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The crown of the Siamese King offered in 1861 to Napoleon III in the Château de Fontainebleau was stolen in the early hours of Sunday morning, 1 March, along with around 15 other precious artifacts from eastern Asia.

The burglary took place before 6am at the palace 60 kilometers south of Paris. “The thieves were very determined. They knew what they were doing and exactly what they wanted,” the château's president Jean-François Hébert told "The Art Newspaper." The thieves smashed the glass of the display cabinets with chairs and other objects from the Asian collection and, in a crude attempt to cover their tracks, used a fire extinguisher to spread carbonic snow over the site.

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Napoleon Bonaparte’s letter of surrender, in which he pleads for refuge in Britain, is to go on display to mark the bicentenary of the battle of Waterloo.

Addressed to the future George IV, the French emperor begs for the “hospitality of the British people” and calls on the prince regent as “the most powerful, the most constant, and the most generous of my enemies” for protection.

The letter is one of the centerpieces of an exhibition at Windsor Castle alongside a previously unseen letter from the Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.

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Napoleon's admirers will be able to carry his DNA on their wrists after a Swiss company announced it planned to sell watches containing a fragment of the emperor's hair.

Half-millimeter slices of his locks will be placed inside a limited series of around 500 watches that are to bear the likeness of Napoleon, said Viviane de Witt, CEO of De Witt watchmakers.

The watches will sell for around €8,000 (£6,350).

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Thursday, 23 October 2014 12:06

Napoléon’s Hat to be Sold at Auction in France

A bicorne that belonged to Napoléon I will be the star lot at a two-day auction of Napoleon memorabilia from the collection of the Prince’s Palace of Monaco.

The black felt hat with two horizontal points has become emblematic of the French emperor and is “believed to have been worn during his stay on the Island of Elba,” according to the auction house Osenat. The hat first came from Joseph Giraud, vet to the Imperial Household, and it carries an estimate of €300,000‑400,000. Napoleon is known to have owned numerous hats, some of which can now be found in museums around the world, and he wore them with the brim aligned to his shoulders to differentiate himself from his officers.

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The Prince’s Palace of Monaco will auction the contents of its museum dedicated to Napoleon this November in what experts describe as the “sale of the century” for fans of the period.

French auction house Osenat confirmed reports on Thursday that the palace’s museum would hold the auction on November 15 and 16 in Fontainebleu, near Paris.

The collection, consisting of nearly 1,000 items including manuscripts, weapons and paintings, was mostly put together in the early 20th century by prince Louis II of Monaco.

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