Dreyfus Affair letter auction in Paris may not go ahead

The grandson of Alfred Dreyfus, the French Jewish army captain that was famously wrongly accused of treason in the late 1800s, has urged the consignor of a letter relating to the affair not to sell it.

Dreyfus Affair letter auction Sothebys
The letter may never have reached the Minister of the Interior, with Dreyfus' desperate pleas falling on deaf ears

The letter is due to appear at a Sotheby's auction in Paris on May 29 with a $131,000-196,500 estimate. Signed by Alfred Dreyfus, it sees the imprisoned man pleading with the minister of the interior for his freedom, although it would never reach him.

Dreyfus was jailed for treason in 1894, having been accused of handing secret documents over to the Germans. However, the accusations were clearly false and the subject divided France for some years, raising questions over social identity, race and the justice system.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a superb selection of signed letters for sale, with examples from some of history's most important figures.

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