By the Queen of France, about an exchange of gifts with Sultan Murad III

Medici, Catherine de', Queen of France, wife of King Henry II of France (1519-1589). Letter signed ("Caterine").

Chenonceau, 2. IX. 1584.

Folio (34 x 24 cm). 1 p. on bifolium. Brown ink on paper, written in a clear gothic hand. Folded for sending and addressed on the outside, with a slot for a ribbon and traces of a red wax seal. Watermark: B [crowned heart] P, (with the feet of the letters toward the centre of the sheet).

 12,500.00

An informative letter written by the French regent Catherina de' Medici concerning the exchange of gifts between France and the Ottoman Sultan. Written in French, from Catharine's favourite palace, Château de Chenonceau in the Loire valley near Tours, to Jacques de Germigny (d. 1587 or 1596), French ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. Catherine, mother of King Henry III, last of the Valois kings of France, was a powerful and colourful figure (familiar in literature from the historical novels of Alexandre Dumas), often running the government for her son. In the present letter she arranges an exchange of gifts with the Ottoman Sultan Murad III (1546-95). Germigny had written to her on 17 July concerning various items he had selected, and she asks him to send the gifts from the Sultan to André Hurault de Maisse (1539-1607) at Venice, who was France's ambassador there. She also suggests a change in one item they are giving the Sultan: "J[']ay receu v[ost]re l[ett]re du xvij de juillet avec la liste des presens que ma faict la sultane mere du grand seigneur lesquelz vous me mandez avoir retenuz par devers vous pour me les faire apporter quant vous partirez de par dela pour venir trouver le Roy monsieur mon filz. Et pour ce quil pourra passer plus de temps jusques la que je ne le vouldrois et que je seray bien ayse d[']avoir plustost lesd[its] presens je vous prie de les envoier au Sr de Maisse ambassadeur du Roy monsieur mon filz a Venize lequel me les fera tenir par apres. Au surplus j[']ay a vous dire touchant Le Rouge que desire recouvrer de moy lad[ite] Sultane semblable a celluy que je luy ay cy devant envoie quelle trouve meilleur, et mieulx faict que celluy d[']Espaigne, que je n[']en ay plus maintenant, et ne seay en sorte du monde la recepte et facon de le faire qui est cau[s]e que je ne puis contenter a p[rese]nt lad[ite] Sultane de ce qu[']elle desire de moy en cest endrent, dont du suis bien marrye mais j[']adviseray si j[']en pourray avoir le moien par cy apres dont je vous advertiray [...]". Counter-signed by her Secretary of State, Pierre Brulart, and addressed to "Mons[ieur] de Germigny, ch[eva]l[ie]r de l[']ordre du Roy monsieur mon filz, son con[seill]er et amba[ssa]deur en Levant". The two-leaf folio was folded twice on horizontal folds, then briefly once more on a vertical fold without a sharp crease for sending. A cut through the sixteen layers would have had a ribbon through it and one can see traces of red sealing wax around the slot on the back. The letter was stored folded horizontally, and eight small worm holes run through the eight layers, but they barely touch an occasional letter of the text. There are also a few small marginal tears. In very good condition and with the whole sheet of paper untrimmed.

Stock Code: BN#30399 Tags: , ,