Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Felix, German composer (1809-1847). Autograph letter signed ("Felix").

Birmingham, 21 Sept. 1837.

4to. 9 lines on bifolium. With the drawing of a heart and black seal.


One of only two surviving letters to his young wife Cécile Jeanrenaud: "Voici, chère Cécile, comme je garde ma promesse ! 1000 lieues ! 1000 baisers ! Espoir !".

The "promise" to which Mendelssohn alludes probably refers to his departure from England immediately after his participation in the Birmingham Triennial Music Festival on September 20th and 21st, 1837, though he may also have presented his wife this note personally upon his return, with a little gift.

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Cécile Jeanrenaud (1817-53) had met on 4 May 1836 and married in Frankfurt on 28 March 1837. Not even six months after the wedding, Mendelssohn travelled to Birmingham to conduct his "Paulus" and to premiere his 2nd piano concert. On September 27th the couple was reunited in Leipzig.

The uncommon seal, which forms part of the message, comprises the word "[H]élas", the number "1000", and a line of music with the note E - probably for "Espoir".

The only other known letter by Mendelssohn to Cécile is in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.


1) Collection of Gerald Felix Warburg and Natica Nast Warburg.

2) Sold by Northeastern Auctions, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 27 October 2013, lot 503.


Browned; slight damage to seal; traces of old repairs.

Cat. no.: 24 Catalogue: 38th Antiquaria Ludwigsburg Tag: