Lot 242
  • 242

Devereaux, Robert, 2nd Earl of Essex

7,000 - 10,000 USD
5,250 USD
bidding is closed


  • Devereaux, Robert, 2nd Earl of Essex
  • Autograph letter signed, to Prince Maurice of Nassau,
  • paper
Asking him to receive Antonio Perez cordially, in French, one page, folio (297 x 205 mm), integral autograph address leaf with two red wax armorial seal impressions and remains of yellow silk ties, "de la Cour," 19 September 1594, minor repairs. Red morocco-backed folder.


Butterfield, 28 June 2001, lot 1081. acquisition: Purchased at the foregoing auction through Bernard Quaritch

Catalogue Note

A letter by Queen Elizabeth's last favorite referring to the original of a Shakespearian character. Antonio Perez had once been a trusted advisor to Philip II of Spain but fell from favor and fled the country. By 1593 he was in England and closely connected to the circle that had developed around the Earl of Essex. He soon became famed for his extravagant and fantastical character, and was Shakespeare's target in the character of the braggart Don Adriano de Armado in Love's Labour's Lost (c.1595), who is described by the King of Navarre as:

"A man in all the world's new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrase in his brain.
One who the music of his own vain tongue
Doth ravish like enchanting harmony;
A man of complements, whom right and wrong
Have chose as an empire of their mutiny." (I.i.162-167)