Known in the German-speaking world as "Ernst von Osterreich," this son of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Spain was educated with his brother, Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II; in 1573 and 1587 he was a candidate for the throne of Poland; from 1576 on he served as governor of the Archduchy of Austria in 1590 he was named governor of Inner Austria; from 1594 until his death he served as governor of Spanish Netherlands. Item #28374
ALS in Italian, 1p lettersheet, 7½" X 12", Vienna, Austria, 1579 March 26. Very good. Slight bit of age toning and quite minor foxing; inconspicuous small paper loss at left margin (¼" X 2¼") bears old but expert replacement. Overall attractive, boldly written and easily legible. Writing to his cousin, the Duke of Savoy (Emmanuel Philibert, 1528-80, Duke of Savoy 1553-80), it reads (translation): "Sir: Mr. de la Cruz, your ambassador, gave me a letter from you several days ago, and although I wanted to answer it before this, I have been kept from it by various things, and I hope you will not take offense at my delay. You may be sure that I shall always endeavor to do for you all that I can, as I have often told Mr. de la Cruz, who has probably so informed you. He has told me of the warmth and good will that you feel for me, which I feel certain of, and I do not know how to repay you except in kind as you may always find in everything that I can very well do you for. May God keep you as I would wish...." Signed simply "Ernesto" with a flourish. Integral address leaf present, on which Ernest notes "Al Señor duque de Saboya my primo," with a small deep burgundy wax seal bearing his family crest still present. A choice example of this autograph. Ernest died at the relatively young age of 42, making his autograph material quite scarce.