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Lot #162
Alexander II Archive of (5) Handwritten Love Letters

The steamy love letters of Czar Alexander II and his mistress: "I have such a passion for making bingerle.…I need to reimmerse myself in you"

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The steamy love letters of Czar Alexander II and his mistress: "I have such a passion for making bingerle.…I need to reimmerse myself in you"

Remarkable archive of love letters between Emperor Alexander II of Russia and his young mistress, Catherine 'Katia' Dolgorukova, totaling ten handwritten letters (five by Alexander and five by Katia) amounting to over forty pages, circa 1868-1871. Their torrid affair produced a massive, steamy correspondence—they often wrote back and forth multiple times a day, sometimes with commentary on their erotic exploits. They took some lengths to conceal the relationship, never signing their letters and using the code-word 'bingerle' to refer to the act of copulation.

The five handwritten letters from Alexander II total 21 pages, most on both sides of adjoining sheets, 5 x 8, dated from 1868-1869, and are mainly in French, with a few Russian phrases (usually in the Latin alphabet), plus instances of their code-language. The five handwritten letters from Katia total 20 pages, all on adjoining sheets, 5.25 x 8, dated from November-December 1871 (dates written in Alexander's hand).

The five letters by Alexander II:

February 19/March 2-February 20/March 3, 1868, five pages, in part (translated): "I come home imbued like you, dear adored angel, with our good sunshine and we can ask each other the same question: what have we done with each other? 'Cause we're getting crazier about each other every day. Oh! that you made me happy by coming to the garden, where more than two years ago we began to feel attracted to each other, without realizing what we were feeling and without suspecting that we were already in love with each other! As we confessed to ourselves only on July 1 [1866]. And since that day we have given each other the gift of our hearts, which are now one. You did not suspect yourself of the proof of love that you gave me from the first evening and it was only later that I managed to make you understand it and you will remember all the fights that I gave myself up to myself, so as not to act, as I nevertheless ended up doing, so to speak in spite of myself. And now we are also happy about it and have no remorse, because we did it out of love and feel that it has become a sacred bond between us, for our whole life….Oh! my Angel, I have such a passion for making bingerle, since our meetings, that I do not know what to become and I felt that it was getting wet at my sleigh after we parted near the bridge.…I need to reimmerse myself in you.…Oh! thank you for telling me that you feel that it is you alone who connects me to life and that you feel loved with the same passion as you love me….Alas! we'll have to wait until tomorrow night, but also I foresee how angrily we'll rush at each other."

February 20/March 3-February 21/March 4, 1868, four pages, in part (translated): "Oh! my Angel, it would be really mean to you if you still dared to doubt the being who belongs to you body and soul and for whom everything is concentrated in you. You must have seen, in the expression of my eyes, during our meetings earlier, what overflows from this heart which is and will remain your property forever and which breathes only through you….Now I already have the fever of impatience to find myself [at our place] and forget everything, except the happiness of belonging to you body and soul. I have such a rage to be bingerle, that I don't know what to do!…I still feel imbued with our good evening and our delirious bingerles, which made us cum like crazy. I can still see the expression in your lovely eyes and hear the sounds you were making [as I walked inside you]. Despite the fact that you had started out being a little capricious and mean, your heart, i.e. mine, ended up melting under my caresses and my ugly elf became again what it really is, so I only remember the good words of my adored angel and I still hear them ringing in my ears, like during the dear moments when we lay in each other's arms. Oh! that I love our good conversations, which usually follow our bingerles and that's how we would have found each other every night in our bed, if God granted us one day the happiness that we dream of. Tomorrow alas! it will be a very sad day for us, because we will be deprived of the happiness of seeing each other, which has become for us a need of the heart and constitutes our true life. I want you to know that it overflows in me more than ever and that you don't forget that everything is concentrated for me in you."

