Two exquisite gold tiaras belonging to Josephine, the first wife of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, were sold at an auction held by Sotheby's in London.
Josephine de Beauharnais's neoclassical tiaras were sold for 760,000 dollars on Tuesday, according to AFP and Reuters.
These 19th-century gold tiaras, decorated with many precious gemstones, were among the lots on sale at the "Treasures" jewelry auction organized by the famous house.
"These majestic jewelry pieces certainly evoke the style of the great Empress Josephine - her rank as Napoleon Bonaparte's wife, her impeccable taste, and her interest in classical fashion," said Kristian Spofforth, director of jewelry at Sotheby's London.
Photo Credit: Sothebys
Josephine Bonapart's Amazing Gold TiarasThe first tiara, made of gold and decorated with camellia flowers and blue enamel, sold for 597,360 dollars. It was sold along with a pair of matching earrings, a hairbrush, and a belt ornament.
The second tiara, also made of gold and decorated with camellia flowers symbolizing five mythological characters - Zeus, Dionysus, Medusa, Pan, and Gaia - was sold for 166,632 dollars. This tiara was sold along with a buckle and a belt ornament.
The two tiaras are considered very rare objects dating back to the early nineteenth century and represent, according to the organizing house, "the fascination with the neoclassical style, which reached its peak during the Bonaparte regime."
They come from a British private collection, in which they have been preserved for at least 150 years.
The Sotheby's expert pointed out that "there are practically no other comparable pieces in the world", as the two tiaras were made in the best French workshops and, when fashion changed, the jewelry of that time was usually separated and remodeled, which is why the survival of the two tiaras to this day is a truly exceptional event.
The Marriage Between Napoleon and JosephineNapoleon married Josephine, the widow of the aristocrat Alexandre de Beauharnais, on March 9, 1796, a few days after announcing his engagement.
The marriage was not well received by Napoleon's family, who disagreed with his marriage to an older woman with two children.
Two days after the wedding, Napoleon left to lead the French army in Italy.
The couple divorced in 1810 due to the fact that Josephine could not have a child with Napoleon.