1493 The Admiral of the Ocean Sea
The success of the first voyage exceeded all expectations. On March 15, 1493 the Reyes summon Colon to Barcelona to fulfill their promises and commission new instructions. The charter of May 28, 1493 confirms the agreements of the previous year. Colon is Amiral del mar Oceano with a hereditary transmission. His monopoly on Spanish discoveries will be terminated in 1499.
On May 20, 1493 in Barcelona, Colon is presented with his coat of arms in the legal form of a royal provision. The original 28 x 44 cm document on vellum parchment is made a few days later, just before the admiral leaves Barcelona to prepare the second trip.
The Dukes of Veragua are the direct descendants of Cristobal Colon. To this day, they have kept this parchment considered as part of their family heirloom. It is estimated € 1.25M for sale by Ansorena in Madrid on December 17, lot 90.
The document includes the text establishing the privileges, recorded by the Royal Secretary Fernando Alvarez de Toledo. It is centered on the illustration of the new coat of arms colored in five inks : gold, white, red, blue and brown. The two upper quarters are the emblems of the kingdoms of Castile and Leon and one of the lower divisions simulates a map of the islands surrounded by the waves. The lead seal is lost but the ribbons that held it remain attached to the paper.
1546-1547 The Collar of King Henry
2008 SOLD 310 K£ including premium
"From the press of India (OneIndia) but I will seek confirmation on the site of Christie's: a chain of the Holy Spirit of King Henry VIII of England will be sold in December in London."
The press release has finally arrived: the sale will be held on November 6. The object is a collar of office made in gold. It dates from 1546-1547, and this time is confirmed by an expertise of materials. It is complete. The king gave this type of necklace to his advisers in charge of what is now a ministry. The necklace symbolized both the function of the minister and the confidence of the king. This one has been attached to the office of Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. A very famous painting by Holbein shows Sir Thomas More with a similar collar.
OneIndia spoke of £ 1 million. The press release gives Christie's estimate: 200 to 300 K£. Often, Christie's under-values the rating when their negotiations with the seller permit. For this collar, who is right?
POST SALE COMMENT
We now have the answer. It is Christie's who was right, of course. The collar was sold £ 310 K including fees.
1674 THE PROVINCE OF THE DUKE OF YORK
2011 SOLD 120 K$ INCLUDING PREMIUM
King Charles II of England and his brother the Duke of York had interests in North America. The Dutch surrender in 1664 had left them the control of a vast territory formerly known as Nieuw Nederland stretching from Maine to current eastern Pennsylvania.
Thus was born the Province of New York, which the Dutch managed to resume in 1672 during a new war.
The Dutch swan song in America was short-lived. On July 30, 1674 at Windsor Castle, Charles II signed a document that gave the order to Major Edmund Andros to take possession of New York. This act introduced Andros de facto as the first governor of the new province.
This manuscript, 30 x 19 cm, in very fine condition had the honor of being the oldest document in the sale of the prestigious Forbes collection of American documents by Christie's on March 27, 2002. It was sold for $ 110K including premium.
It is now reasonably estimated $ 100K, for sale on September 15 by Swann Galleries in New York. It is the image on the right in the blog post shared by the auction house.
POST SALE COMMENT
This sector of the market is not for speculation! The price, $ 120K including premium, is consistent with the result obtained nearly ten years ago, and with the estimate.
1745 THE WEDDING OF MONSEIGNEUR LE DAUPHIN
2013 SOLD 300 K€ INCLUDING PREMIUM
In all the monarchies in the world, the marriage of the crown prince is an opportunity to generate popular enthusiasm.
When the Dauphin de France, son of Louis XV, married the infanta Maria Theresa of Spain in February 1745, they wererespectively 16 and 19 years old. Ceremonies and dances held in Paris for this event are among the most sumptuousin this century of the French luxury.
For the greatest festivals, temporary buildings were raised, a tradition that lasted until the Second Empire. Prints were issued to keep the memory. In 1745, the theme is the mythology treated in rocaille style.
The complete set of original watercolors of the official edition of the Dauphin's marriage was offered to the family of the ducs de Luynes which then included a chaplain of the king and future cardinal. These drawings were made by the young architect François Blondel. The 19 watercolors including 9 in double page are stored in a sumptuous box 67 x52 cm made subsequently with the ceremonial coat of arms of the Luynes.
It is difficult to predict the price of such a unique set. The lot is estimated € 200K, for sale by Sotheby's in Paris on April 29. Here is the link to the catalog.
