News : The marriage contract of Napoléon Bonaparte and Joséphine de Beauharnais

Last week the Second Imperial Jubilee was celebrated. To this effect several historical documents and objects from the era of imperial France were put on auction.

Among these objects were letters written by the Emperor during the Russian campaign, a letter from the famous painter David concerning the painting ” the Coronation of Napoleon ” and the marriage contract between General Bonaparte and Joséphine de Beauharnais. Signed on the 8th of March 1796 ( 8 years before Napoléon became Emperor of the French ), the document was estimated to be worth around 80,000 and 100,000 euros, however after a biding battle between several interested buyers, the document was sold yesterday for 437,500€.  The winner of this auction is a private Parisian museum specialized in this type of document. Only two exemples of the marriage contract exist, the one that was sold yesterday which belonged to Joséphine and the other remains in the hands of the National Archives since it was written  in 1796.

The contract was from far the most awaited document of the auction. Thankfully, it has been bought by a museum which will protect the document and maybe expose it to visitors. The love and marriage between the General Buonaparte ( as it is written in the contract ) and Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher ( – de La Pagerie – this last part of her name was willingly not written on the contract since de La Pagerie was the name of the lordship her father held before the revolution ), widow of Alexandre de Beauharnais, remains an important, interesting and popular part of the Napoleonic saga.