Napoleon’s Wedding Certificate Fetches €437,500

Josephine and Napoleon. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits (Museum of Letters and Manuscripts) purchased Napoleon and Josephine’s marriage certificate at auction on Sunday, The Local reported. The four-page document went for a staggering €437,500 ($563,700) or over five times its low estimate of €80,000 (see – “Buy Napoleon and Josephine’s Marriage Certificate“).

The marriage document, which is dated March 8th, 1796 (the day before the actual wedding ceremony), was signed by Napoleon I and Marie Josephe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie, or Josephine, the Vicomtesse de Beauharnais. The certificate states that the couple will, “in no way be responsible for the debts and mortgages of the other,” and that they will have “no common property” between them. The marriage was annulled in 1810, after they were unable to have children. The second original marriage certificate is on display in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Responding to questions about the high price, Gérard Lhéritier, the owner of The Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits, told The Riviera Times:“For unique pieces, there is no budget.” Lhéritier had previously bought the couple’s divorce certificate for the museum, which contains approximately 136,000 documents, including the original manuscript of Marquis de Sade’s notorious “120 Days of Sodom.”

The marriage certificate is expected to go on display at the museum in November.


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