Lot 229: The second wife of Emperor Napoleon I of France (1791-1847). ALS in French, signed "Louise," four pages on two adjoining sheets, 4.25 x 7, August 4 and 23, 1830. Louise writes to William Albert, her son by Count Neippberg. In part (translated): "received your letter…and my tears flowed…reading all of your tenderness and affection for me. Yes William, my present happiness depends only on you and your sister…your mother loves you so…in 4 days it'll be your 11th birthday. It will grieve me much not to be with you and press you to to my heart…the heart of a mother who loves you so…I suffer…had such dizzy spells that the room danced around me…I was visited by Mr. Vrieuz, who was Bombelle's secertary and is now Austrian Minister to Darmstadt. The Hohenzollern Prince is really the greatest dispenser of compliments I know…the family dined together…Uncle Charles' boys came to blows. My brother–in-law really knows how to get the children to behave. He established peace quickly." Mary Louise resumes the letter 15 days later on August 23. In part (translated): "here's a letter I started for you, my dear child. I felt quite ill…I forgot it and my servants put it in a portfolio in Schönbrunn…I wasn't there to celebrate your birthday with you…I'd so love to be present while you're bombarding Algiers—that must be very amusing…I have a new, excellent music teacher, but my head is so weak…I also found a square Salzburg ducat for you…very rare…My little nephew is doing wonderfully and he's so big and plump…Goodbye dear child I embrace you and love you with all my heart." A uniform shade of mild toning, light show-through from writing on opposing sides, and a bit of trivial paper loss to hinge, otherwise fine condition.
Marie Louise's son William Albert (1819-1895) was an Italian prince—the 1st Prince of Montenuovo—and later Field Marshal Lieutenant of the Austrian Empire. She wrote this letter from the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna where she was staying with her son by Napoleon I, the Duke of Reichstadt. Otherwise known as Napoleon II, he was meant to become Emperor of the French, but was essentially held captive in Austria after the First French Empire collapsed. The "bombarding Algiers" refers to the French invasion of Algiers in 1830, in which the French military employed Napoleon's 1808 contingency plan. Marie Louise also mentions Charles-René, Count of Bombelles, whom she would marry in 1834.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 453
Sunday, 17th May 2015
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