Lot 225: ALS in Swedish, signed "A. Nobel," two pages on two adjoining sheets, 4.75 x 8, February 6, 1895. Letter to Alarik Liedbeck, Nobel's friend and collaborator. In part (translated): "I experienced not so tiny a shock when some days ago I had the chance to see [the] letter from Sohlman that you were lying in bed ill in Christiania. Although he wrote that you were in full recovery and you had probably already travelled off…You are surely traveling too lightly dressed: even Alarik's health is not made of steel and cannot be cured with ice….I am in great debt to you but we can settle up when we meet. If this year treats us well we can more or less have fun messing about anew, for there is much ongoing and partly planned." In very good condition, with near-complete separation to the central horizontal fold.Alarik Liedbeck was, both personally and professionally, one of the most important figures in Alfred Nobel's life. A childhood friend, fellow chemist, and brilliant explosives engineer, he served as Nobel's most trusted advisor from the inception of his first company, Nitroglycerin AB, in 1864. As business developed and expanded, Liedbeck oversaw the construction of new factories, revolutionizing the field with innovative manufacturing methods and new machinery of his own design—especially effective in reducing the risk in handling explosives. This letter mentions Ragnar Sohlman, Nobel's assistant and executor of his will, which stipulated that the money he left behind be used for prizes in physics, chemistry, peace, physiology or medicine, and literature; in 1900, Sohlman established the Nobel Foundation to handle the distribution of the prizes. Letters from the world-changing chemist are phenomenally rare, and this example—to one of his closest friends, crucial in his own success, and with reference to the Nobel Foundation's founder—is especially remarkable.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 460
Wednesday, 16th September 2015
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