Mark February 4th on your calendar. That's when Auction Company of America starts accepting bids on the Talisman of Napoléon Bonaparte, "an exceptional and exquisite artifact once owned by France's first emperor. The rare talisman, a hallmark of French history, includes a crystal sphinx that is encrusted with 114 royal jewels and a silver base that has been authenticated by leading experts in the field," according to the auction house.
The auction house is pulling out the big guns to promote the "once-in-a-lifetime event," including "world-renowned entertainer" Pat Boone, and golf pros Jack Nicklaus and Nancy Lopez.
"The Talisman of Napoléon Bonaparte is absolutely a unique treasure – and other than the Mona Lisa, I can't think of any true art object more intrinsically and obviously priceless," said Boone in a prepared statement. "Its own unique design identifies itself beyond any question. If there was an iota of a doubt, I wouldn't spotlight it myself."
From the press release:
In 2005, the talisman came into the possession of golf memorabilia collector Randy (G. Randall) Jensen, after he found the antiquity on eBay. Jensen ultimately traded a new set of PING golf clubs for the antiquity, and the artifact's new owner embarked on a six-year mission to uncover the secrets of the alluring object. Jensen poured himself into studying the captivating relic and Napoléon, resulting in countless hours of research and authentication by the world's leading experts in the field.
"I found the [talisman] story fascinating, including the ties it has to golf and golf history," said Jack Nicklaus, golf legend and philanthropist. "Pat [Boone] has committed decades to philanthropy… Barbara and I were honored that he wanted to make a significant donation to the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation, and we look forward to being [at the event]."