NYC media mogul buys rare Napoleon hat for $1.4 million

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NYC media mogul buys rare Napoleon hat for $1.4 million

This ‘Napoleon’ is looking dynamite in his new $1.4 million hat.

Gotham media mogul Bryan Goldberg added a heady new asset to his empire — Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s rare two-cornered hat — which he plans to wear around town.

“I don’t know if I am going to have a coronation party but I will definitely have friends over when I put on the hat, but no one else is allowed to wear it. Only I am allowed to wear the hat,” Goldberg told The Post.

“I will wear the hat in select red carpet situations and I intend to wear the hat at my wedding. I’ll know I have found the right wife when she lets me wear this hat at our wedding day,” he said.

Goldberg — whose company BDG owns Bustle, Elite Daily, Gawker and other websites — purchased the hat, also called a bicorne, in September from Sotheby’s in Paris for $1.4 million. It was slightly more than what he paid for Gawker in 2018.

Shipping and handling tacked on an extra $10,000.

“It was incredibly inexpensive compared to a lot of other collectables that people are buying at auction in the modern day,” said Goldberg, 38, insisting he got a bargain.

“It’s 100th the price of an expensive modern art painting. Frankly I can’t believe the price I got it at.”

After lengthy delays prompted by the global supply-chain crisis, the chapeau arrived safely in the United States earlier this month and is now being securely stored at an undisclosed location in Delaware.

Napoleon hat
The hat sold for $1.4 million.
Sotheby’s

The size 58 cm black felt and beaver fur bicorne embellished with a revolutionary cockade was a longtime trademark of the French emperor and Goldberg’s is one of only 19 such authenticated hats in existence.

When not atop his head, the hat will be kept in a museum, to preserve it for the next generation of francophiles.

“I greatly admire Napoleon and I want the next generation of young people to appreciate all the great things he did for the world.”

Napoleon wore the bicorne during many of his most triumphant campaigns of 1806 and 1807, including the battles of Jena–Auerstedt, Friedland, and Eylau. It kept his head warm during his meeting with Russia’s Tsar Alexander I when they met to sign the Treaty of Tilsit.

Napoleon
Goldberg wants “the next generation of young people to appreciate all the great things he did for the world.”
De Agostini via Getty Images

The hat was ultimately acquired by Sir Michael Shaw-Stewart, a Scottish aristocrat, in 1814. It then spent 200 years out of sight at their family castle before being sold by Christie’s in 2015 for $530,000.

Goldberg, who stands 5 feet, 9 inches — three inches taller than Napoleon — also collects watches and rare whisky, including multiple bottles of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon valued at at least $5,000 a piece.

He has long been a Napoleon aficionado, and credits the monarch for “creating the modern world.” When an assistant photoshopped him into Jacques-Louis David’s iconic painting, “Napoleon Crossing the Alps,” he promptly posted it to Instagram.

Bryan Goldberg
Goldberg was quick to post a mock-up with his head on Napoleon’s shoulders.
Instagram

Goldberg first made his name as a co-founder of the sports website Bleacher Report. The company was sold to Turner Broadcasting for around $200 million. Today BDG gobbles up weak or decrepit websites much as Napoleon snapped up nations centuries ago.

There are, however, no plans to expand to his military collection further.

“There is no need for any uniforms or swords or medals. The hat is all I need,” he said.

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