Thursday, March 20, 2008

Villepin's Napoleon Collection Sells

More than 330 books and letters related to Napoleon Bonaparte sold at Paris' Drouot auction house on Wednesday, the Times of India reports. The collection was created by former French PM Dominique de Villepin, the author of several books on the Little Corporal's reign (Villepin has now decided to turn his scholarly attention to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries).

The Times reports that a "large crowd of buyers and onlookers pressed into the bidding room ... with dozens left standing in the door."

"Several rare volumes sparked fierce bidding battles, with a manuscript decree signed by the early 19th-century emperor snapped up for 28,000 euros by France's National Archives. The Napoleon museum in Fontainebleau, south of Paris, bid successfully on an English pamphlet against the emperor, drawing cheers from the room and cries of 'Vive l'Empereur!'

"An almanac dedicated to the Empress Josephine and bearing the seal of Napoleon's brother Louis fetched 18,500 euros, while a royal almanac marked with the seal of Marie-Antoinette fetched 20,000 euros. Marcello Pacini, an Italian private collector born on Elba, fought hard for a manuscript letter written by Napoleon during his exile on the island, which he clinched for 14,000 euros, 14 times the starting price."

Sounds like a good, exciting sale!

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