Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Frederic Auguste Bartholdi Autograph Letter Signed Trying to Raise Funds to Build the Statue of Liberty Great content ALS "Bartholdi" in French, 3pp., 5" x 8", New York, August 26, 1876, to an unknown recipient regarding efforts to raise subscriptions to build the Statue of Liberty. He writes in part: "I am sending you the prospectus of the Franco-American Union Committee and some letters of subscription in case you find a place for them. I regret I can no longer send the discourse brochures, I had to give away the last two, for the New York Herald and to M. Perkins... If you can obtain for us any endorsements, even the most minimal of subscriptions, accompanied by a letter of encouragement to the committee, you would produce an excellent effect. A contrivance of a few dollars wrapped up in a slightly warm letter will be worth a hundred of them in Paris and would drive subscriptions. I have been promised and I hope that before long the expressions of sympathy made by the Americans will be discussed; it is absolutely necessary that we have them exonerated of the accusations of silent indifference... I am leaving for Philadelphia, where I have things to do while I am awaiting the unveiling of the statue of Lafayette..."

    Although the Franco-American Union committee began its efforts to raise funds to build the pedestal on which would rest the Statue of Liberty, very little advances would be made until about the time this letter was written. People were reluctant to contribute money as they were unsure of the commitment being made by the French to actually build the Statue. Also, that the Statue would be in New York Harbor made it easy to dismiss as a New York project, not a national one.

    Bartholdi threw himself headlong into fundraising, and the trip he refers to in this letter is to campaign for funds at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. He had arranged to place the recently completed the statue's hand and torch on display at the Exposition. His gamble paid off, as it likely contributed heavily to the success of the formation of a Committee in Philadelphia in September of 1876. A similar committee would form in New York, chaired by John Jay; and likely inspired by Bartholdi's statue of the Marquis de Lafayette which celebrated its unveiling in Union Square Park as referred to in this letter in September of 1876.

    Also included in this lot is a 5.75" x 3.25" postcard of the Statue of Liberty boldly signed by Bartholdi in the upper right corner. Both postcard and letter have mounting remnants on verso. Letter and postcard are handsomely housed in a full green Moroccan leather case with raised spine and gilt design and lettering.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,122

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 3 days left to consign to the 2018 September 30 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - Beverly Hills!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $618,265