The ring was offered in the ‘Empire à Fontainebleau’ sale held in the French town by auction house Osenat.
Bonaparte met Caroline when he was stationed in Valence as a young lieutenant and visited her family’s country estate. The ring that he later presented to Caroline features a tiny carved ivory scene of people harvesting cherries, recalling an earlier memorable visit to pick fruit together one summer morning.
It remained in the family before being consigned to the auction and will now be returning to the southern French city having been acquired by the Association Bonaparte à Valence.
The highest price in the sale on March 26 was the €295,000 (£256,520) paid for a portable writing necessaire made for Napoleon’s brother King Jerôme of Westphalia.
The box, in mahogany veneered in burr elm and mounted in gold and silver-gilt, was made by Martin Guillaume Biennais and was signed to the lock Biennais Orfèvre de Sa Majesté, l’Empereur et Roi.