Napoleon's coded Kremlin letter sold for $243,500
FONTAINEBLEAU, France -- A secret code letter sent in 1812 by Napoleon Bonaparte boasting that his French forces would blow up Moscow's Kremlin has sold at auction for ten times its estimated presale price.
A Paris museum - the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts - was finalizing its purchase of the Oct. 20, 1812, document for (EURO)187,500 ($243,500), including fees. That's far above the pre-sale estimate of (EURO)15,000 ($19,500).
Auctioneers at Fontainebleau Auction House south of Paris say the letter sold Sunday is unique. It was written in a numeric code used by the French ruler to throw off would-be interceptors. Its content bared the strains on Napoleon of his calamitous Russian invasion.
One line said: "At three o'clock in the morning, on the 22nd I am going to blow up the Kremlin."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Undersized Beachum quietly excels at 1 of game’s pivotal positions
- Steelers notebook: Polamalu, Taylor unlikely to play, Harrison ‘ready’
- EPA says it won’t reguluate coal ash as hazardous waste
- Penguins’ defensive depth proves valuable
- Despite intimidation, women still passionate about video games
- Hotel building boom sweeps Pittsburgh region
- Real estate union: Howard Hanna buys Langholz Wilson Ellis
- Pirates sign Corey Hart to 1-year deal
- Port Authority fires two bus drivers involved in rollover crash
- Police gather in Ligonier for Perryopolis officer’s funeral
- Man involved with crash with officer dies in Pittsburgh hospital