Napoleon is often known as the shrewd and ambitious French political leader, but he clearly had a tender and romantic side to him. A ring given by a young Napoleon -- 18 years old to be precise – went under the hammer in Fontainebleau, France, on March 26 and was sold for $39,000.
The base price of the ring was about $13, 300.
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The teenager is said to have gifted the gold and ivory ring to Caroline du Colombier, who he was courting at the time. Caroline, then 26 years old, and Napoleon are said to have met when he was stationed with the French Army in Valence and visited her family's estate.
The couple reportedly often went for long romantic walks and picked cherries and the ring emulates those memories. The ivory in the ring is carved and features people harvesting cherries, reported Antiques Trade Gazette. While Napoleon seemed pretty smitten by Caroline to present her with the ring, the French Revolution put the brakes on their love story.
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Napoleon then married Josephine and went on to become the Emperor of France. However, the ring remained in Caroline's family and has now been bought by the Association Bonaparte à Valence.
"This is a ring given by a young Napoleon Bonaparte to Caroline du Colombier, with whom he was romantically involved. The fascinating story is where the value of the ring comes from, it's all about the history," Mirror UK quoted Jean-Pierre Osenat, president of French auction house Osenat.
"Their brief involvement was obviously quite special as he demonstrated by the scene on the ring. The ring has come to auction from a direct descendant of du Colombier, which is very important. It has been passed down through generations and generations," he added.
Meanwhile, take a look at a letter written in code by Napoleon during his Russian military campaign.