Napoleon era artefacts raise one million euros at auction

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Letters written by Napoleon Bonaparte and other artefacts from his rule in the 19th century were sold for more than one million euros (1.2 million dollars) at auction on Sunday.

A letter from the French emperor to his sister Pauline sold for 14,200 euros and a comb belonging to his stepdaughter, Princesse Hortense, fetched 20,000 euros. A sabre from the era was sold for 36,000 euros.

A fragment from the 120 metre (395 feet) long painting "Panorama Of The Century", showing a portrait of General Lazare Hoche, was sold for 25,000 euros. The whole painting was shown at the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris (100 years after the French Revolution) but has since been spread around museums across the world.

Auctioneer Jean-Pierre Osenat said that more than half of the 237 documents linked to Napoleon, his family and marshalls were compulsorily claimed by the French state and national museums.

An inventory of Empress Josephine's diamonds and jewels was claimed by the national museum of chateaux, part of the culture ministry.

© 2010 AFP

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