VATTEMARE, Alexandre, “Monsieur Alexandre”. 19578



Autograph Letter Signed ‘Alexandre’, to Thomas Sowler, thanking him for agreeing to help in the search for “a good furnished lodging”, recalling “your kind attentions when we were in Manchester”, etc. In English. 1 page 9 x 7 inches, in good condition. Liverpool, 11 December 1825. Uncommon. Nicolas Marie Alexandre Vattemare (1796–1864), also known under the stage name Monsieur Alexandre, was a French ventriloquist and philanthropist who created the first international system for the exchange of items among libraries and museums. Around age seven, Vattemare discovered a talent for ventriloquism and the ability to imitate sounds. He trained as a surgeon, but was refused a diploma after making cadavers seem to speak during surgical exercises. At age 18 he was placed in charge of some 300 to 400 typhus-afflicted Prussian prisoners of war, and in 1814, the soldiers asked that he accompany them to Berlin. Facing economic problems in Berlin, he decided to earn money as a ventriloquist, performing under the stage name Monsieur Alexandre. His career lasted from 1815 to 1835, during which he visited over 550 cities and performed before royalty including the Tsar of Russia and Queen Victoria. His performances did not use a dummy, but rather involved Vattemare presenting plays in which he portrayed all the characters, involving dozens of voices. Vattemare wrote his own comedic scripts, which he performed in French, German, and English. He gained acclaim and wealth through his ventriloquism, while becoming friends with famous writers and artists including Goethe, Lamartine, Pushkin, and Sir Walter Scott.