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    Catherine II, Czarina of Russia ("The Great"), good content Letter Signed "Caterine" as Czarina, one page, 7.25 x 9.25 inches, St. Petersberg, January 10, 1766 in French to her Royal Highness, the Crown Princess of Courland, congratulating her upon her recent marriage. She writes: "It is with fond regard that I receive the first assurances of your devotion to my person. My affection for the House you have recently entered will remain steadfast. Your marriage to the Prince, who will someday become its ruler, guarantees that you will partake in that affection but your won merits give you special claims upon it, claims that I will grant you with great pleasure. You must be assured to always find me willing to show the special interest I take in your happiness. Thereupon, I pray that your Royal Highness will always be under God's blessed and worthy protection." Though the letter may seem at best polite on the surface, Catherine coveted the duchy of Courland and Semigallia which occupied the western portion of modern-day Latvia which would allow Russia wider access to the Baltic Sea. Catherine had already been meddling in the affairs of had great influence in the duchy through her support of the reigning Prince Ernst Johann von Biron. This letter likely concerns her correspondent's marriage to the Prince's son, Peter von Biron who assumed power in 1769. It was not until the final year of her life that Russia would finally possess the duchy, gained in the final partition of Poland between Russia, Prussia and Austria in 1795. Both Courland and Poland ceased to exist in that year. Light creases, else very clean and in fine condition with a bold signature. Housed in a red leather slipcase with ribbed spine with gilt tilting and red cloth interior bearing a portrait of Catherine.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
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