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Top 10 Most Expensive Hats of All Time

Top 10 Most Expensive Hats of All Time

Hats are some of the most common fashion accessories, and they come in a litany of styles and materials. But though most hats cost between $10 and $100, some cost millions!

The most expensive hat of all time is the Chapeau d’Amour, a one-of-a-kind fashion accessory made of platinum and decorated with diamonds. This hat was commissioned by Harrods and created by Louis Mariette, a milliner (hat maker) famous for designing some of the world’s most extravagant hats.

If you’d like to spice up your wardrobe with a high-priced hat, you might find your next favorite headpiece in this ranking!

Here Are the Top 10 Most Expensive Hats of All Time:

  1. Chapeau d’Amour – $2.7 million
  2. Napoleon’s Bicorne Hat – $2.4 million
  3. À La Française Hat – $1.43 million
  4. Andy Warhol’s Money Hat – Up to $1.2 million
  5. Lady Gaga’s “Joanne” – $1 million
  6. Babe Ruth’s “Bustin’ Babes” Hat – $350,000
  7. Napoleon’s Simple Bicorne Hat – $243,141
  8. “Deep Blue Sea” Hat – Up to $200,000
  9. Princess Beatrice’s Royal Wedding Hat – $131,279
  10. Early Empire Bicorne Hat – $115,156

10. Early Empire Bicorne Hat – $115,156

photo source: Christie’s

This French bicorne (which means two-pointed) hat was once the property of the Smithsonian Museum, but it was auctioned for $115,156 in 2005. This hat was luxurious for its time, made of beaver felt and featuring a classic red-white-and-blue circular ornament.

It’s rumored to have once been worn by Napoleon Bonaparte, but because this rumor remains unconfirmed, the hat isn’t as valuable as other bicorne hats once owned by the French Emperor.

Why It’s Expensive

Any item that managed to survive the French Revolution has historical significance and is inherently valuable. But the fact that this hat may have belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the most significant historical figures of the last few centuries, makes it even more valuable.

Still, this is just one of several bicorne hats attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte, and it’s far from the priciest.

9. Princess Beatrice’s Royal Wedding Hat – $131,279

photo source: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Weddings are incredibly expensive events, but wedding garments can be just as costly as venue reservations and catering.

This ornate pastel pink hat is about as expensive as a majestic wedding, though it was only a penny in the pot when compared to the total cost of the wedding it was worn to. Worn by Princess Beatrice at the 2011 Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton, this hat nearly stole the show due to its unique design.

But it continued to garner attention after selling for a whopping $131,279 the same year.

Why It’s Expensive

Princess Beatrice is a member of the British Royal Family, and while she might not be as popular among the masses as Prince William or Prince Harry, clothing worn by the Princess is still bound to fetch high prices. What would you pay to own a hat worn by royalty?

8. “Deep Blue Sea” Hat – Up to $200,000

photo source: Bonhams

This towering hat is made of dyed felt, blue feathers, and more than two dozen Australian opals. While you’d likely need a few long hairpins (and a strong neck) to wear this hat, you can bet that you’d be the center of attention!

It’s a dazzling cacophony of multi-color opals and blue hand-made flower adornments. Created in 2007 by Ann Maree Willett, a popular Australian milliner, this hat is valued at up to $200,000.

Why It’s Expensive

The primary reason why this hat is so valuable is that it’s ornamented with dozens of valuable Australian opals, all of which were mined from the infamous Lightning Ridge opal mines in Melbourne, Australia.

7. Napoleon’s Simple Bicorne Hat – $243,141

photo source: Bonhams

This simple black felt hat might not look like much, but it’s more than 200 years old! Even more impressively, it’s believed that this hat was once owned and worn by Napoleon Bonaparte.

If historians could confirm this rumor, this hat would likely be worth far more. That said, it’s still sold for a hefty $243,141 at a Bonhams auction in 2021.