Back to Louis XV. He was nicknamed le Bien Aimé (the Beloved) since he survived after an extreme unction a few months earlier, thus adding to the popular hope to the newlyweds. But one should not be too quick to bury the king then 35 years old: it is indeed during these wedding ceremonies in Versailles that he took a new mistress, for whom he purchased four months later the title of Marquise de Pompadour.
POST SALE COMMENT
Sold € 300K including premium, this rare and luxurious but unusual lot remained in its range of estimates.
1789-1790 THE FRENCH REVOLUTION IS RUNNING
France was tired of the privileges of the "Ancien Régime" and required a constitution. Gradually, King Louis XVI lost control of the government.
The rapid succession of events created a strange legislative management in two stages. The Assemblée Nationalevoted laws directed against the nobility and the higher clergy, but the king retained the right of official action.
Less spectacular than the Serment du jeu de paume (tennis court oath) or the storming of the Bastille, the revolutionary days of 5 and 6 October 1789 was a milestone. The king agreed to ratify by decrees the decisions of the Assembly.
From November 3, 1789 to September 12, 1790, the Grand Conseil du Roi issued 126 lettres patentes, printed by the Imprimerie Royale, to instruct senior officials to implement the decisions of the Assemblée. The first of thesedocuments is extremely important: the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, ratified by the king a little overtwo months after its issue by the Assemblée on August 26, 1789.
A complete set of these decrees is estimated € 350K, for sale by Sotheby's in Paris on November 9. It is made up of copies prepared for the archives, which were never actually delivered by the printer and were saved from scrap by a bookseller. Shortly afterward the volume was bound and belonged to the Duc de La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, a liberal monarchist who had been president of the Assemblée Nationale from July 18 to August 2, 1789.
Here is the link to the catalog.
1792-1794 The Remorses of the Incorruptible
2011 SOLD 900 K€ including premium
The old monarchy had increased social disparities without preventing the economic disaster. It had to be replaced. Theorists within the Première République have sincerely believed that they could govern with a logic based on principles of humane thinking.
Robespierre, nicknamed the Incorruptible, endeavoured to be one of their leaders. Caught in a terrible spiral of violence, he went to accept the war and the physical elimination of the revolutionaries who did not follow all of his own logic. In terms of communication, it could not operate.
He published much, and his political thought has been the subject of detailed studies. Understandably it was compromising to own his manuscripts, and many of them were burned. But nobody really paid attention to 116 pages of handwritten work that had been kept by his housekeeper Duplay. These drafts cover two years of preparation of his most important speeches since 1792 until the swan song of 8 Thermidor year II (July 26, 1794), the day before his sudden fall.
Most of the final texts are known, but many writing remorses make of these documents a unique testimony penetrating in depth into the mind of Robespierre. The lot is estimated € 200K, for sale as a single lot on May 18 by Sotheby's in Paris.
As always when exceptional historical documents arrive on the market, activist groups are trying to stop the sale.
POST SALE COMMENT
According to the facility allowed by the French law as "droit de préemption", these documents have been acquired by the French State at the best bid price, € 900K including premium. The government has two weeks to confirm that decision.
It was difficult to predict the price for such a unique set that had never been offered on the market before.
1796 general buonaparte and widow beauharnois
2014 sold for € 440K including premium
The new couple is a story of love and ambition, but certainly not of money. Napoleon prepares his new career. The estate division of Joséphine's widowhood is still pending. But both are friends of the strong man of the moment, Barras. The Corsican family is angry: aged 33, the bride is too old.
The papers are prepared in accordance with the law. A few days later, the notaries Raguideau and Jousset establish and sign the expédition authentique, which is the certified copy provided to the newlyweds.
This document received an apostille (official post scriptum) on 9 Germinal an VII indicating that the private act is now recorded in a civil registry. Three days later, Joséphine bought the Château de Malmaison.
The certified copy of the marriage contract between Napoléon and Joséphine is estimated € 80K, for sale on September 21 by Osenat in Rueil-Malmaison, just in front of the château. This manuscript certificate is illustrated on the page shared by ArtDaily.
1797 THE MERITS OF ST. VINCENT
On February 14, 1797, a decisive naval battle takes place off the coast of Portugal. A Spanish fleet going to the North Atlantic to join the French at Brest is caught and defeated by an outnumbered British fleet. This event is known as the Battle of Cape St. Vincent.
