Napoleon’s coded Kremlin letter sold for nearly $250,000
2012 12 03

From: AssociatedPress



A secret code letter sent by French emperor Napoleon boasting that his multinational forces would blow up Moscow’s Kremlin has sold at auction Sunday for €187,500 ($243,500) — 10 times its estimated presale price.

A Paris museum, the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts, was finalizing its purchase of the Oct. 20, 1812, document with elegantly calligraphic ciphers.

The sale price, which includes fees, far outstripped the pre-sale estimate of €15,000 ($19,500), according to Fontainebleau Auction House south of Paris.


In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, a letter dictated by Napoleon in secret code that declares his intentions "to blow up the Kremlin" during his ill-fated Russian campaign is displayed in Fontainebleau, outside Paris. The rare letter, written in unusually emotive language, sees Napoleon complain of harsh conditions and the shortcomings of his grand army.


Experts say the letter is unique, written in a numeric code that Napoleon often used to throw off would-be interceptors — notably when he was conveying battle plans. The letter’s content also revealed the strains on Napoleon of his calamitous Russian invasion.

"At three o’clock in the morning, on the 22nd I am going to blow up the Kremlin," the letter said, laying out his route of retreat and urging his minions to send rations to the towns to the west. "My cavalry is in tatters, many horses are dying."

Napoleon’s prolific correspondence has drawn aficionados from around the world in places like the U.S., Britain, Japan and Russia. Interest appears to be rising as museums like the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts prepare to mark the bicentennial of Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo in 1815.

The Kremlin letter was but one piece in the vast auction Sunday. A 310-page manuscript for the "Essay on countryside fortification," which Napoleon wrote while exiled on the remote island of Saint Helena in 1818-1919, was also bought by the Paris museum — for €375,000 ($487,000), including fees.

Gerard Lheritier, director of the Paris museum, said it already has at least 1,500 letters, manuscripts or other writings linked to Napoleon Bonaparte. It recently acquired one from Japan that Napoleon had written to the Empress Josephine; it fetched €600,000-€700,000, he said.

[...]

Read the full article at: news.yahoo.com




Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Slaves of Charleston - Beyond Wealth of Jewish South Carolina
2014 09 15
Founded in 1749 in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, the Beth Elohim Synagogue is one of the very earliest synagogues in America. While other synagogues and congregations are also now a part of Charleston city life, Beth Elohim Synagogue is the oldest one in the area and serves as the repository for certain historical artifacts of Jewish life in the city. ...
Martian meteorite yields more evidence of the possibility of life on Mars
2014 09 15
A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old is helping to make the case for the possibility of life on Mars, say scientists. The finding of a ‘cell-like’ structure, which investigators now know once held water, came about as a result of collaboration between scientists in the UK and Greece. Their findings are published in the latest edition ...
Swedish Surprise: Anti-Immigration Party Surges...
2014 09 15
Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt Sunday’s election in Sweden was supposed to be a cakewalk for the Left. The Drudge Report ran a piece yesterday from the Guardian entitled: “Free-market era in Sweden swept away as feminists and greens plot new path.” The paper, a left-wing British outlet, published the piece the day before the election; it proved to be, well, ...
UK School to fingerprint students to ‘monitor their diets’
2014 09 15
STOURBRIDGE, England – A school is implementing a biometric system to better track what students are eating each day. The Express & Star reports students at Redhill School in Stourbridge, England will be fingerprinted in an attempt to reduce lunch lines and “monitor pupils’ diets.” The system requires pupils to press a finger against a machine which converts the print into ...
U.S. State Department Orders 160,000 Ebola Hazmat Suits
2014 09 15
The U.S. State Department has ordered 160,000 Hazmat suits for Ebola, prompting concerns that the federal government is anticipating the rapid spread of a virus that has already claimed an unprecedented number of lives. In a press release posted by Market Watch, Lakeland Industries, a manufacturer of industrial protective clothing for first responders, announced that it had signaled its intention “to ...
More News »