January 1/13-January 2/14, 1869, four pages, in part (translated): "Just a few words, before going to mass, to tell you, dear angel of my soul, that your adorable letter, completed this morning, has brought me back to life and flooded me with our good sunshine. I love you, feel loved and am happy to belong to you, to you alone, before God forever…Everything is concentrated for me in you, my adorable little wife before God. I felt that our thoughts and prayers were the same during the mass and I hope that God will not abandon us and refuse us His blessing. Coming home full of sunshine, I still had to finish some paperwork and answer a lot of telegrams. and want to go to bed, because I admit that I can't take it anymore. I would like you to be able to get some sleep too and find us both rested tonight…I hope that my adorable little wife will have kept the same good impression of our dear evening as her husband…I want her to know that our bingerles have made her come again to delirium.…I appeared at tea with a devouring appetite, which I had never had for dinner and after having completed some of my paperwork, I have just returned from a sleigh ride past your windows and sighing for not having been able to do it together."

January 23/February 4-January 24/February 5, 1869, four pages, in part (translated): "Your dear letter, finished this morning, reached me at 11 o'clock. and flooded me as always with our good sun. And what can I do, I cannot feel happy when I feel loved, as I adore you and that, having become each other's life, everything is concentrated for us within us. This mutual absorption is our treasure and our support, of which we have every right to be proud, because no couple in this world can appreciate as we do the happiness of belonging before God, as husband and wife….As for what we both feel impregnated with our evening of yesterday, it can no longer surprise us, forming, in all, only one sacred being before God."

January 25/February 6-January 26/February 7, 1869, four pages, in part: "Oh! thank you, thank you, my Angel, for your adorable letter this morning, which flooded me with sunshine and in which I found more than ever the reflection of our hearts.…I hope to meet you at Nevsky, then at the quay and at 3 o'clock at the boulevard. My letter this morning will also have proved to you that your husband felt, like you, imbued with our good times of yesterday and our delirious bingerles, which made us scream and it was under this impression that we came back to the Opera, seeing only us and feeling proud and happy to feel ourselves husband and wife before God forever. All the rest pales and disappears for us, before our sacred worship, which has become our life…Coming back from the French show at midnight, I still had to complete some paperwork…your husband feels completely impregnated with our delicious evening and our bingerles, which made us enjoy again to the point of delirium. Oh! how good it was!…I am sure that my adorable little wife feels the same and that all the details of these dear moments haunt her as I do. I still see you lying in my shirt and then walking around as a Scottish from below and a hussar from above, and dancing the mazurka together, like the madmen that we are."

The five letters by Catherine 'Katia' Dolgorukova:

November 3-4/15-16, 1871, four pages, in part (translated): "I feel very sad not to see you all day…I can no longer live away from you, it is a need of my existence to find myself in your arms, my delirious angel, my only consolation.…I love you madly, you are my adored husband who forms my happiness, so nothing can be compared to the feeling of adoring each other like us and enjoying the delirium of belonging only to one other before God and our conscience forever, which lifts us up in our own eyes and also sustains us…I understand that you are haunted by our good times spent together, oh! that I love to caress you because you are so appetizing and delirious…I feel that we are more madly in love than ever with each other and that it overflows terribly."

November 4-5/16-17, 1871, four pages, in part (translated): "I have had pain in my lower abdomen since that night [Katia is pregnant for the first time], it annoys me terribly. Your good letter that I have just received has filled me with sunshine and is the reflection of this heart which lives only through you, my adored angel, my life, my one and only consolation. I love you madly and am happy to adore you and tell me that you belong to me alone before God and your conscience forever, which lifts us up in our own eyes and supports us in everything, too it must be admitted that nothing can be compared to the happiness of having a sacred treasure in oneself and being one in body, soul and heart….we can no longer live without thinking of each other, this absorption is a real happiness that we are the only ones to know. I also feel that we feel the same impatience to find ourselves together in our dear nest and it overflows in us more than ever."

