Collection of Napoleon's historic guns, sword from 1700s up for auction: 'Finest arms ever created'

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A collection of historic weapons that reportedly once belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte will be put up for auction.

The Rock Island Auction Company will be putting the six-piece garniture up for sale, which includes five "elaborately engraved" firearms and one gilt dress sword.

Collectors can expect to see the decorative weapons showcased at the Illinois auction house’s Fine, Historic & Investment Grade Firearms premier auction on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. The items will be auctioned off as a set the same day, according to Rock Island’s updated catalog.

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A collection of historic weapons that reportedly once belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte will be put up for auction by the Rock Island Auction Company. (Courtesy of Rock Island Auction Company)

Bids are currently being accepted via phone. Sealed bids are also being accepted online, where collectors can also add the garniture to their wish list or subscribe to text alerts.

"This collection of carriage pistols, a rifled carbine, pocket pistols, and a distinctive sword and scabbard is undoubtedly the most extraordinary garniture of some of the finest arms ever created by the Versailles Manufactory," said Kevin Hogan, who is the president of the Rock Island Auction Company.

Military history buffs might recognize Bonaparte’s gilt dress sword as the blade he was presented in 1797 by the French Directory – the five-member governing committee that took over in 1795 during the turbulent French Revolution (May 5, 1789 to Nov. 9, 1799).

COPY OF NAPOLEON'S WILL SOLD FOR $483G 

The six-piece garniture includes five ‘elaborately engraved’ firearms and one gilt dress sword that were likely used by Napoleon Bonaparte in the late 1700s and early 1800s, according to the Rock Island Auction Company. (Courtesy of Rock Island Auction Company)

Bonaparte reportedly donned the collection’s sword and scabbard in 1799 when he arrived in Paris and drove out the Directory’s Council of Five Hundred legislative body from Saint-Cloud, an affluent commune in western France.

Three years later, Bonaparte became the first council of France. He then crowned himself emperor in 1804 at age 35.

Bonaparte reportedly used the collection of firearms throughout the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, according to the Rock Island Auction Company. French gunsmith Nicolas-Noël Boutet manufactured the shooters from the Versailles Manufactory.

Napoleon Bonaparte reportedly donned the collection’s sword and scabbard in 1799 when he arrived in Paris and drove out the Directory’s Council of Five Hundred legislative body from Saint-Cloud. (Courtesy of Rock Island Auction Company)

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The guns were put on display in London during an 1816 weapons exhibition at the Oplotheca. Documents from the exhibition are serving as provenance for the auction along with written descriptions of the firearms, sword and scabbard – all of which are meant to support Bonaparte’s reported ownership.

"The Napoleon Garniture’s pre-auction estimate is between $1.5 million and $3.5 million," Hogan told FOX Business.

The guns were put on display in London during an 1816 weapons exhibition at the Oplotheca. Documents from the exhibition are serving as provenance for the auction. (Courtesy of Rock Island Auction Company)

The likely multimillion-dollar auction is taking place seven months after the 200th anniversary of Bonaparte’s death, which hit its two-century milestone on May 5, 2021. 

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Bonaparte died at the age of 51.

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