Autograph letter to Messrs Frederic Huth & Co.
Autograph letter to Messrs Frederic Huth & Co.

Autograph letter to Messrs Frederic Huth & Co.

Off the Lizard, coast of England: 10 July, 1838.

Three page manuscript letter, 205 x 165 mm., on a single sheet folded in half; postal stamps, remnants of red wax seal.

Lhotsky worries about his specimens

Most uncommon autograph letter by the naturalist Lhotsky, written off the Cornish coast in 1838 as he returned from Hobart. Written in his difficult hand, the letter nonetheless can be shown to relate to Lhotsky's twin anxieties: concern about money, and worries about the fate of his collecting chests.

Most uncommon autograph letter by the naturalist Lhotsky, written off the Cornish coast in 1838 as he returned from Hobart. Written in his difficult hand, the letter nonetheless can be shown to relate to Lhotsky's twin anxieties: concern about money, and worries about the fate of his collecting chests.

Lhotsky was educated in Prague and Berlin, before joining the Bavarian Botanical Society and moving to Vienna. It was the King of Bavaria who granted him the funding to conduct research in South America and Australia, and Lhotsky duly arrived in Sydney in 1832, spending four difficult years in New South Wales during which time he made his important expedition to the Monaro and Snowy Mountains (his book, never completed, was published in Sydney and is now one of the famous rarities of inland exploration). In 1836 he moved to Hobart, where he managed to find work, including making a geological survey for Governor Franklin, but his prospects did not really improve, and he sailed for England in April 1838. Lhotsky's later career was difficult, and he died in poverty in 1866.

The present letter was written to the London merchants and bankers Frederick Huth & Company of South Street, Finsbury Square. Huth had first gone into business for himself in Corunna, Spain in 1805, but by 1809 was in London. His company was at the South Street address in Finsbury from 1818 to 1839. Of slight stature, he was sometimes called the "Napoleon of the City", and his bank was considered second only to the truly global houses such as Barings or the Rothschilds. Here Lhotsky notes that he had paid the Hobart agents Willis Garrett & Co £50 for his passage, and used three chests of specimens as security for a further outstanding £30. Lhotsky asks the banker not to advance the funds until the chests are safely handed over.

Manuscript material relating to Lhotsky is known to be very rare indeed, and this is a most unusual survival.

Messrs Frederic Huth & Co

N3

South Street &

Times Square

London

Off the Lizard Coast of England

10 July 38

Wohlgeborener Herr!

Ich habe die Ehre Ihnen anzuzeigen, daß ich für eine Zeitlang Australien verlaßen habe, um meine Reiseberichte zu drucken, u. andere _________ Geschäfte in England abzumachen.

Ich nehme mich die Freyheit Ihnen von hier zu schreiben, u. das einer Geschäfter wegen. Ich habe in Hobartoon £50.0.0 für meine Passage bezahlt, u. die Herrn Willis & Garrett mitzuteilte, daß ich ihm, für die nachständigen £30.0.0 drey große Kisten als Sicherheit gabe, übrigens erwähnen, das ich zeitweilig Geldes durch Ihr Haus erhalte, welche ich ihm gleichfalls als Sicherheit darboth. __________ wurde angenommen. Wie es aber in Botany Bay zu gehen pflegt, so wurde ich ein paar Stunden von unsere Abreise, an Bord des Schiffes veranlaßt, nach übrigens Wechselbriefe zu diesen Betrags zu unterzeichnen.

Zum Glück besitze ich eine Berechnung, voraus erhellt, daß meine 3 Kisten eine Sicherheit für diese £30.0.0 sind.

Ich bitte daher Eure Wohlgeb. (auf den fall, daß Sie Gelde für mich haben), diesen Wechsel nicht zu bezahlen, weil sonst jeden Anhaltspunkt, meine Kisten in guten Zustände vom Schiffe zu erhalten, ___________ möchte. Sind Gelder da, so soll Zahlung und Ablieferung die Kisten unter einen geschehe; sind keine da, so will ich das Uebrigen selbst wiederstatten.

Jedoch bitte ich Auslegen (____________) zu vermeiden.

In ein paar Tagen werde ich die Ehre haben, Ihnen letzlich nach meinem vielen gemachten persönlich abzustatten.

Mit Achtung

J. Lhotzky.

C. T. Die 3 Kisten enthalten den besten Theil meiner gemachten Sammlungen.

Huth is a banker, and Lhotzky writes to him from off the Lizard Coast to advise that he has left Australia for a while to have the report of his travels printed and to transact other business in England. He takes the liberty to write to advise that he had paid £50 for his passage and had offered the firm of Willis & Garrett three large chests containing the best of the collections that he had made as security for the outstanding £30. He did not have time, however, to get the bill of exchange signed in Botany Bay. He is fortunate to have a valuation for the chests, and offers them to Huth as security, but requests that Huth not advance the funds until the chests are safely handed over. In a few days he will be able to report on the many things he has done personally.

Price (AUD): $2,250.00  other currencies     Ref: #4306456

Condition Report