My Favourite Stock Item
Invest in history for your future
I would like to deviate from writing about rare stamps this week.
Apart from my stamp collection, I also have an extensive collection of historical documents and rare signatures. Items in the collection are displayed around my home. I guess you could say I love being surrounded by history.
The fascinating piece of history I would like to share with you today is my favourite item currently available for sale on www.paulfrasercollectibles.com.
When I held this item in my hands recently, I felt a great wave of sadness… It was a stark reminder to me of how barbaric humanity’s history is. How unjust and unfair the World has always been…
You see, this person suffered a great injustice of her time, resulting in her untimely and barbaric death. She was only 37 years old.
Marie Antoinette (November 2, 1755 – October 16 1793)
Beauty personified and gracious to the end. Despite an unfair conviction of treason, the Queen of France Marie Antoinette’s final words before being executed by the guillotine were spoken to the executioner after she stepped on his foot:
“Monsieur, I beg your pardon.”
Marie Antoinette was the Queen of France during the French Revolution. She was also the last Queen of France. She was widely disliked because of her Austrian ancestry and because of her perceived opulence and decadence at a time when much of France faced starvation.
One of the most misrepresented figures of history?
The injustice of history – not only did Marie Antoinette suffer barbarically but would widely be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
She lived and died in a tumultuous period in French history and it was inevitable that documentation of her lifestyle would be mis-portrayed.
Marie Antoinette was perhaps best known for her reputed lifestyle of extravagance and excess. Such stories were fed by those that despised her and it seems clear were at best over-stated and at worst complete lies.
The most famous quote Marie Antoinette is renowned for is:
“If they have no bread, then let them eat cake!”
There is no evidence that Marie Antoinette ever uttered those words. Think of the press today and how misrepresented the truth is when it comes to the lifestyles of celebrities. It seems documentation on the lifestyles of celebrities in the 1700s was just as inaccurate.
It is widely believed that Marie Antoinette lived a life of extravagance whilst the people of France starved. Historical evidence suggests otherwise…
She received little credit for reducing the overall household staff, eliminating many unnecessary positions based solely on privilege. Naturally, this offended the nobles, giving them due cause to spread scandalous stories about the Queen.
A Victim of her time
What we must remember is that Marie Antoinette was around at a difficult time. The French Revolution saw a change in political and social ideologies. As is so often the case in history, vicious self-serving men were in control and Marie Antoinette was merely a victim in their power struggles.
On May 16, 1770 Marie Antoinette was married to Louis XVII in the palace of Versailles – she was only 14 years old. It gives me some relief that the consummation of the marriage did not take place until seven years later.
It seems clear that Marie Antoinette suffered at the hands of her captors in her final days…
The jailors killed her best friend, the Princess de Lambelle. They put her severed head on a pike and paraded it in front of the Queen.
They took her children from her. Marie Antoinette was a doting Mother and this gave her the ultimate pain. Her son Louis XVII was abused by the family’s jailers and later died. Of her three children, only her firstborn daughter survived this difficult time.
Marie Antoinette summed up her own plight the best:
“I was a queen, and you took away my crown; a wife and you killed my husband; a mother, and you deprived me of my children. My blood alone remains; take it, but do not make me suffer long.”
Whatever version of history you believe there can be no doubt that Marie Antoinette was one of the most thought provoking and intriguing figures of history.
We should pause to reflect on her fate and remember her beauty.
The character of Marie Antoinette has appeared in many movies. The most recent film released in 2006 starred Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette.
A High Quality Item
What I have for you today is much better than a movie. The “real” Marie Antoinette touched this in 1786, in her prime, aged 31. Little did she know then what was to come. Just two and a half years later saw the start of the French Revolution.
Think about it… This manuscript, signed by Marie Antoinette, is 232 years old.
Now consider how rare would something like this be? Imagine something that old still in fine condition – a beauty to behold, just like Marie Antoinette herself.
Ironically, the document refers to Marie Antoinette spending money instructing her treasurer to issue a 500 livres pay order for reimbursement for food.
“Payez, Marie Antoinette,” she writes.
That’s worth around £2,500 ($3,500) in today’s money.
The document was crafted in Versailles in the lavish royal palace, an emblem of inequality. It adds to the power of this piece.
The document also bears the signature of Marie Antoinette’s secretary, Nicolas-Joseph Beaugeard.
In 1793, Beaugeard attempted to rescue Louis XVI – Marie Antoinette’s husband – from execution. He failed valiantly, but lived to tell the tale.
The document is large, measuring 9.5 x 14.25 inches and on high quality paper.
Now obviously, we only have one of these so if, like me, you find this piece truly fascinating and inspirational you will need to be quick off the mark to secure it before someone else does.
Signatures of Marie Antoinette are extremely rare. If you don’t believe me, find me one for sale somewhere else!
It deserves a better home than our vault
Marie Antoinette deserves a better place in history. Despite her misfortune, she remained courageous, serene and upheld her dignity to the end.
At a price of only £9,995 ($13,306), I consider this piece to be incredible value for its age, condition, rarity and overall appeal. I have seen other signed documents of Marie Antoinette sell at auction in the US for over $18,000.
To secure this fantastic piece of history, email email@example.com today.
Alternatively, you can call us on +44(0)1534 639998.
Tuck this away or, like me, display it at home. In my opinion, it can only appreciate in value.
CEO, Just Collecting
PS. My wife helped me with the research for this newsletter. It may end up costing me as she has asked me to buy it for her if no one else wants it…#
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