78 2425 Germany Frederick II the Great King of Prussia 1712 1786
78/2425 [Germany]. Frederick II the Great, King of Prussia (1712-1786). Lot of 28 manuscript and AUTOGRAPH letters SIGNED "Frederic", to "Mon cher Spa[e]n"/ "au Capitaine [de Cavallerie] de Spaen" etc., from "le 28 d'Aoust 1727" to "ce I.er d'Aout 1763", all 1 (fold.) leaf, all in French.

- One letter portion torn off and reattached.

= Interesting collection of letters addressed to Alexander Sweder von Spaen, heer van Ringenberg, Haminkeln en Hardenstein (1703-1768), a confidant of the young Frederick who allegedly took part in the latter's failed attempt to escape to England together with his (as his generally assumed) lover Hans Hermann von Katte in 1730 (the so called Katte affair). The 4 earliest letters in this collection are short notes by an adolescent Frederick and carry a rather secretive tone, i.a. "Mon cher Span, je vous prie de faire apeler le granadié quno[?] des [?] et de lui dire de venir à 6 heure aupres du trou[?] et de m'entendre. Prenez garde que personne ne le remarque" and (in a letter dated "Berlin ce 21 Mai 1730) "Mon cher Span, je vous prie de dire au petit Keiser[?] si il ne pouvait point venir inconito [sic] lundi au soir à Berlin (...) et m'atendre jusqu'a 11 heure de 9 jusqu'a 11 heure [sic] et que je lui parlerez [sic] la, mais que sur tout il tiene silence (...)". It is tempting (but undoubtedly tricky) to identify "petit Keiser" as Von Katte who was imprisoned and executed (with Frederick being forced to watch from his cell window) on 6 November 1730.

The later letters are of a friendly, though more formal character and are mostly written by a secretary, sometimes with an addendum by Frederick himself. SEE ILLUSTRATION PLATE LXV.

€ (8.000-10.000) 10000