Why It’s Expensive

Even though this hat doesn’t have any ornaments like other bicorne hats from the early 1800s, it’s in surprisingly good condition. This quality, combined with the fact that the hat may have belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte, makes it quite pricey.

Still, this isn’t the only high-priced bicorne hat that once belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte. But we’ll touch on this in just a moment.

6. Babe Ruth’s “Bustin’ Babes” Hat – $350,000

photo source: Christie’s

This baseball hat was once worn by Babe Ruth, one of the most recognizable names in baseball history. Featuring two navy blue capital B’s (which stand for Bustin’ Babes), this white cap isn’t in exceptional condition.

But its significance to the history and legacy of American sports is undeniable. Because this hat was owned and worn by Babe Ruth during the height of his career, it sold for $350,000 when it went to auction in 2021.

Why It’s Expensive

Though Babe Ruth has been deceased for more than 70 years, he’s still one of the most well-known legends of baseball. Collectors who specialize in baseball memorabilia would likely do cartwheels if they could add this hat to their collection.

5. Lady Gaga’s “Joanne” Hat – $1 Million

photo source: Getty Images

The 2016 Victoria’s Secret fashion show featured dozens of valuable ensembles and accessories. But one of the priciest on display was a crystal-covered wide-brim black hat owned by Lady Gaga.

The artist wore this hat when taking cover art photos for her album “Joanne,” and it took hundreds of hours to create. Unfortunately, it’s not for sale and likely has a very special place in Lady Gaga’s closet.

Why It’s Expensive

This hat is expensive for three reasons. Firstly, the labor required to create this hat was immense, naturally making it pricier than machine-made hats that only take a few minutes to complete.

Secondly, this hat is covered in more than 45,000 crystals. Like gemstones, the most expensive crystals can sell for millions!

Lastly, this hat belongs to Lady Gaga, one of the biggest celebrities in the world. Any collector who dabbles in celebrity paraphernalia would love to have the chance to bid on this item, and it will likely only increase in value over time.

4. Andy Warhol’s Money Hat – Up to $1.2 Million

photo source: liveauctioneers

Andy Warhol is probably best known for his brightly colored or two-tone pop culture paintings, but he also created many other unique pieces, including a lavish money hat.

The Money Hat consists of a simple black straw hat, but its extravagance comes from the dozens of $10 bills attached to the wide brim. Much like the artist, this hat makes a statement!

This one-of-a-kind hat was valued at up to $1.2 million when it went to auction in 2015, but the bids weren’t sufficient enough for this hat to change hands.

So, if you’re looking to own a wearable piece of art history, you might be able to secure this hat for yourself! Of course, you’ll need to be willing to spend big bucks to do so.

Why It’s Expensive

This is one of the few fashion accessories created by Warhol, making it inherently rare and valuable. Of course, the vintage $10 bills also add to the hat’s value, though not by much.

3. À La Française Hat – $1.43 Million

photo source: Sotheby’s

The À La Française hat (meaning French-style) is yet another bicorne hat owned by the French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte. Made of black felt and featuring a red-white-and-blue decorative accent, it’s believed that Napoleon wore this hat during his 1807 campaign in Pologne.

Notably, this hat sold for $595,370 at a Christie’s auction in 2015. However, its value has significantly increased due to careful maintenance and the increasing scarcity of Napoleon’s remaining hats.

As such, it sold for $1.43 million when it found its way to a Sotheby’s auction in 2021.

Why It’s Expensive

Napoleon loved bicorne hats, a popular type of headwear among French military commanders during the early 1800s. But only a few exist today, making each one worthy of any museum.

Because Napoleon’s hats are scarce, those in excellent condition (like this one) are worth a pretty penny.

2. Napoleon’s Bicorn Hat – $2.4 Million

photo source: AFP

Though many of Napoleon Bonaparte’s hats have earned spots on this ranking, only one sold for millions—this black bicorne hat with a red accent piece. It sold for an astounding $2.4 million at an auction in 2014.

