Catherine of Aragon's letter the jewel of Paris auction

10th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

More than 1,500 letters and writings from queens, actresses and singers -- including one from Henry VIII's first wife Catherine of Aragon that records a defining moment in British history -- go under the hammer in Paris on November 18-19.

The collection amassed by Claude de Flers also includes missives from Brigitte Bardot and Coco Chanel and passion-filled letters to literary great Victor Hugo from his mistress Juliette Drouet.

The rarest document is the signed letter from Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536) to a Spanish cardinal pleading for the pope's help in blocking Henry VIII's attempts to annul their marriage because she had failed to produce a son.

Rome's refusal to grant Henry a divorce led to a schism within the Roman Catholic Church as Henry appointed himself head of the Church of England.

The Ader Nordmann auction house expects the letter, dated October 3, 1529, to fetch between 35,000 euros and 40,000 euros ($43,500 and $49,500).

In Bardot's letter to record company Philips of December 21, 1967, she urges the firm "not under any circumstances" to release her passionate duet with Serge Gainsbourg, "Je t'aime moi non plus", after her then husband Gunter Sachs objected to the recording.

It is listed at between 2,000 euros and 2,500 euros.


© 2014 AFP

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