In the letter Napoleon asks the Duc how much gunpowder he has sent to various places, including the French Garrisons of Stettin, Cüstrin and Magdeburg 'for the purpose of completing supplies for these places'.
Napoleon signs off with a typically bold signature.
The three cities are within Prussia. Prussia had been subdued by French forces in 1806, but the Prussians were heartened by Napoleon's exit from Russia during the 1812-13 winter.
At the time the letter was written, Frederick III of Prussia had exited French controlled Berlin for Breslau to use it to re-launch Prussian war against the French.
He signed an alliance with Russia at nearby Kalisz on 28th February and during March made famous speeches to the citizens in Breslau: 'To my people; To my army'.
Breslau is to the south of Stettin and Cüstrin with all three lying on or near the River Oder, with Magdeburg to the west of Cüstrin. Napoleon's letter reflects his concerns that Prussian forces are about to rise up against the French garrisons.
The Duc was Henri-Jacques-Guillauem Clarke, a French Politician of Irish decent. He had originally entered the French army in 1782, and with the outbreak of the French Revolution, served in the early Revolutionary Wars where he was promoted to General de Brigade.
He was then sent to Italy to serve as Napoleon's chief topographical officer.
Napoleon later appointed him Governor of Vienna, and during the War against Prussia in 1806 he served as Governor of Berlin.
Finally in 1809 he was appointed Duc de Feltre in thanks for his role in thwarting the British Invasion on Walcheren.
The Duc's loyalty to Napoleon led him to be Minister of War when Napoleon reclaimed the throne in 1815.
Correspondence of this kind is exceptionally rare, and accompanied by such a fine signature make this a very desirable historical item.
Price: £4,500 ($6,750)
All items are sold with:
- A Certificate of Authenticity
- Free insured delivery
For further information please contact Adrian Roose @ firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +44 (0) 117 933 9503