Bibelots

London

Princess Marthe Bibesco Romanian French Belle Époque Orchids & Brazil 1952 Signed Postcard

£75.00

Princess Marthe Bibesco (née Lahovary; 28 January 1886 – 28 November 1973) was a Romanian-French writer of the Belle Époque. Bibesco's papers are at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

Born Marta Lucia Lahovary in Bucharest as the third child of Ioan Lahovary and Princess Emma Mavrocordat, Marthe spent her childhood at the Lahovary family estates in Balotești and the fashionable French sea-resort of Biarritz. On her first introduction into society, in 1900, she met Crown Prince Ferdinand, the heir apparent to the Romanian throne, but after a secret engagement of one year, Marthe married at seventeen Prince George III Valentin Bibescu (Bibesco), scion of one of the country's prestigious aristocratic families.

Despite her wide circle of friends, and the birth of her daughter Valentine in 1903, Marthe was bored. In 1905, when George was sent by the Romanian king Carol I on a diplomatic mission to the Mozzafar-al-Din Shah of Iran, she eagerly embarked on the trip, recording her observations in a journal. Along the way, she stopped at Yalta, where she encountered the exiled Russian writer Maxim Gorki. It was in 1908, at the suggestion of Maurice Barrès, that Marthe completed and published her impressions of her Persian trip. The French critics and writers were enthusiastic and amazingly complimentary. The travel memoirs, Les Huit Paradis ("The Eight Paradises"), launched her on a lifelong career as a successful writer of both nonfiction and novels. She became the toast of Belle Epoque Paris, moving easily among the literary, aristocratic and political power elites. She was awarded the Prix de l'Academie Française.

The postcard is written to Raymond Gairceau dated Southapmton 8th August 1952 featuring an image of R.M.S. Andes:

"Dear Mr. Gairceau
Thank you for the beautiful flowers, the orchids are embarking with me today to join their sister orchids from Brazil.
Good memories to you and your family.
Princess Bibesco"

Size: 15 x 10.5 cm approx

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