A copy of Napoleon's will is displayed at an auction house in Paris, France, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. On Wednesday, the only known copy of this testament is being sold by Paris' Drouot Auction house. The original is in France's national archives. The copy, written by a close adviser, is expected to fetch 120,000 euros ($162,000). The 51-year-old Napoleon died in 1821 in exile on Saint Helena island, 19 days after penning the will. (AP Photo/Benjamin Girette)
PARIS — The only known copy of the will of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte has sold at auction for 357,000 euros $483,000 — more than twice the expected price.
The French buyer said today he wanted to remain anonymous and planned to keep the will in a private collection. Druout auction house said the price included taxes and fees.
The will — dated April 16, 1821 — offered exceptional insights into Napoleon’s final moments before his death 19 days later. The ailing 51-year-old wrote he wanted his ashes spread over Paris’ Seine River. They were instead transferred to Paris’ Invalides monument nearly two decades later.
The original, penned in Napoleon’s own illegible hand, is in France’s national archives. The copy was written by an adviser and was estimated at 120,000 euros.