Lot 590: ALS in Italian, signed "Gia. Puccini," one page, 8.25 x 11, G. Ridordi & Co. letterhead, no date but circa late 1890s. Letter to an associate of French politician Georges Leygues, who later served as the nation's prime minister. In part (translated): "I am taking the liberty of sending you a copy of Boheme dedicated to Mrs. Faure. Would you be so kind as to give it to Madam President through the good graces of His Excellency Leygues? Please forgive me for bothering you; but, as I know your kindness, I thought you might help me." Nicely double-matted and framed with a portrait of Puccini to an overall size of 20.5 x 17.5. In fine condition, with central vertical and horizontal folds and uniform toning.Leygues headed the Ministry of Public Instruction and Fine Arts for six years between 1894 and 1902 and had countless friends in artistic circles. Puccini was probably familiar with him through these connections, and there exists a copy of La Boheme inscribed to Mrs. Leygues from January 1899. Based on a story by French writer Henri Murger set in 1840s Paris, La Boheme was Puccini's first major success and arguably his greatest work. After its 1896 debut in Turin, the piece was quickly adopted into the international repertory; the Opera-Comique presented the French premiere in June 1898, and G. Ricordi published the first French edition of the score in Paris during the same year. A wonderful letter associating Puccini's magnum opus with the highest powers of French government.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 467
Wednesday, 13th January 2016
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