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As the picture shows, this sale is for a letter with several other display items related to Napoleon and the this letter framed to hang on a wall in display. The frame measures 19-1/4" x 22-1/2" and is gold in color. The glass is in like new condition with no scratches. The items listed below are perfectly preserved and displayed in this frame.
At the top is a type heading NAPOLEON I (1769-1821) Emperor of France; first Counsel of the French Republic.
Just below and to the left of this is a likeness of Napoleon
Below the heading is the letter written in French by Napoleon. In the lower right corner of this letter is a stamped seal.
Next to the letter is a typed translation of the letter. It reads as follows:
To Admiral Ganteaume, I have seen with pleasure by your dispatch of the 9th, that you were happy with the zeal of our sailors and with the rapidity of the maneuvers of our different vessels. I have observed with interest that having set sail and anchored several times, there wasn't a single false maneuver nor a single accident experienced. The fleet of Toulon left on the 9th; I have had some news of the Toulon on the 11th; it is assumed to be on the high seas. I have some news of Ferrol who told me that 4 vessels and two Spanish frigates are in port and ready to leave. You will find, therefore, in the port 11 war vessels. The essential will be to not lose time in regard to Ferrol, and your orders, once communicated, this fleet will rejoin you. I pray God will keep you in his holy care. At Chalon sur Saone, 17th of April, 1805. Napoleon
Below this is additional typed information as follows:
Napoleon had conceived of a plan for invading England by concentrating his fleet in the West Indies and then drawing them back en masse to escort his assembled landing craft across the Straits of Dover. Admiral Villeneuve had slipped past the British blockade in March and by mid-May, assembled 20 of the line and 8 frigates at Martinique. Admiral Ganteaume, with 21 of the line, was waiting orders at Brest. The plan went awry when another admiral, Missiessy, mistakenly went to the Eastern Atlantic with his forces; Ganteaume, by mid-May, desperately telegraphed Napoleon by semaphore for permission to break the blockade which, at the time, was actually inferior to his own forces. Napoleon lost his nerve and ordered him to sea without an action. The fleeting opportunity passed as the British force was re-in forced.
The letter was purchased by my father 30+ years ago. He had the translation done and the items placed in the frame for display. He has passed away and I am forced to sell some of his collections that I inherited.