Napoleonic history continues to fascinate scholars and enthusiasts from all over the world. Napoleon Bonaparte, the man who elevated France to its greatest glory in the military field, is still today one of the most beloved (and hated) characters in history.

The Imperial Era, from 1805 to 1815, has many followers in the world of reenactors, but above all, it is particularly successful in the private collecting sphere. While I consider myself an avid collector of books from that historical period, there are those who go further, seeking out artifacts, weapons and garments that belonged to Napoleon himself.

The most appreciated items are usually sold by auction houses, such as Osenat, Sotheby’s or Christie’s, which have auctioned imperial relics of immense historical value over the years. Osenat, in Fontainebleau, France, put Napoleon’s famous hat for sale. It brought 1,884,000 € (about $2.1 million), but also a garland’s small gold leaf, with which the emperor crowned himself at Notre Dame in 1805, claimed a final price of 625,000 € ($703,656). In many cases, buyers prefer to remain nameless.

Napoleon sat here: Rare relics still much desired among collectors