We are the April 18, 1796, a few weeks after the marriage at Paris, the 9th of march, Napoleon and Josephine. At 27 years of age, the young general-in-chief is in the midst of the campaign of Italy. He shows to the world his military genius in organizing major offensives against the coalition forces of Austria. In 18 days, it will beat both armies and win six victories, making retreat the enemy. Even if he smiles, he has no heart in the war.
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“No letter from you, my adorable friend; you have, therefore, occupations well sweet since you happen to forget your husband in the middle of the business and fatigues the most excessive not to think of it, do desire that you (….) I am isolated. You have forgotten me. That’s eight days that I am still riding. More night, more rest, more sleep,” wrote the general napoleon Bonaparte. These statements inflamed, on a double sheet of bluish paper (accompanied by an address autograph with a small seal of red wax), were sold yesterday, at Drouot, with Me Ader, for 221,000 euros, the double of the estimated amount of any reasonable 100.000 to 120.000 euros.
a Few numbers further on in the catalog, another letter, dated may 17, 1796, has also found a taker at 169.000 euros. The victorious general of the Italian campaign just to make a triumphal entry into Milan, but he still looks forward to his young wife. “I’m out for two days to Milan, where I was received as it is difficult to think. A people in a drunk came to our meeting and led us in triumph. I am writing to the housing of the archduke of Milan, it is a superb palace. This city is beautiful, but you’re not. You’re sick, it forbids me any pleasure.”
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A third letter, the later of 21 July 1804, is a party to by 123,000 euros, in the upper range of the estimate. Napoleon tells the story with romance a storm at Boulogne, where the fleet was in peril, with 29 missing sailors. “Madame and dear wife. Since 4 days I’m away from you I’ve always been a horse and movements without that it took a not on my show, can we read. Mr. MARET I was instructed of the project, or were you of from lundy. Traveling on a small day you will have the time to reach the water without straining. The wind has a lot fraichie this night one of our canonières which were in the harbour has hunted and is engaged on the rocks at a league from Boulogne. I had raw lost corp and well. But we managed to save everything”.
Full of other letters and memorabilia, such as a lock of hair or a piece of ribbon of the order of the Legion of Honour that belonged to Napoleon (1820 euros), were also selling in this sale river, the umpteenth chapter of collections Artistophil that animated Drouot for months.
The sprawling “case Aristophil” is the subject of criminal and civil proceedings still in progress. Some 18,000 investors, which Aristophil had proposed to invest in prestigious manuscripts, rely on these auctions to be, at least partially, compensated. The manuscripts in which they had placed their savings have proven to be widely overpaid compared to the market price, and some were ruined.
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But these new prices for love letters of Napoleon are nothing to the eyes of the auctions in the past. At the time of sale inaugural collections Aristophil, December 20, 2017, a letter of 30 march 1796 was sold for 280.000 euros. In November 1997, the most famous of which was sold 650.000 francs, in Me Briest, Drouot. His words still echo in our memories: “I have not spent a day without loving you, I have not spent a night without you shake between my arms, I have not taken a cup of tea without cursing the glory and ambition that keep me away from the soul of my life. In the midst of affairs, at the head of the troops, in going through the camps, my adorable Josephine is the only one in my heart, occupies my mind, absorbing my thoughts. If I move away from you with the speed of the torrent of the Rhone, it is to see you again more quickly. If, in the middle of the night I get up for work is that it can take a few days for the arrival of my sweet friend.”
Napoleon will still be honored this weekend at Me Osenat with two days of sales on the Empire. Highlight of the operation: a throne that belonged to Napoleon. He would have left Spain with his brother, to the fall of the Empire. Direction To San Francisco. Given the rarity of this kind of trophy, it arouses jealousy. Those who do have one, as Bruno Ledoux, businessman, shareholder in the world who has recently published a large book on its collection, said before the cameras “as it was a copy, without the shadow of a doubt”. He has one that he paid a very high price, far above one million euros.
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All are not of his opinion. To start with the seller who has acquired for a pittance this throne, is 6000 euros in April 2018, at Christie’s, New York, to deliver it to the auction, which is admittedly a little fast, this Sunday, for Me Oseant at Fontainebleau. It is now estimated at around 60,000 euros, a very low price that has sparked controversy about its authenticity. The war of the thrones agitate the spirits. Verdict of the market, in 48 hours.