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Victoria, Dowager Empress of Germany

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The Dowager Empress, also Britainʼs Princess Royal, signs a power of attorney for use in the United States

Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa, 1840–1901.  Eldest child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom; Princess Royal, 1841–1901; Empress Frederick of Germany and Queen of Prussia, 1888; Dowager Empress, 1888–1901.  Partially printed document signed, Victoria R / Dowager Empress Frederick of Germany & Queen of Prussia, one page, 8½" x 13½", Frankfurt am Main, Germany, August 19, 1889. 

Some 10 months after the death of her husband, Emperor Frederick III of Germany, Victoria signs this power of attorney, in English, to appoint Drexel Morgan & Co. as her "true and lawful attorney" to deal with financial issues relating to "sums of dividends of New York City Stock." 

Victoria was the first child of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.  As the Princess Royal, Victoria met her future husband in England in 1851, when she was 11 years old and he was 19.  Frederick wrote Victoria a series of letters after he returned to Germany and then returned to England in 1855 to visit her and her family at Balmoral.  After three days, he requested her parentsʼ permission to marry her.  They consented but required that the couple wait until Victoria reached age 17.  They were married on January 25, 1858, some two months after Victoria turned 17.

Frederick became Emperor Frederick III of Germany and King of Prussia on March 9, 1888, when his father, Wilhelm I, died at age 90.  Only three days earlier, Frederick learned that he had cancer himself.  He lived only 99 more days before he, too, died, leaving his and Victoriaʼs oldest son to inherit the throne as Kaiser Wilhelm II.  Victoria built a castle, which she named Friedrichshof after her husband, and lived there, largely margainalized, until she died from breast cancer in 1901.

The document is engrossed in the hand of Jacob Mueller, Consul General of the United States at Frankfurt, who has signed twice, as a witness and to take the Empress's acknowledgement. 

Victoria has signed with a beautiful bold brown fountain pen signature and has written her title beneath her signature.  It is uncanny how closely her signature resembles that of her mother, Queen Victoria.  Her black wax seal with a paper ribbon is affixed at right, and the Consulate General's gold foil seal is affixed at the lower left. 

There is a bit of transfer discoloration from both seals resulting from storage of the document folded, but it is not obtrusive.  The document has horizontal folds, with minor paper loss at the ends of the middle fold, and on the back there are docketing notes in another hand and the oval receipt stamp of the City of New York Chamberlain's Office.  Overall the piece is in fine condition.



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