The glory of this feat is shared by two heroes. Admiral Sir John Jervis decided and won this battle. Commodore Horatio Nelson disobeyed orders by leaving his position to attack three Spanish vessels, and his attack decided the success of the day.
The British are pragmatic: Nelson will be honoured. To eliminate any risk of contention, Jervis is appointed Earl of St.Vincent, a title that acknowledges his supreme role in the victory, and Nelson is promoted to Knight of the Order of the Bath, a dignity reserved for the highest ranking British soldiers.
This insignia of which Nelson was so proud had never been shown publicly. It was given by his brother to Admiral Keats and remained in the Admiral's family descent. It is estimated £ 300K in the sale held on October 22 in London by Morton and Eden in the premises of Sotheby's.
It is an eight-pointed silver star of 96 mm centered by the logo and motto of the Order of the Bath in gold, silver and enamels.
1804 The Laurels of the Coronation
2017 SOLD for € 630K including premium
Inspired by the heroes of antiquity, he wishes to wear a wreath of gold laurel leaves at the coronation ceremony. That crown is commissioned to Martin-Guillaume Biennais, a goldsmith with the trademark Au Singe Violet who for two years has been the exclusive supplier of silverware for Napoléon's table.
Biennais realizes and assembles the very finely chiseled leaves in a size and according to a naturalistic motif that were probably the same for the whole set. Each leaf was 9.2 cm long and 2.5 cm maximum wide and weighed 10 g.
Napoléon tests the crown before the ceremony. According to the story told by the Biennais family, he finds that the crown is too heavy and requires the craftsman to remove six leaves. It may seem surprising that the emperor considered that a difference of 60 g was so significant. Perhaps he simply wanted to reward Biennais for the quality of his work.
Again from the family tradition, Biennais presented a gold leaf to each of his six daughters. A leaf that was still in the descendance is estimated beyond € 100K for sale by Osenat in Fontainebleau on November 19, lot 164. Here is the link to the website of the auction house. Strangely no information is known about what happened to the other five leaves removed by Biennais.
Another leaf survives with another provenance. It had become detached before the reuse of the wreath by the emperor in 1805 for his coronation as king of Italy. Napoléon had not required the crown to be repaired and had offered the gold leaf to Isabey, author of the mishandling, who inserted it into a snuffbox.
1805 Trafalgar !
2009 SOLD 384 K£ including premium
The auction house Charles Miller organizes twice a year in London an auction of maritime art, and the sale of October 21 highlights memorabilia of Nelson and Trafalgar.
This year's moving lot is a flag that belonged to Captain Clephan. Rare example of a ranker who became an officer, he was a lieutenant aboard the Spartiate, one of the ships that followed the Victory ship of Nelson. As a reward for his courage, he received this Union flag, 224 x 356 cm. It is believed that the sailors of the Spartiate stitched it just after the battle for presentation to their hero.
Not having served during the battle, the flag is in a finely preserved condition. It had belonged so far to the family of Clephan. It is estimated £ 10K.
Here is the link to the image of that lot thanks to the sharing offered by AuctionPublicity.com.
POST SALE COMMENT
The Australian website news.com.au communicated the result : 384 K£. The Australians were interested by the fact that the seller was one of their countrymen.
This excellent result demonstrates the uniqueness of this object, and the fact that its ceremonial role left it in very good condition.
The reported price of 384 K£ includes the buyer's premium.
The video is shared post sale on YouTube by ABC News :
1805 THE CEREMONIAL DRESS OF MARECHAL NEY
The regime of Napoléon I was born of the French Revolution, but his coronation, on December 2, 1804, inauguratedthe Imperial splendor of an unprecedented luxury.
Nothing is too grand for the new Court, but do not forget that the new monarch is a military surrounded by generals.A few months earlier, he appointed 18 Maréchaux d'Empire, including Michel Ney.
On June 20 in Paris, Binoche et Giquello sells the presentation clothes of Ney. Kept until now in the family of the Maréchal, it is a unique set of ceremonial dress and coat of the Empire. It has been classified Trésor National by the French government.
The catalogue offers it as a single lot, but the press release indicates that the two pieces will first be presented separately, each one estimated € 350K, followed by the possibility of purchasing the whole.
This set has the rare distinction of being consistent with the preparatory drawings by Jean-Baptiste Isabey for the ceremonial costumes of the marshals. The garments in richly embroidered silk velvet are heavy, 2.7 and 3.4 Kg. The catalogue attributes the making of the clothes to Chevalier and of the embroidery to Picot.
