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Lot #4033
Giacomo Casanova Rare Autograph Letter Signed on European Wars and Politics

Rare handwritten letter by the legendary Casanova, with significant commentary on world affairs

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Estimate: $12000+
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Rare handwritten letter by the legendary Casanova, with significant commentary on world affairs

Italian adventurer (1725-1798) who spent most of his life traveling through Europe meeting the famous men and women of his time; he is probably best known for his 'Memoirs,' which concerned his many love affairs. ALS signed “Casanova,” three pages on two adjoining sheets, 7.5 x 9, July 9, 1790. Expansive handwritten letter to Count Antonio Collalto, in which Casanova reports on conflicts in Europe prompted by early revolutionary fervor, including the quelling of an uprising in Dresden by the Elector of Bavaria, Frederick Augustus III, and the ill-health of the Archduke Francis of Austria. Casanova ponders over the threat of war from Prussia, which might be tempted to intervene in Austria's conflict with Turkey, but which he hopes will be prevented by the indolence of the court and the unwillingness of the King [Friedrich Wilhelm II].

Additionally, he reports a letter from his patron Pietro Zaguri, who tells him that all Constantinople desires peace, in part (translated): "Here there is a rise of villagers, which restrains the government, and...were sent troops to suppress their daring. It is hoped, however, that the general allowance, which the most prudent Serenity electorate has been to hunt down, will calm down everything. It is here that S.A.R. Archduke Francesco suffered a sneer of blood. The ministers who surround Silesia, the king of Prussia, are lazy...He does not want to make war, and if he does not want to do it, he will not. He does not want the war to be feared."

Casanova thanks Collalto for his letter and message from "l'egregio signor principe [Francesco] Ruspoli," asks his permission to contact the prince, and offers his services whilst he is in Naples, assuring him that he has sent by mail-coach the two little books that he had requested, presumably the Corollaire [and Seconde Corollaire] à la duplication de l'Hexaèdre donné à Dux en Bohème, both of which Casanova had published that year in Dresden. In fine condition, with slight creasing and spotting. Handwritten letters by Casanova, particularly of such length, content, and impressive condition, are rarely offered at auction.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Remarkable Rarities
  • Dates: #707 - Ended February 22, 2024

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