1812 coded Bonaparte letter sells in Paris for €187,500


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 10 times its estimated pre-sale price.

The Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in Paris was finalising its purchase of the document, dated October 20th, 1812, document for €187,500, including fees.

That is far above the pre-sale estimate of €15,000.

Auctioneers at Fontainebleau Auction House south of Paris said the letter sold was 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.”

The battle outside Moscow in September is considered among the bloodiest day of action in the Napoleonic Wars, with at least 70,000 casualties. – (AP, Reuters)