Though this hat looks almost identical to Napoleon’s other remaining bicorne hats, it’s in stellar condition and features a period-specific ornament. Additionally, it’s believed that Napoleon wore this hat during the Battle of Marengo, making it even more historically significant.

Napoleon owned and wore more than 100 bicorne hats during his reign as France’s Emperor, but fewer than 20 survived the passage of time.

Why It’s Expensive

This hat sold for millions due to its superb condition and historical significance. It’s also a rare piece, as less than two dozen of Napoleon Bonapart’s iconic bicorne hats exist today.

1. Chapeau d’Amour – $2.7 Million

photo source: Lemontrend

The most expensive hat is the Chapeau d’Amour, a decadent headpiece created by Louis Mariette. It’s challenging to describe this hat, as it’s unlike any other hat in the world.

It is almost boot-like, with sharp angles that soften toward a small, top-hat-like upper piece. But the piece that attaches to the wearer’s head pales in comparison to the accents, which include metal-wrapped branches and tail-like appendages permanently stuck in a whip-like structure.

Why It’s Expensive

This one-of-a-kind hat features long metallic branches that feature diamonds (which are some of the most expensive birthstones). It’s also primarily made of platinum, one of the priciest precious metals. These two qualities are partially responsible for the hat’s multi-million-dollar value.

However, the fact that Louis Mariette, a famous milliner, created this hat also adds to its value. After all, clothing created by internationally-known designers tends to fetch much higher prices than mass-produced garments available at department stores.

Why Are Some Hats So Expensive?

Many people have hat collections, some of which are rare vintage pieces worth hundreds of dollars. But there’s a good chance you haven’t paid millions for a single hat!

Still, some of the costliest hats in the world boast this incredible price tag. But why are some hats so expensive?

Three factors tend to influence a hat’s value:

  • Historical significance
  • Celebrity ownership
  • Pricey materials

Let’s briefly explore these factors to understand why some hats fetch jaw-dropping prices.

Historical Significance

Several of the priciest hats are valuable due to their historical significance. Napoleon’s many bicorne hats are the perfect example of this phenomenon.

Though these hats might not be made of precious materials or feature innovative designs, they’re valuable because they once belonged to a historical figure who (for better or worse) changed the world. Because Napoleon Bonaparte had been deceased for two centuries, the number of remaining items that once belonged to the political figure is limited.

As such, these hats are valuable due to their ties to Napoleon and their scarcity. It’s also crucial to note that garments rarely last more than a few decades, as cloth material deteriorates over time.

Hats that are historically significant and more than a century old are particularly rare and uniquely valuable. However, modern hats can be just as costly, especially if they once sat in the palatial closets of celebrities.

Celebrity Ownership

Items that once belonged to celebrities tend to sell for big bucks, including fashion accessories like hats. That’s because celebrities rarely sell their belongings to the public, so the chance to own an item once belonging to your favorite musician or actress is exceptionally rare.

Several of the costliest hats come from top icons or royal family members, including Lady Gaga’s Million-Dollar hat and the decorative hat Princess Beatrice wore to the 2011 Royal Wedding.

Pricey Materials

Hats made of high-value materials like precious metals and gemstones are inherently more valuable than those made of cotton, wool, or other commonplace fabrics. These materials are comparatively rare, and the supply of precious materials is extremely limited.

Some of the priciest hats in the world (including the Chapeau d’Amour hat) feature exorbitantly luxurious materials.

What’s the Most Expensive Hat of All Time?

The most expensive hat of all time is the Chapeau d’Amour, a platinum hat adorned with diamonds and metallic boughs. This hat was designed and created by Louis Mariette, a British milliner who’s well-known for creating stunning hats and headpieces for the world’s wealthiest and most fashionable buyers.

Though this hat might not be as historically significant as several other high-priced hats, it’s the most expensive due to its valuable materials and exceptional quality. It’s currently valued at $2.7 million.

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