Selassie, Haile (1892 – 1975)

Selassie writes in 1928, ‘on the occasion of my elevation to the royal dignity and my coronation’

An extremely rare, early autograph letter signed by Haile Selassie as Negus Tafari, and in his capacity as ‘Heir to the Imperial Throne and Regent of the Ethiopian Empire’, one page, 17th November 1928, to Pierre Alype, in Ge’ez.

The Negus offers peace to his correspondent and continues ‘Your letter, dated 8th October 1928, in which you were kind enough to send your wishes on the occasion of my elevation to the royal dignity and my coronation, has arrived’, then concluding ‘I thank you for the wishes you expressed for the glory of my reign and the happiness of my family’. An official circular purple rubber stamp featuring the Lion of Judah and cross sceptre appears at the head of the page. Accompanied by a contemporary typed French translation.

Autograph letters of Haile Selassie are extremely rare, particularly those signed before becoming Emperor. A few light, minor creases to the edges, otherwise in fine condition.

In 1916, Empress Zewditu I granted Haile Selassie the position of Balemulu Silt’an Enderase (Regent Plenipotentiary), and in 1928 she planned to elevate him to the throne of Shewa, however last minute opposition from certain provincial rulers caused a change and his title Negus (or King) was conferred, on 7th October 1928, just ten days before the present letter was signed, without geographical qualification or definition.