A plaque of Grand Aigle de la Légion d'Honneur is sewn onto the dress.
A photo of this lot is shared by Le Figaro.
POST SALE COMMENT
Unsold. Either this lot was withdrawn or the reserve price was too high. The post sale press release does not provide the information.
In the same sale and also from the Maréchal Ney, a gold star of Grand Aigle de la Légion d'Honneur was sold € 190K including premium.
BRITISH NAVAL VICTORY ON OCTOBER 21, 1805
Among the ancient historical documents, I have a strong preference for posters. Edited and sold in many copies for the most important events, they provide an information at the date which is irreplaceable, not yet polluted by the interpretations of historians.
They had no reason to be preserved and have become virtually impossible to find, so that it is unrealistic to build a collection. For this reason, the estimate is low: £ 10K, for a British poster that advertised for two pence the victory ofTrafalgar, 44 x 55 cm, for sale at Lyons and Turnbull in Edinburgh on September 8.
A single copy of this model was known, at the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth, before this one came in very good condition out of an attic. The auction house said that a copy of another model with a very similar text has been sold £ 38.4 K by Sotheby's on October 5, 2005. This information and a somewhat truncated illustration of the piece to be sold are shared in the article published by Scotsman.
The announcement leaves no doubt: when the event took place, its extreme importance was understood. Further history confirmed what the publicist emphatically announced as "the most decisive and glorious naval victory that ever was obtained since the creation of the world!!". Indeed, the French fleet never recovered from its crushing defeat, and the British were able to enjoy the supremacy of the seas.
Apart from a moving funeral tribute to Nelson, the document lists the ships of the two sides with the number of guns and the number of men, also indicating the name of the captain of each British ship and the final fate of each ship of the Franco-Spanish fleet.
1806 Napoléon's Hat
2021 SOLD for € 1.22M by Sotheby's
The gentleman described his purchase in his diary as follows : "the hat of Buonaparte which he wore at the Battles of Iena, Friedland and Eylau and at the Treaty of Tilsit. He wore this hat for ten months".
This piece remained in that English family until it was sold for £ 390K by Christie's on July 9, 2015, lot 102. It will be sold by Sotheby's in Paris on September 22, 2021, lot 33. Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's.
It was presented at Christie's in a Regency style showcase stand with a commemorative brass plaque that did not refer to its earliest battle, at Iena in October 1806, and added that it was struck by a ball at Friedland. This plaque attributed to its first English owner may be apocryphal. The stand and plaque are not referred in Sotheby's catalogue. Both catalogues omit to comment its use in operations. The Musée de l'Armée has another hat referring to Eylau.
1825 TRIBUTE TO THE LIBERTADOR
2013 SOLD 42.5 K$ BEFORE FEES
Simon Bolivar was a great statesman. Catching the opportunity of the Spanish debacle against the French Empire, he was able to crystallize all the forces of South America against the colonial power. By 1813, he was officially titled ElLibertador.
Comparing his work to that of other leaders, we can admire without limit the fact that he did not attempt to create a single state, which would not have been viable because of the divergence of interests inevitable in such a large region.The republics that he founded or strengthened formed a pattern of states that still exists in a form very close to his view.
In 1825, Bolivia was created and named from him. An interesting witness of that year is for sale on January 26 byHigh Noon in Mesa AZ.
It is a leather saddle mounted in heavy silver and still equipped with its stirrups and bridle. The silver is applied and engraved with images and inscriptions, with an unambiguous dedication: "Al Libertador Simon Bolivar, Potosi 1825".
The city of Potosi in the Bolivian Andes had suffered much violence during the wars of liberation and welcomed itsdeliverer with an understandable relief. It was a prosperous city operating silver mines since 1556. In Spanish, the term "valer un potosi" means "worth a fortune".
The saddle has been used, but its detailed history does not seem to be identified. It is cautiously estimated $ 50K. Here is the link to the catalog on LiveAuction platform.
POST SALE COMMENT
In the same auction room one year ago, Pancho Villa's saddle was sold for $ 720K including premium.The saddle dedicated to Bolivar could not assess a direct link with the Libertador. The highest bid, $ 42.5 K, remained 15% below the lower estimate. The result available on LiveAuctioneers suggests that it is not unsold.
1825 the saint-esprit of a future king
2015 sold for € 14k before fees
That cross and its cord are now estimated € 15K for sale on December 2 at Paris (Drouot) by Collin du Bocage, lot 51. Here is the link to the website of the auction house.
