Lot 197: Mata Hari

RR Auction

2015-10-06 13:04:53

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Lot 197: ALS in Dutch, eight pages on two sets of adjoining sheets, 5.5 x 8.5, Hotel Paulez letterhead, August 8, 1915. To her attorney Mr. E. Eijmans, complaining about problems with the contractor who is working on furnishing her house and the costly delays. In part (translated): "I am enclosing a bill from the carpenter, intended for Mr. Soet, but sent to me…If Mr. Soet does not want to keep his word, I would rather he took everything he brought into the house out again. His extra cost is perhaps 400 guilders, but mine is 4000. I have the receipts from the Hotel Victoria and Hotel Paulez to show him. Such people are dangerous and I did not come here to have lawsuits and have all kinds of trouble…Mr. Soet does not have to worry. His honest and approved bill will be paid if he keeps his word…I reserve the right to sue for damages, and for his insulting me in Wurfbain's office, and for the dirty work with the bill and for the long sojourn in hotels…I shall only move in when I know where I stand with Soet. Please do point out to him how unfair it is to do business this way." Toned tape repairs to an edge tear on the first page and light show-through from writing to opposing sides, otherwise fine condition. Accompanied by a clamshell case. Many accounts date Mata Hari's first illicit interaction with neighbor Karl Cramer, an official of the German consular service in Holland, to around this time in late 1915. She traveled to Paris in December, allegedly at the behest—and with the financial support—of Cramer in order to obtain information from some of the high-ranking French officers there. Already under the watchful eye of the authorities, she was interrogated by the British MI5 as she passed through Britain, but was released and able to continue her travels. An unusually long letter from a turning point in the life of this most intriguing World War I figure. RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 462 Wednesday, 14th October 2015 Estimate: $6000-8000
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