Lot 704: ALS in French, one page, 4.5 x 7.5, no date but a docketing notation to the reverse indicates the letter was received at Ferney on August 4, 1764. A terse message to a gentleman, seemingly regarding a misunderstanding. In full (translated): "I have asked for nothing other than an explanation. You have been good enough to give it to me. I thank you for it. I have the honor of being, with all the feelings that you deserve, Sir, your very humble and obedient servant." In very good condition, with central vertical and horizontal folds with small tape-repaired edge separations, mirrored ink from a letter or document no longer present, and slight soiling. Whatever the disagreement may have been, it gave Voltaire the opportunity for displaying his most elegant and ironic contempt, observing all the polite formalities of correspondence, while inserting subtle hints of his disdain. This letter also marks a notable year in Voltaire's career, as it saw the publication of his Dictionnaire Philosophique, one of his best-known philosophical works. Handwritten letters from Voltaire are rarely as neat and clearly signed as in this interesting one-page example.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 458
Wednesday, 12th August 2015
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