I discussed this decoration as follows before the previous sale :
Created in 1578, the Ordre du Saint-Esprit (order of the Holy Spirit), the highest French decoration up to the Révolution, was essentially attributable to the members of the royal family.
Louis XVIII restores it in 1814 to strengthen his links with the other European monarchies. At his death in 1824, his brother and successor Charles X redirects the regime to an authoritarian monarchy in which he favors the traditional symbols.
Louis-Philippe duc d'Orléans is a distant cousin to the king. The son of a régicide and himself a patriot at the beginning of the Révolution, he does not conflict with the king during the Restauration and accepts the Saint-Esprit from Charles X.
The decoration coming for sale is the Saint-Esprit worn by the duc d'Orléans at the coronation of Charles X in Reims on May 29, 1825. It had been realized by Ouizille et Lemoine, titular jewelers for the Légion d'Honneur, and comes now from the collection of the comte and comtesse de Paris.
The prince who received it in 1825 is also the responsible for the official demise of the order. A new revolution provides the power in 1830 to this duc d'Orléans. The man whom his opponents will nickname the Roi bourgeois removes various symbols to better stand out from the tradition.
Louis-Philippe I is roi des Français (king of the French) and not a king of France. He accepts the tricolore flag and deletes the order of the Saint-Esprit from the very beginning of his reign. The order will however be privately maintained by the descendants of the French royal dynasties.
1830 impressions from napoléon
The number of plaster impressions made on the corpse is controversial, especially because they did not survive. Antommarchi owned a plaster directly molded from an indisputable original. In 1833 he publishes the mask after signing it.
On November 7 in Paris (Hôtel Drouot), Coutau-Bégariesells a wax version unique of its kind of the death mask of Napoléon, lot 294 estimated € 150K.
This piece made circa 1830 was signed by Antommarchi. According to a family tradition evidenced by documents that were lost in the early twentieth century, it was provided directly by Antommarchi to Noverraz.
The face has been encrusted with a fairly complete hair system 3 to 8 mm long. The DNA analysis formally attributes these hairs to the Bonaparte family. Noverraz had cut Napoleon's hair and shaved his beard during the mortuary toilet and stated to have preserved some of them. There is no doubt that these relics are made from Napoléon's hair entrusted by Noverraz to Antommarchi for this realization. A piece of cloth that remains on the neck could come from a coat of the emperor.
Please watch the video shared by Hôtel Drouot.
1895-1899 truth and opinion
France's Troisième République, founded in 1870, feels threatened by the Germans who annexed the Alsace-Lorraine, and also by the anarchists. Clericalism and anti-Semitism are on the rise. The discovery of the leak of a military information triggers the Affaire Dreyfus in 1894.
The army considers being obliged to assign a culprit. On exclusively graphological considerations, Dreyfus is accused of treason and sentenced to imprisonment. This officer is Alsatian and Jew. Despite the pressure from the army, Dreyfus refuses to confess any guilt.
The first letter in the lot is sent by Dreyfus in February 1895 to the Minister of Colonies. The fallen officer is on the island of Ré awaiting his deportation to Guyana. In the name of justice and freedom, he repeats his innocence and his horror of treason and insists that the investigation be reopened and that the real culprit is identified.
His military trial was secret and arbitrary. What followed is inconceivable in the modern world : the army considers that the first trial has closed the case. When presumptions are to converge on him as the real spy, Esterhazy has the ability to request to be tried in his turn by the military court : he was acquitted in January 1898 but nevertheless went into exile in London.
The second letter in the lot is written by Esterhazy in August 1899 to his lawyer. He explains how he is involved and continues to maintain his innocence.
Republicans were offended by the lack of involvement of the government on the search for truth in the Affaire Dreyfus. From November 1897, Emile Zola decides to intervene in the forefront. His literary prestige is huge and his position will weight. Beyond the Affaire of which he is gradually informed of all details, he expresses that the real threats are corruption, secrecy and blinding.
The third document is the manuscript of Zola's Lettre à la France published on January 6, 1898. The author expresses the demand for transparency. This text is one of the key elements preparing to J'Accuse published by L'Aurore a week later.
Zola is aware that his position is morally right and legally unacceptable. A new trial begins that will not be easy but the conclusion in the long term is that arbitrary decisions will become politically unacceptable.
