‘Napoleon’s wine’ sells for £25k

A bottle of wine believed to have belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte has sold for £25,000, while one of his hats made over £300,000.

The bottle, which is unopened and “still believed to contain wine”, was part of the collection of a Scottish baronet who collected a large array of Napoleonica in the 19th century and sold at one of Christie’s London sales earlier this month.

Contained in a wicker basket and stamped with the Napoleonic cipher, the bottle dates to around 1810, may be Spanish and was said to be one of two found in the “Corsican Ogre’s” abandoned carriage by Prussian troops after the Battle of Waterloo on the Brussels-Genappe road.

Valued at £10,000 to £20,000, it was eventually sold for £25,000 making it one of the more expensive bottles of wine sold at auction – even if much depleted in this instance.

Among the other items of memorabilia from the collection of Sir Michael Shaw Stewart was a bicorne hat (pictured) Napoleon wore in the Polish campaign in 1807 and its concluding peace treaty at Tilsit.

Clipped by a musket ball at Friedland which was inches away from making history, the hat was left behind in Saxony and acquired by Shaw Stewart in 1814.

Valued between £300,000-£500,000, it realised £386,500.

A lock of hair from the mane of his favourite charger, “Marengo”, made £6,875 and a coronation portrait of the French emperor by Robert Lefèvre realised £842,500.

The entire auction realised over £18 million. A particular highlight was the sale of an authentic and full restored Mark 1A Supermarine Spitfire which was sold for £3.1m with the proceeds going to the RAF Benevolent Fund and several charities that combat the illegal trade in ivory.

Donated by US philanthropist Thomas Kaplan, it is one of just two working Mk. 1As in the world, the other was donated to the Imperial War Museum in Duxford on 9 July 2015.

Napoleons wine

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