The marriage certificate sealing the union between one of history’s favourite lovebirds, Napoléon and Josephine, has been sold at a Paris auction for a massive €437,000, more than four times the asking price.
The document, dated March 8, 1796 and signed by the future Napoléon I and his fiancée Marie Josephe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie, or Josephine de Beauharnais, was scooped up by the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts at an auction held just outside of Paris on Sunday.
The final price included commission and fees.
Maison Osenat, the auction house that sold the certificate on behalf of a private person, had estimated the document would sell for between €80,000 and €100,000.
Although Napoléon and Josephine’s relationship has been recorded in history as one of tenderness and love, the document shows that the star-crossed lovers could also be very practical in their dealings with each other.
The certificate 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 wedding itself took place the day after the signing, on March 9, 1792, and the contract was registered in Paris on March 18.
At a previous auction held in 2007, a love letter from Napoléon to Joséphine sold for more than five times the pre-sale estimate.
In the letter, sold at Christie’s in London, the future French leader had written: “I send you three kisses – one on your heart, one on your mouth and one on your eyes.”
The marriage was annulled in 1810, after the couple failed to have children.