4 June 2008
BERLICHINGEN, Götz von (c.1480-1562). Autograph letter signed ('gotz von berlichingen') to an unidentified prince, n.p., n.d., one page, oblong 8vo (108 x 202mm), papered seal. Provenance: previously in the Karl Geigy-Hagenbach collection; Stargardt sale, 24 November 2004, lot 1060; the Albin Schram Collection.
Gerhard von Bödingheim requires security for a loan, and Berlichingen suggests the office of Jagstberg: 'Ich habs etlich Jor gehort wy geret von Botycken sein gelt nit anderß verleyhen dan uf ein pfant. Schylmy hat auch wol Hern gehabt dy mit I[h]m gehandelt aber sych nit myt [ihm] kunnen vergleichen. Dorum ich den furschlag bey myr im besten bedacht, dyweyl Jagsthberg ein unferrichet amt ist, so mus man i[h]n, Gereten, auch ein[en] verstentigen und gele[h]rten man sein lossen. Dornoch mogen sich etliche richten wy i[h]m zu thon wor'.
The recipient is likely to be the bishop of Würzburg, as Berlichingen's feudal overlord. A soldier of fortune and robber baron, Goetz von Berlichingen was immortalised by Goethe's play based on his life: the prosthetic iron fist which he used after the loss of his right hand in 1508 is still on display at Jagsthausen castle.
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