Lot 207
  • 207

Verdi, Giuseppe

1,500 - 2,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Verdi, Giuseppe
  • Visiting card inscribed by Verdi in 1852, and an autograph letter signed by Puccini.
  • paper
Printed visiting card, inscribed by Verdi to Salvatore and Mathilde Marchesi, congratulating the pair and wishing them fifty years of happy marriage: “ai conjungi Marchesi...Saluti, e salute, salute, salute per mezzo secolo almeno”, 1 page, c.5.5 x 9.5cm, unsigned, printed card [“Giuseppe Verdi”], no place, [possibly Paris, early 1852], light dust-marking--PUCCINI, GIACOMO. Autograph letter signed (“G.Puccini”), asking Cosimo Pavone, Ricordi’s agent, to obtain two new mouthpieces from the pipe-shop in London, made from horn rather than bone, as one of those he sent before is broken, 1 page, 8vo (c.25 x 16cm), on a letter-card, autograph address-panel, annotated by recipient, stamped and franked: Torre del Lago, 7 December 1904

Catalogue Note

Salvatore Marchesi (1822-1908) and Mathilde Marchesi (1821-1913) were married on 19 April 1852 and they remained together for fifty-six years.  They were by far the most famous singing-teachers of the second half of the nineteenth century, in London, Vienna and Paris; among their pupils were Nellie Melba, Selma Kurz and Mary Garden.  It is unusual to find a visiting card from so early in Verdi's career: all those that have appeared at auction hitherto date from the last years of his life.

Verdi’s inscription is contemporary with his famous letter to his father-in-law Barezzi, written in Paris, defending his own status living (but unmarried) with the singer Giuseppina Strepponi.   Verdi and Giuseppina were in Paris from December 1851 until February 1852, when they reputedly saw Dumas’s La dame aux camélias, the source of the story for La traviata.