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QUEEN MARIA TERESA (FRANCE) - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 01/11/1655 - HFSID 53120

QUEEN MARIA TERESA (FRANCE) The Spanish Infanta and Queen of France writes a letter to the Countess of Salvatierra expressing her contentment for the good health of her sister Margarita Teresa, who would later be the Holy Ronman Empress and German Queen.

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QUEEN MARIA TERESA (FRANCE)
The Spanish Infanta and Queen of France writes a letter to the Countess of Salvatierra expressing her contentment for the good health of her sister Margarita Teresa, who would later be the Holy Ronman Empress and German Queen. The future Queen Maria Teresa also mentions her anger for the cancellation of a comedy due to her step-mother Queen Mariana of Austria's headache and sends regards to her beloved sister
Autograph Letter Signed: "Maria Teresa" in iron gall ink. 8¼x11¾. One page. Fully Translated in English: "My Countess. I am very happy for your letter and also because my sister and you are fine. Thank God I am also well. We arrived yesterday at five o'clock and we are not going out today because the comedy was cancelled due to the Queens's headache, I am very upset about it. The weather is not good, it's been raining a lot, I hope God it gets better. I feel an immense loneliness without my sister, I want you to tell her, particularly at bed time, to not forget about me and ask her what she wants me to send her, that I will be so happy to do so. May God protect you. Pardo, January 11, 1653. Maria Teresa" Queen Maria Teresa (1638-1683). Maria Teresa was born to King Philip IV and Queen Elisabeth of France as Infanta of Spain at the Royal Monastery of El Escorial. Her mother died when she was only six years old. As a member of the House of Habsburg, the Infanta was entitled to use the title of Archduchess of Austria. Maria Teresa is still famed for her piety and virtue. Dissimilar to France, the kingdom of Spain did not have Salic Law, so it was possible for a female to assume the throne, so when Maria Teresa's brother Balthasar Charles, Prince of Asturias, died in 1646, she became heiress presumptive to the immense Spanish Empire and remained such until 1657, when Philip Prospero, Prince of Asturias, was born. However, when he also died in November 1, 1661 Maria Teresa was again heiress presumptive until November 6, 1661, when Prince Charles was born, and who would later inherit the thrones of Spain as Charles II. In 1658 the war with France began to wind down and a union between the royal families of those nations was proposed as a means to secure peace. Maria Teresa and the French king were double first-cousins. So, King Philip IV sent a special envoy to the French court to start negotiations for peace and royal marriage, and they were intense. Eager to prevent a union of the two countries or crowns, especially one in which Spain would be subservient to France, the diplomats sought to include a renunciation clause that would deprive Maria Teresa and her children of any rights to the Spanish succession. This was eventually done but, by the skill of Mazarin and his French diplomats, the renunciation and its validity were made conditional upon the payment of a large dowry. As it turned out, Spain, impoverished and bankrupt after decades of war, was unable to pay such a dowry, and France never received the agreed sum of 500,000 ecus. A marriage by proxy to the French king was held in Fuenterrabia. The bride was accompanied by her father and the entire Spanish court to the Isle of Pheasants in the Bidassoa, where Louis and his court met her. On June 7, 1660 Maria Teresa left Spain and two days later the marriage took place in Saint-Jean-de-Luz at the then recently rebuilt church of Saint Jean the Baptist. After the wedding, Louis wanted to consummate the marriage as quickly as possible. The new queen's mother-in-law (and aunt) arranged a private consummation instead of the public one that was the custom. On 26 August 1660, the newlyweds made the traditional Joyous Entry into Paris. Louis was faithful to his wife for the first year of their marriage, commanding the Grand Maréchal du Logis that they were never to be set apart, no matter how small the house in which they might be lodging. Despite the King enjoyed the legitimate passion that Maria Teresa felt for him, the couple would later have difficulty with compatibility. Queen Maria Teresa stared gaining weight with the years and withdrew into her circle of dwarfs, the traditional attendants to a Spanish Infanta, which she had brought with her from Spain. The first time Maria Teresa ever saw the Palace of Versailles was on 25 October 1660. At that time, it was just a small royal residence that had been Louis XIII's hunting lodge not far from Paris. Later, the first building campaign (1664-1668) commenced with the Plaisirs de l'Île enchantée of 1664, a week-long celebration at Versailles ostensibly held in honour of France's two queens, Louis XIV's mother and wife, but exposed Louise de La Vallière's role as the king's maîtresse-en-titre. The celebration of the Plaisirs de l'Île enchantée is often regarded as a prelude to the War of Devolution, which Louis waged against Spain. The first building campaign witnessed alterations in the château and gardens in order to accommodate the 600 guests invited to the celebration.The installment that King Louis made of Louise de La Vallière as his official mistress caused so much pain to the Queen, for which Louise would later tender a public apology. Maria Teresa was very lucky to have found a friend at court in her mother-in-law, unlike many princesses in foreign lands. As she did not have any interest in politics or literature, she continued to spend much of her free time playing cards and gambling. Consequently, she was viewed as not fully playing the part of queen designated to her by her marriage. But more importantly, she became pregnant in early 1661, and a long-awaited son was born on 1 November 1661. As time passed, Queen Maria Teresa learned to tolerate her husband's prolonged infidelity with Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan. The king left her to her own devices, yet reprimanded Madame de Montespan when her behavior at court too flagrantly disrespected the queen's position. Later, the governess of Montespan's illegitimate children by the king, Madame de Maintenon, came to supplant her mistress in the king's affections. At first she resisted the king's advances and encouraged him to bestow more attention on his long-neglected wife, a thoughtfulness which Maria Teresa repaid with warmth toward the new favorite. After the queen's death, Maintenon would become the king's second, although officially secret, wife. So, Maria Teresa played just a little part in political affairs except for the years 1667, 1672 and 1678, when she acted as regent while her husband was away on campaigns on the frontier. During the last week of July 1683 Queen Maria Teresa fell ill and, as her illness worsened, her husband ordered for the sacraments to be kept nearby. She died a painful death on July 30, 1683 at Versailles. Upon her death, King Louis XIV said: "This is the first trouble which she has given me". Marie-Thérèse's (as she was known in France) burial site at the Basilique Saint-Denis, where most of France's monarchs are buried. Of her six children, only one survived her, Louis, le Grand Dauphin, the oldest one, who died in 1711. One of the younger grandsons of Maria Teresa's would eventually inherit her claim to the Spanish throne to become King Philip V of Spain in 1700. Fragile. Multiple mailing folds. Lightly toned, soiled and wrinkled. Edges and corners worn and soiled. Small tears along edges. Otherwise, fine condition.

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