1916 throughout the dublin easter rising
2005 SOLD for € 700K before fees by Adam's
another lot sold for € 150K before fees
On December 7 in Dublin, Adam's sells three documents related to this event : two original copies of the proclamation poster dated April 23 and an autograph order for unconditional surrender signed by the strategist and spokesman of the movement, PH Pearse, on a paper 35 x 21 cm.
Each poster is estimated € 250K, lot 51 and lot 52. Another copy was sold for £ 305K including premium by Sotheby's on December 15, 2015. The surrender manuscript is estimated in excess of € 1M, lot 50. It had been sold for € 700K before fees by the same auction house on May 25, 2005.
The broadsheet had been printed in a great hurry on a 76 x 51 cm paper size. About 1,000 copies have been printed and less than 50 survive. The printer did not have the necessary equipment, which is perfectly visible with the two different types of the tiny 'e'. The inking is irregular.
The order of surrender was written by Pearse in several copies to communicate with each of the insurgent groups. Pearse himself had to surrender the day before and had no possibility to negotiate. Its text clearly indicates the intention to stop the slaughter. The National Museum of Ireland has two of these documents.
Posters Unsold (lot 51) and SOLD for € 150K before fees (lot 52)
1916 DUBLIN'S BLOODY EASTER
It was a rebellion and not a revolution. It was tragic and romantic, if one considers only the bloody events of this Easter week of 1916 in Dublin. Yet the roots of the Republic of Ireland, created in 1922 after three years of war, must be found therein.
The Irish republican activists had long awaited an opportunity to rebel against British rule. They naively believed that the ongoing world war weakened their opponents, but themselves were poorly prepared, poorly armed and not really understood by the populace.
The insurgents held out for a week in the only public building that they had managed to occupy. The self proclaimed and broadcasted republic located in the General Post Office of Dublin lasted one week. Death awaited key leaders at its exit: they were shot.
The insurgents had a flag. The colors were chosen by their predecessors of 1848 in three colors in the same theme as those of the French Revolution, with a central white stripe symbolizing peace. Other colors were the Gaelic and Catholic green, and the orange for considering the Protestant minority.
When it was delivered to the insurgents, the flag was sewn inside out, which was a pretext for refusing to pay, but it was reworked. It floated to the end of the week over the Post office. It escaped from the ruins, and was not even threatened, because it was not meaning anything for everybody else than the rebels.
This glorious fabric of 75 x 160 cm, collected by a British sergeant, is for sale at Bloomsbury New York on March 23.It is estimated $ 500K.
Here is the image in the catalog shared by LiveAuctioneers.
1916-1923 THE AMBITION OF A YOUNG DOKTOR
The years 1916-1923 were terrible for young Germans, who saw the economic catastrophe succeeding the military defeat. Some intellectuals then imagined that they could provide some solution.
Paul Joseph Goebbels was 19 years old in 1916, and then 26 in 1923. His social sensitivity was profoundly anti-capitalist and his literary ambition was immense and narcissistic. He brilliantly completed his studies with a doctorate in philology in 1921. Dr. Joseph Goebbels could then define his own path in the troubled politics of Germany.
From 1924, his career and the evolution of his activism are well known, specially through his abundant Journal which was later published.
At his death, the literary manuscripts of his youth remained grouped along with many letters from the same period.Their existence was known, but they have never been published or even discussed.
This massive set will be sold as a single lot, estimated beyond $ 200K, by Alexander Autographs on September 27 in Stamford CT.
1920 the military tactics of philippe pétain
He is an extraordinary example of a military teacher who, when called to the battlefield, used his own theories to build the victory. His vision was global, incorporating logistics, communications and aviation. His targeted offensives, considered less deadly, enabled the victory at Verdun in 1916 and maintained the morale of the French soldiers during the disasters of the following year.
On 6 August 1918, Foch was raised to the rank of Maréchal de France to reinforce his authority in the final phase of the war. Just after the armistice, Foch was elected to the Académie Française and Pétain became Maréchal de France in his turn. There is no doubt that Pétain dis not welcome such a priority given to Foch.
Pétain was a teacher who sought to analyze the events objectively, with that extreme coldness which was perfectly in line with his character. He conceived the project of writing the history of the soldier through the ages, so willing to establish the fact that the history pf war is not limited to the actions of the generals and must consider the troops.
He began that work by writing his own vision of all the events of the First World War, without any preference to his own involvement. He had a deep disdain for the memorialists.
