The last of Napoleon’s swords in private hands, sold in auction for $6.4m.
Auction: Fonteinebleau, France, 2007.
History of the Napoleon sword
The inspiration for the sword’s design is said to have come during Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign. He noticed that the swords used by the Arabs, which were also curved, were very effective in cutting off the heads of their French enemies.
After the battle in Italy, Napoleon gave the sword to his brother as a wedding gift and it was then passed down the family through the generations.
The sword was declared a national treasure in 1978 and, while it may be sold to a foreign buyer, they must have a French address and keep it in France for six months a year.
The sword, which belonged to eight of the emperor’s descendants, was believed to be the last of Napoleon’s blades in private hands.