Lot 164
  • 164

BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. FINE CHARACTERISTIC AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED ("BEETHOVEN"), TO HIS FRIEND NIKOLAUS VON ZMESKALL

Estimate
50,000 - 80,000 USD
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Description

  • Fine characteristic autograph letter signed (“Beethoven”), to his friend Nikolaus von Zmeskall, dated by the recipient “28 October 1810”
enquiring about a recipe for boot-blacking, making a joke of the request and insisting that Zmeskall’s servant does not bring it as he cannot abide him …Ich bitte um das Stiefelwiksrezept, ein gewikster Kopf bedarf auch einen gewichsten Stiefel—Die sache wird wohl ohne ihren Bedienten thunlich seyn… 1 page, 4to, 22x19.5cm, with integral autograph address-panel, before 28 October 1810 creased where folded before 28 October 1810

Literature

Anderson, no.282; Brandenburg, no.476; A. Holder, “Brief aus New York. Unbekannte Briefe von Beethoven, Liszt und Brahms”, Die amerikanische Rundschau, 2 (1946), p.87 (facsimile).

Catalogue Note

A lost letter of Beethoven, described as missing by Anderson and Brandenburg. Count Nikolaus von Zmeskall was one of Beethoven’s oldest friends and quaffing partners, with whom he could communicate in a relaxed and unbuttoned manner. The misdemeanor of the servant is not elaborated by Beethoven, who also avers that “A well-polished head also needs a well-polished boot”.
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