Napoléon’s marriage to his first wife was always considered one of the world’s greatest love stories. The legal parchment that sealed the famous union is now up for sale to the highest bidder.
The marriage certificate that endorsed the union of Napoléon and his first wife Josephine is to be sold at auction in September. The document, dated March 8, 1796, was signed by the future Napoléon I and his fiancée Marie Josephe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie, or Josephine, the Viscomtesse de Beauharnais.
The wedding took place the next day, and the contract was registered in Paris on March 18. The word “contract” is quite important in the context since the wordings in the marriage certificate are quite practical. Despite history attesting their passionate love affair on multiple occasions, the document clearly proves that the star-crossed lovers also possessed a very clear mind about the marriage and its liabilities.
The marriage certificate of the great Napoléon clearly states that the pair will “in no way be responsible for the debts and mortgages of the other” and that there will be “no common property” between them. The legal parchment goes on to mention other conditions of the marriage and even outlines the duties of the husband (Napoléon) to his wife (Josephine) and vice-versa. What history doesn’t highlight is the fact that the marriage was proclaimed to be one of the greatest love stories was annulled after 14 years in 1810. The reason: Napoléon and his wife Josephine couldn’t conceive, reported The Local.
Alongside the historic document, a number of other manuscripts and items from the era will also be auctioned. However, apart from the marriage license, there are two other documents that will be fiercely fought over. These two documents are about Napoléon Bonaparte’s arrest in 1794.
The marriage license alone is expected to fetch up to 100,000 euros ($135,000). The auction will be privately held in a suburb west of Paris on September 21 and is being conducted by Maison Osenat.
Napoléon’s love affair with Josephine became famous probably due to the numerous love letters that the former wrote to the latter. At a previous auction in 2007, a love letter to Josephine, written before they were married, sold for more than five times the pre-sale estimate, reported NZ Herald. In the letter Napoléon had written, “I send you three kisses – one on your heart, one on your mouth, and one on your eyes.”
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