November 17-18/29-30, 1871, four pages, in part (translated): "I knew very well that our good day yesterday would leave us with the same delicious impression, and I adore like you to rest and enjoy ourselves like the madmen that we are. I am happy for you with my appetite which certainly can only do me good in my condition [she is pregnant]. Forgive me for crying yesterday, but what do you want it's because I love you and I'm thinking of you, that I wouldn't want to die knowing how much the feeling of seeing myself suddenly so to speak immersed forever in an abyss of sadness and all that is sadder in the world and to think that our life is gone with the loved one, is awful and can drive us crazy. But what at least is consoling is the persuasion that I would have carried away, that you will love no one and that you will keep yourself for me, and that nothing would make you forget the duties you would fulfill during my life. You are not capable of consoling yourself after my death and your conscience will never allow you to deceive me after my death, but on the contrary you will be doubly inclined to behave irreproachably and in no way to break our sacred bonds. But I don't want to die oh! my God bless my diapers and keep us for each other."

November 27-28-December 9-10, 1871, four pages, in part (translated): "Your good letter did me good as always and is the reflection of your heart which is so happy to love you and belongs only to you also I understand that you enjoy the feeling of belonging entirely to me for 5 years and having nothing in common with the rest of the universe, it is our treasure before which everything pales and disappears….I felt that you would think of me during the ceremony where 2 years ago we were only concerned about our presence, and you were so beautiful too. I felt proud of my husband who is happy to belong only to me. I love you madly…Our meeting at the boulevard was a good ray of sunshine for me, as well as at the quay and at the perspective, you are so beautiful and appetizing that there is enough to lose your head as it has been the case with me for 6 years and I'm happy about it. I'm glad we came terribly, this delight has no name, so we're the only ones to understand this enjoyment to which nothing can be compared…Our good evening left a delirious impression on me, I only live in your arms and by your presence, I like to read together and have tea, in a word, I adore you and I breathe only through you, dear adored husband, my everything."

November 30-December 1/December 12-13, 1871, four pages, in part (translated): ""I admit that your letter gave me great pain because I had thought that the end of our evening yesterday made you forget my sulks, but I see that it is the opposite, which is very silly and I believe insignificant. There is nothing to highlight the 4 weeks that we spend together without sulking, it is very different for me to know you are free and to see you longer, than the existence that I lead when we arrive, in as soon as we arrive, all the trouble begins, nothing but comedies and readings are made to enrage us; and you, instead of understanding it, you seem to be exaggerating in everything. Believe me that without that already I don't feel happy, but on the contrary more discouraged than ever, and instead of consoling me you irritate me….I love you however and will not stop adoring you because our love has become our life….Oh! my God what I would have given to spend my life with you and never leave you dear adored husband, my happiness, my everything….I want my adored husband to know that I have retained only the good impression of our hour before dinner; and have enjoyed until the delight. It was so good that I want to scream, so I feel all impregnated and love you more than I can tell you. Forgive me for having sulked, I will try to correct myself and take it upon myself, but I beg you not to annoy me and think of me when you do things I don't like. You are an angel so I am crazier than ever for you and happy to adore you….Sometimes while lying down I felt for the first time the movement of the dear being who is in me [their son Georges, who will be born in 1872], it gave me such blows that the hand which was above went in the air."

Also includes three original candid photographs associated with the imperial family. In overall fine condition. The affair between Alexander II and Katia began in 1866, when she was 18 and he was 47. In 1870, Katia's move to a private apartment in the Winter Palace, above the imperial apartments where Tsarina Marie Alexandrovna resided, caused a huge scandal at the court. In 1872, she gave him a son, Geoirges, followed by two daughters, Olga and Catherine, later in the decade. After the long-suffering Tsarina died in 1880, Alexander made Katia his morganatic wife, conferring upon her the title of Princess Yurievskaya and legitimizing their children. The couple's legitimate life was short-lived, for the Tsar was the victim of a bomb attack on March 13, 1881. Brought back mortally wounded to the palace, he died a few hours later in Katia's arms. Widowed, Princess Yurievskaya went into exile in France, where she died in 1922, taking with her the precious correspondence that the new Tsar Alexander III had attempted to recover so that it could be destroyed.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Animation
  • Dates: #637 - Ended June 15, 2022