The preparation of La Guerre Mondiale 1914-1918 was finished at some time between 1920 and 1923. Pétain did not publish it, perhaps because of difficulties with De Gaulle, and the project remained secret until the discovery of the autograph manuscript in 2006.
This document consists of 351 pages divided into 47 chapters, almost without erasure and including 77 sketches of remarkable geographical accuracy showing the positions and movements of the armies. It is estimated € 250K, for sale by Sotheby's in Paris on December 18, lot 157.
1923 The General of the North
2012 SOLD 720 K$ including premium
From the beginning, Madero needs to be supported by strong men. He finds Pancho Villa, who was to become one of the most controversial figures in history.
Pancho Villa was a bandit, a murderer, a thief of cattle. He became a warlord, and even learned to read! His early military successes were staggering. During five years he won all his battles.
As early as 1913, he exercised as de facto governor of the wealthy state of Chihuahua, in the north of the country. He knew how to generate loyalty by paying adequately his lieutenants and soldiers. He appeared therefore as a benefactor of the people, an enemy of bankers and of the owners of haciendas.
Obregon put an end to Villa's success in 1915 and probably contributed to his assassination in 1923. A few years later, the official widow of Villa (who was not the only contender in this respect) brought the last saddle of the General to Howard Hawks who was preparing a Hollywood film about the Mexican Revolution.
This sumptuous leather saddle, inlaid and embroidered with silver, displaying snake figures, demonstrates the level of opulence that the hero was able to achieve. It is estimated $ 150K, to be sold on January 28 by High Noon in Mesa, Arizona. Here is the link to the catalog.
POST SALE COMMENT
The memorabilia of the Mexican Revolution are certainly very rare on the market with such a quality. The price obtained is exciting: $ 625K before fees, 720K including premium.
1943 MOST SECRET SINCE 72 YEARS
All interpretations are still possible concerning the flight of Rudolf Hess to Scotland on May 10, 1941.
The date is crucial. They do not know if the war will be long. The main enemy of the Germans is the United Kingdom.How long will they stand? Germany is much more anti-Soviet than anti-British. How soon the Russians will invade anEurope weakened by the war?
Hess left with a clear intention to negotiate the future balance of Europe with the British. Was he missioned by Hitler?Was the designation of Hess as an arch-traitor a comedy played by the Nazis? Was Hess sincere in presenting his plan?Did he simply fell into a trap by the British intelligence to create the greatest disorder among the close associates ofHitler?
The British documents related to this event are classified secret until 2017, and nothing has filtered from that side.
An important file of political archives of the mission, most of them autographed by Hess and others typed, was assembled by him around 1943 with an autograph table of contents. Hess was then under British control. This set is estimated beyond $ 200K, for sale by Alexander Historical at Chesapeake City MD on September 10.
The auction house informs about the authenticity of the file, which was released in favor of a scholar about 20 years ago for lowering the risk that the truth of the event as viewed by Hess himself will disappear forever.
These documents from the past will be analyzed more with motivation to understand than with political passion. IfHess was the inadvertent puppet of strategies from the Nazis or from the British, these documents may bring more new questions than answers. It will help anyway to better understand the unspeakable mechanisms of the balance of power during the last century.
Here is the link to this lot on LiveAuctioneers.
1944 h hour in d day
2016 sold for $ 510k including premium
Logistics is organized but contingencies are inevitable. Three light boats of Landing Craft Control type had the mission to guide the landing at Utah Beach. For technical reasons, only one is in place at H hour. It will have the exceptionally difficult task to achieve the whole work in solo.
Lt. Vander Beek, responsible for this US Navy LCC 60, made an error of about 500 m away from the scheduled landing point. It was a luck : the Americans set foot in a place of the beach that the Germans were not watching. The successful landing of Utah Beach is a major key to the success of the campaign of France.
The Germans react quickly but it is already too late for them. When Vander Beek takes his first rest after seven and a half hours of fight, the Americans have already stopped 19 German charges. Two months later the LCC 60 is again in the forefront in the Operation Dragoon for the invasion of France from the South.
The lieutenant kept as a souvenir the US flag of the stern of his LCC. Back to civilian life, the hero died in 2014 aged 97. His flagripped and riddled with bullets will be sold on June 12 in Dallas by Heritage, lot 40193.
Still more damaged, a US flag that flew from June to October 1944 in four of the five beaches was sold for $ 390K including premium by Bonhams on June 5, 2014.
Please watch the video shared by Heritage.
