UNIQUE LETTER OF LEOPOLDINA
EMPRESS OF BRAZIL TO BE AUCTIONED
IN MONACO on 26th November 2021

Ahead of Brazil’s 200 years of independence in 2022, Hermitage Fine Art will auction, on November 26, one of the rarest manuscripts of Leopoldina of Austria: a letter written just before boarding the ship that will take her to Brazil, where she will become empress next to her husband Dom Pedro.

[DONA LEOPOLDINA, THE FIRST EMPRESS OF BRAZIL]
MARIA-LEOPOLDINA OF AUSTRIA (1797-1826)
Autograph letter signed from Leopoldina, first Empress consor of Brazil, to the Emperor Ferdinand of Austria.

(Maria Leopoldine Josepha Caroline Franziska Ferdinanda von Habsburg-Lothringen)
Livorno, 10 of August 1817. 1 p.

On 2 September 1822, in absence of her husband Dom Pedro, then prince regent of Brazil, she declared the independence of Brazil from Portugal. Today, she is a highly revered idol of Brazil. Her decisive support for the cause of Brazilian independence earned her the nickname «Paladina da Independência».

«In 12 hours I will board the ship.»

Immediately after setting foot in the Brazilian ship, she became a Brazilian national and relinquished her Austrian citizen.
Leopoldina would never see her family, or Europe altogether, ever again.

The letter was written in Livorno, only few days before the archduchess left Europe to Brazil, and just three months after marrying Dom Pedro by proxy on 13 May 1817. Boarding took place on 13 August 1817 and, after a 81-day trip, Leopoldina arrived in Rio de Janeiro where she finally met her husband. The wedding sealed the strategic alliance between Portugal and Austria. Dona Leopoldina, thanks to her competence, Austrian upbringing, and diplomatic skills, steered Brazil towards independence, promoted social progress, enlightenment, education, and immigration from Europe until her death before her thirtieth birthday.

Provenance:
- Private archives of the Emperor Ferdinand of Austria.
- Private Collection.

[LÉOPOLDINE D’AUTRICHE, IMPÉRATRICE DU BRÉSIL]
MARIA-LEOPOLDINA D’AUTRICHE (1797-1826)
Lettre autographe signée, de Léopoldine, première impératrice consort du Brésil, à l’empereur Ferdinand d’Autriche.

(Maria Leopoldine Josepha Caroline Franziska Ferdinanda von Habsburg-Lothringen)
Livourne, le 10 août 1817. 1 p.

En l’absence de Dom Pedro, son mari, elle a déclaré l’indépendance du Brésil vis- à-vis du Portugal, elle est aujourd’hui une idole très vénérée du Brésil. Son soutien décisif à la cause de l’indépendance du Brésil lui a valu le surnom de «Paladina da Independência».

«Dans 12 heures, je monterai à bord du navire».

Immédiatement après avoir mis le pied sur le navire brésilien, elle est devenue une ressortissante brésilienne et elle a cessé d’être une citoyenne autrichienne.
Leopoldina ne revit plus jamais sa famille ni aucun endroit d’Europe.
Les lettres inédites de Leopoldina sont rares.

Provenance:
- Archives privées de l’empereur Ferdinand d’Autriche.
- Private Collection.
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