Autographs, Historic Documents, Vintage Photographs, Fine Art




HONORE GABRIEL RIQUETI, COUNT OF MIRABEAU HANDWRITTEN LETTER SIGNED,"Mirabeau", by the voice of the French Revolution, in French, 1p, 7.5 x 4.5, [1780], with period translation BY VOICE OF FRENCH REVOLUTION. In full: "M. de R. offers me an opportunity. I return you one of the letters from Sophie (the last), the first is not finished. I would rather write 50 pages than copy eleven of it and I am ill, but I count upon the indulgence of the good angel whom I embrace tenderly...Monday 27, 7bre." Darkly penned and signed the year he was released from imprisonment. The very light docket at right border indicates year as 1780. Moderate general toning; nicks and tears at top corners with sonme paper loss affecting a couple works of text; most of was seal intact. Mirabeau's love affairs are well known. Sophie was Marie Therese de Monnier, the young wife of an older colonel in the Cavalry to which he was attached. They ran away together. The ensuing scandal and charges of seduction and abduction resulted in his imprisonment in a Castle in Vincennes in 1777 for a period of three years. During this imprisonment he wrote his well known Letters to Sophie, and several other books, including his first worthy political production, Lettres de Cachet. Many of his letters to her were published in 1793 and are mentioned in the son's letter described below.

Included also is a handwritten note signed in French by his son, Lucus Montigny, 1p, 5.25 x 8.5, Jan 8, 1847, In full: "I have affixed to this letter a print of the symbolical seal which Mirabeau describes in a letter to Sophie, of the 1st Xre 1778 (see vol. 2 page 418 of the collection of letters, written from the dungeon of Vincennes, original edition of 1792.) Note written by Monsieur Lucas Montigny natural son of Mirabeau, Jan 8th, 1847." Darkly penned. Light to severe toning affects last portion of letter, though legible. 

Also included is a vintage engraved portrait of Mirabeau and an engraving of the famous painting by Etienne-Lucien Melingue titled "The Third Estate Takes Refuge In The Tennis Court", in which Mirabeau was leader and director of the group that forced the king to recognize them as the representatives of the nation.                                                                                                                                                                                              

Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, Count of Mirabeau (1749 –1791) was a leader of the early stages of the French Revolution. A noble, he was involved in numerous scandals before the start of the Revolution in 1789 that had left his reputation in ruins. Nonetheless, he rose to the top of the French political hierarchy in the years 1789–1791 and acquired the reputation of a voice of the people. A successful orator, he was the leader of the moderate position among revolutionaries by favoring a constitutional monarchy built on the model of Great Britain. When he died (of natural causes) he was a great national hero, even though support for his moderate position was slipping away. The later discovery that he was in the pay of King Louis XVI and the Austrian enemies of France beginning in 1790 caused his posthumous disgrace. Historians are deeply split on whether he was a great leader who almost saved the nation from the Terror, a venal demagogue lacking political or moral values, or a traitor in the pay of the enemy.

$2100  #10995