An unexpected surprise has cropped up among the rare stamp lots in Christoph Gartner Philatelic's upcoming November 23 auction.
One of the more highly-valued lots in a sale is a collection of around 200 letters signed by all of the French rulers from Louis XIII to Napoleon III.
Among them are two particularly exceptional letters: the first being a signed letter from Napoleon Bonaparte (bearing his complete signature) while he was General-in-Chief during the Egypt Campaign of 1798, in Cairo.
Bonaparte's letter is written to General Dommartin, Commander of the artillery, and concerns armaments in the conflict.
Many of the signatures, including Napoleon's, have been verified by
Also included among the manuscripts is an autographed letter by Franz II, the last Emperor of Germany.
The correspondence was written in 1890 during the Austrian Campaign war against Napoleon. It is addressed to Franz II's brother, Archduke Joseph, in Budapest.
These and many other documents are contained in seven luxury albums, lovingly gathered by a French collector. The albums also include background information and illustrations of the signers.
According to Christoph Gartner's lot notes, the collector insisted on quality and authenticity of the letters, and had them examined by famous experts in Paris.
Overall, this is a magnificent and singular collection of letters, offering valuable insight into the personalities of France's rulers over a significant period of time.
Rightly billed as a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity, the collection - which is arguably worthy of a museum - is going under the hammer in Germany with a €180,000 estimate.
Online bidding is also available, with bids set to draw to a close on November 23.
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