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    Catherine the Great of Russia Autograph Letter Signed "Caterine". One page, 7.5" x 9", Oranienbaum, July 19, 1755. This personal letter is written in French to Madame Cardel of Zerbst. Born Sophie Augusta Fredericka of Anhalt-Zerbst, the daughter of a petty German prince, she changed her name to Catherine when she accepted the Russian Orthodox faith. At the time of writing, Catherine was married to Peter of Holstein-Gottorp (later Peter III), heir to the Russian throne, a marriage that was not successful, and possibly never even consummated. Catherine was at Oranienbaum, the summer palace built by Peter I, when she wrote this letter to her childhood French governess Babette Cardel. Catherine learned the language and the ways of the French from Cardel, something that would serve her well as she would later be able to read and correspond with "Enlightenment" writers such as Voltaire and Diderot in their own language. The original address leaf is included, also in her handwriting. The letter and address leaf, both in fine condition, are double matted with a vintage engraving and framed to an overall size of 21" x 16.5". Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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