About the development of the gold price

Humboldt, Alexander von, German naturalist and explorer (1769-1859). 7 Autograph letters signed.

Paris, Potsdam, Berlin, and n. p., c. 1817 to 1848.

Various formats. Altogether 6¾ pp. on 12 ff. Some with autogr. address.

 25,000.00

Fine collection of letters (1 draft) to various recipients, concerning the development of the gold price (I), Arnold Mendelssohn and the so-called "Casket Affair" (II), an appointment (III and IV), etc.

I: N. p., [presumably around 1830]. About the development of the gold price to a friend and banker: "Darf ich Sie, mein theurer, vieljähriger Freund, noch vor meiner baldigen Abreise nach Teplitz (in 28 Stunden) um Ihre Meinung bitten, ob das Gold im Verhältniß zum Silber im Steigen ist. Von 1817 bis 1823 ist das Gold sehr regelmäßig von 15,236 bis 15,996 gestiegen, was man dem Ausprägen des englischen Goldes zuschrieb (Hofmann Lehre vom Gelde, S. 109). Wie ist es seitdem? Ich wünschte zu wissen, ob die Zunahme der Goldproduktion im Ural und Nord America sich im Verhältniß der Metalle spüren lassen, ob Gold seit 1825, wo das Gold des Ural erst wichtig wird, im Preise sinkt, da es häufiger wird. Ich glaube nein [...]".

Small traces of mounting on the reverse; lower left corner fasted with tape; some spotting.

II: N. p., [presumably around 1830]. Written during the European Revolutions of 1848 to an unnamed minister about Arnold Mendelssohn (1817-1854), a cousin of the composer Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: "Darf ich es wagen, theuerste Excellenz, mitten unter den zunehmenden unheimlichen Bewegungen der Hauptstadt Sie an Ihr Wohlwollen für mich, an die Bittschrift zu erinnern, die Sie die Gewogenheit haben wollten, in meinem Namen (in Angelegenheit der hoch betrübten Mendelsohnschen Familie) dem König zu überreichen. Die Sache liegt mir schmerzhaft am Herzen! [...]".

In 1846, Arnold Mendelssohn had become involved in the so-called "Casket Affair", which ruined his life: for the theft of a casket, the content of which was thought to be vital to Ferdinand Lassalle's court case, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment and lost the privilege to practise as physician. His accomplices, Alexander Oppenheim and Lassalle, were acquitted. Alexander von Humboldt interceded on his behalf, and Mendelssohn was pardoned in 1849, but was banished from Germany.

Somewhat wrinkled; the reverse of fol. 2 slightly spotty.

III: N. p., November 19, n. y. To "Herr Boguslawski", i. e. the meteorologist Georg von Boguslawski (1827-1884), on an appointment.

Folded for mailing, torn where unsealed, a bit marked, pencil notations by a previous owner on one blank portion, and with some denting.

IV: No place, 1844. In German; to Peter Joseph Lenné, Garden Director at Sans-Souci, arranging a meeting and an exchange.

Folded, some marks and wrinkles.

V: Paris, [c. 1817]. To an unidentified recipient: "[...] Les travaux de Mr le Chevalier Millin [!] meriteroient des encouragemens bien plus grands et par la profondeur des recherches et par le noble desinteressement de l'auteur [...]".

VI: "Berlin Sonntag Abend". To Prince Adalbert of Prussia, thanking for fulfilling him something he had asked for.

Somewhat spotty.

VII: "En dimanche", n. p. To the wife of the composer Gasparo Spontini, Catherine Marie Céleste, born Erard: "Mr de Humboldt [...] profitera à Paris de la permission d'admirer les beaux tableaux de Mr. Erard, l'homme célèbre dont la génie est admiré dans l'Europe entière [...]".

Slightly browned due to paper and somewhat spotty; right edge strongly creased; clipped section on f. 2 due to broken seal (not touching text).

VIII: Paris, 1821. In French, to a Paris bookseller, ordering several volumes.

Folded, with remnants of a wax seal and corresponding abrasion where unsealed; few marks.

IX: Autograph note: in German, apparently about an article in a geographic publication. Provenance note on verso.

Stock Code: BN#28704 Tag: