STOCKHOLMIA 2019 Private Treaty Sale

Lot 35

France, 1739-1810, Autograph Letters from the Duchy of Lorraine and France, housed in an oversized sheet file book, 19 letters all in virtually pristine condition. The first and oldest is dated 19 December 1739, addressed to unknown gentlemen from Prince Charles of Lorraine. At the time, Lorraine was an autonomous Duchy within the Holy Roman Empire, and Charles (1712-80) served as an Austrian general, becoming field marshal of the Imperial Army and governor of the Austrian Netherlands.

The remaining 18 letters, dated between 1808 and 1810, are from Charles-François Lebrun (1739-1824), who played a number of important roles in France in its turbulent oscillations between monarchy and republic. Lebrun studied modern languages and law, and during Louis XV's reign served as secretary to the president of parliament, royal censor and crown inspector. Come the Revolution, Lebrun published the Voix du citoyen, later being named to the Estates General where he established many of the Republic's financial laws. Though staunchly against the creation of a new nobility, he served under Napoléon (and his heirs), rising to Arch-Treasurer of the Empire and even gaining the title of Duke of Plaisance. In the literary field, he published translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey and Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, as well as a monograph, Lettres sur les finances.

A lovely compilation for the francophile, and a window into the early years of the French Empire.

Price: $3,000; £2,350; €2,550; 30,000 SEK; HK$23,400.

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