Lot 338

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Francesco II d'Este LS Conveying Christmas Wishes

A 1p letter in Italian signed by Francesco II d'Este (1660-1694), Duke of Modena and Reggio, as "Francesco d'Este" at lower right. January 4, 1685. Issued from Modena, present-day Italy. The letter is secretarially inscribed on watermarked bifold paper. The inner pages are blank. There is an integral address leaf bearing an elaborate blind-embossed seal still adhered with red wax. Expected wear including flattened folds, foxing, and water stains. Two small holes at the center correspond to the position of the wax seal. The right margin is chipped and moisture-darkened. Else good to very good. 8.375" x 11.625." Accompanied by a full English translation.

Francesco II d'Este addressed this message of Christmas greetings to Giulio Dalla Rosa in Parma, located just 60 km northwest of the ducal seat at Modena, and about 100 km northwest of the major city, Bologna. His recipient was most likely Giulio Dalla Rosa (1642-1699), a Roman Catholic priest, who, from July 1698 to December 1699, would serve as Bishop of Borgo San Donnino.

Translated in full:

"Most excellent Sir,

The wishes of your Excellency as the signs of your love will be always very dear to me. I thank you for the new proof you gave me, in wishing me a good Christmas. Although I suppose you are enough convinced by my correspondence, nevertheless I'll give you more proof and I wish you every benefit from the Lord.

Modena 4 January 1685

At your service

[signed] Francesco d'Este."

Francesco II d'Este served nearly his entire short life as the Duke of Modena and Reggio, first under the regency of his mother, from age 2-14, and later as an independent ruler. Francesco II d'Este was a generous musical patron and a violinist himself. His older sister Mary of Modena became Queen of England after she married James II in 1673.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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September 6, 2023 11:00 AM EDT
Wilton, CT, US

University Archives

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