1944 The Flags of Utah Beach
At H Hour, 6:30, the USS Corry is broken, either by hitting a mine (official military version) or under the fire of the German artillery. Evacuation is ordered by her captain 10 minutes later. Sailors will float for more than two hours on makeshift rafts before they can be rescued. 24 perished.
Returning from the magazines with the captain while the boat was sinking, Lieutenant Garay grabs the steaming flag in the wardroom. This US flag 74 x 78 cm has become one of the most prestigious artefacts from the Battle of Normandy. It is celebrated on a cover page of National Geographic in 2002. It is estimated $ 300K for sale by Sotheby's in New York on January 24, lot 2188.
The USS Corry sank in shallow waters. Contributing to American pride in this glorious day, her wreck sported another US flag placed at the ultimate moment at the top of her mast by a brave unidentified crew member.
At the same time, 6:30, a single LCC (Landing Craft Control) ship was completing her own task of preparing the landing guide to Utah Beach. Her 500-meter error in the finish point led by chance the Americans to a portion of the beach that had not been fortified, significantly limiting the US casualties and facilitating the overall success of the Overlord operation. The US flag of the LCC was sold for $ 510K including premium by Heritage on June 12, 2016.
The battle-worn flag from the USS Corry as the vessel was sinking is an important D-Day artifact. On offer in our 24 January Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana Auction, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation https://t.co/S51zGqYvJy pic.twitter.com/Iek4PizhCv— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) January 15, 2019
1946-1947 A Woman going to War
2015 SOLD for £ 310K including premium
Violette Bushell, a British woman born to an English father and a French mother, spent her childhood in both countries. Her marriage in 1940 with a French soldier going to war, Etienne Szabo, was an act of patriotism. She was 19 years old.
Szabo was killed in 1942 in El Alamein. Their daughter Tania was four months old. Violette Szabo was recruited as a secret agent in 1943 by the Special Operations Executive. Involved in France in helping networks of the Résistance before the Normandy landings, she demonstrated an exemplary bravery. She was arrested by the Germans and executed.
On July 22 in London, Dix Noonan Webb sells in one lot five medals awarded posthumously to Violette Szabo, including her 1946 George Cross and her 1947 Croix de Guerre. The group is estimated £ 250K, lot 1. Here are the links to the website of Dix Noonan Webb and to an article in the Daily Mail summarizing the information gathered by the auction house.
2002 The Raised Fist of Nelson Mandela
2020 see post sale comments
He was released from prison on February 11, 1990. On the same day his first speech as a free man, broadcasted live around the world, brought the fatal blow to the apartheid regime in South Africa. The fist with the raised thumb is a demonstration of victory and a symbol of solidarity, unlike a thumb bent under the other fingers which would be a mark of combat.
Gold is also a symbol of South Africa. In 2002 this country achieved 15% of world production. A mining company comes to mold Mandela's right hand for making solid gold sculptures. Mandela undoubtedly expected in this operation for a return to the benefit of his charitable works.
The set consists of four hands made of 99.99% pure gold for a total weight of approximately 12.4 kg. The fist of victory appears twice. The other two elements are the open hand and its hollow impression in a block. The perfect reproducibility reveals all the details of hand lines and fingerprints plus a large scar resulting from an accidental injury.
Each work is accompanied by a box in Kiaat, a rare wood from South Africa, with quotes chosen at the beginning and at the end of the prison period, 1964 and 1990. The golden fists, inscribed separately with these two dates, seem identical, assessing that the prison did not weaken Mandela's convictions.
This set hit the headlines in March 2018 when a company specializing in cryptocurrency bought it in a private sale for the equivalent of $ 10M to pay in bitcoin. Remained complete, it will be sold at auction as a single lot by Guernsey's in New York on March 2. Here is the link to the catalog shared by the LiveAuctioneers bidding platform.
In the same category of objects and from a molding of the same level of perfection, the life-size replica of Lionel Messi's bare foot was put on the market in 2013 at the fixed price of £ 3.5M or $ 5.25M by its author, a Japanese jeweler. This solid gold sculpture is 25 cm high, 28 cm wide and weighs 25 kg.
POST SALE COMMENTS
unsold according to LiveAuctioneers,
early reported as sold in part according to The Royal Gazette : $ 2.3M, $ 2.25M, and two unsold.
later reported by RobbReport as sold together for $ 10.4M
later reported at $ 10.445M by Antiques and The Arts with no other additional information