Napoleon's sword fetches $6.8M
An ornate, gold-encrusted sword that Napoleon used in battle 200 years ago has sold for more than $6.8 million, Parisian auction house Osenat said Sunday.
An anonymous female buyer purchased the sword for her husband, according to auctioneer Jean-Pierre Osenat, who dubbed it a "very nice Father's Day gift."
The sale price, which includes the auctioneer's fee,smashed Osenat's pre-sale estimate, set at approximately $1.7 million.
A packed audience took in the sale, which was held in Fontainbleau, a town southeast of Paris, and at a venue across the street from one of the famed French general's imperial castles.
Napoleon, who was not emperor at the time, had the sword created for him with a curve in the blade, after admiring Arab swords while fighting in Egypt, Osenat said.
He used his curved sword, which features geometric designs in gold on the hilt and much of the blade, in battle in June 1800, when he drove the Austrian army from Italy during the Battle of Marengo.
Five years later, Napoleon gave the sword to his brother, Jerome, as a wedding gift and it has remained among their descendants ever since.
Because the sword has been declared a national treasure, the buyer must have a French address and keep the weapon in the country for at least five months a year, Osenat said.
With files from the Associated Press