Napoleon’s sword auction: ‘These are Da Vinci’s weapons’

Napoleon's sword auction: 'These are Da Vinci's weapons'

Experts have also called him “Leonardo da Vinci’s guns”: maker of Napoleon Bonaparte’s guns. Starting today, all, the so-called decorations, will be sold at a Rock Island auction in the US state of Illinois.

It concerns a sword and five other weapons made by Napoleon’s personal gunsmith: the French Nicolas Noel Petit. “Boutet was the best in the field at the time,” says arms expert Richard Hesink. From the auction house Hessink in Radio NOS 1 News“You have to see decorations as a status symbol. Now they have a Rolex, then they have weapons as status symbols. The more beautiful and valuable the decoration, the higher your status.”


According to the auctioneer and arms expert, the guns were collected by the French when Napoleon took office. Later, Napoleon in turn donated the weapons to a general who gave them to a woman who later used them to pay off debts. After that, the group ended up in England and later in the United States in the private property of someone who had recently passed away.

According to Hesink, the value is estimated between 1.5 and 3.5 million dollars. “But I wouldn’t be surprised if it hits $3.5 million to $4.5 million.” A set like this is not often auctioned. “These weapons are very famous and very precious.”

In the past, these types of rare valuables were often bought by museums. But now, according to Hessink, it is more likely to fall into private hands. “Museums are going through hard times in this crazy time. You have to see it as an investment. Money doesn’t make anything in the bank, so what do you do with it?”

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Moreover, this combination also grants the status of a new owner.

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