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Napoleon’s engagement ring to Josephine up for auction

PTI Washington | Updated on November 20, 2017 Published on March 24, 2013

(L) Joséphine de Beauharnais, engagement ring (M) Napoleon Bonaparte (R)   -  Picture credit: Wikipedia,

A simple 18th century diamond and sapphire ring that French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte gave to his first wife Josephine on their engagement is expected to fetch $20,000 at an auction.

The gold ring given to Josephine de Beauharnais by Napoleon in 1796 has opposing tear shaped jewels, a blue sapphire and a diamond.

The carat weight of the two gems is little less than a carat each.

The ring will go on sale at the Osenat auction house in Fontainebleau outside Paris where the bidding is expected to reach at least $20,000, ABC News reported.

“At the time Napoleon was a young and promising officer, but he was not rich. He must have broken his wallet to buy this quality ring,” Osenat’s expert Jean-Christophe Chataignier said.

“The auction will celebrate 250th anniversary of Josephine’s birth,” said historian David Chanteranne, the editor in chief of Napoleon I Magazine.

When Napoleon met Josephine in September 1795, she was a 32-year-old widow with two children. They got married on March 9, 1796, just before Napoleon left to lead the French army on a successful invasion of Italy. During this absence he wrote to her frequently, sometimes twice a day.

She could not bear Napoleon any children; as a result, he divorced her in 1810 to marry Marie Louise of Austria.

“Josephine continued to treasure the ring and gave it to her daughter Hortense, later Queen of Holland, through whom it came down to her son, Napoleon III and his wife Empress Eugene to whose family this relic ring still belongs,” said Chataignier.

Published on March 24, 2013
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