducted by auction house, Osenat. The pre- auction estimates were between 10,000 euros and 15,000 euros, but the ring broke all expectations and went under the hammer for an impressive 730,000 euros ($948,000).
This ring was part of a larger collection belonging to Victor Napoleon and Princess Clementine of Belgium, his wife. After Jospehine, this ring is supposed to have gone to Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew, Napoleon III and his wife Eugenie. It then passed on to their descendants. Napoleon gave this ring to Josephine in 1796 and soon got married on March 9. The ring has one sapphire and one diamond stone each of one carat and pear shaped, joined together. The auction attracted so much attention that the auction house had to bring in more staff to cope. There were around 300 bidders at the event, while 50 joined the auction over the phone.
This year marks the 250th birth anniversary of Bonaparte’s wife who was six years his senior and already a 32 year old widow at the time of her second marriage to Napoleon. Many of Josephine’s other possessions have been put up at earlier auctions. One was her gold plated Hunter Case watch that fetched 1.3 million at a Christie’s auction. Then in 2011, Bonhams auctioned off a wine glass belonging to her famous husband. Napoleon and Josephine had a long drawn courtship during which, he wrote her several love letters, many of which survive to this date.
Via: LA Times