During the first war between the coalition of Prussia and Austria against revolutionary France, many inhabitants of Palatinate have found refuge at the fortress at Mannheim. Amongst them was Duke Karl August, who died from a stroke on April 1st, 1795 at the age of 49. Only a few months later, Mannheim surrendered.
Karl August's library and collections, who came to Mannheim from Kaiserslautern, were apparently fully rescued as even shorter and more simple pieces were preserved.
Max Joseph, the younger brother and heir of Karl August went into exile to Ansbach. As his country was lost to France, he did not have any income. Moreover, he has inherited vast debts from his brother. The Munich inheritance was in sight, but before elector Karl Theodor died in 1799, Max Joseph was forced to sell parts of his heritage.
A bookseller from Mannheim estimated the value of the books from Karlsberg Castle. The auction catalogue was printed in 1000 copies and comprised of 3665 titles. They were priced with a value of around 25000 guldens. Only 675 works were auctioned and rendered 5450 guldens.
Numerous books remained in the hands of family members like Max Joseph and his son Ludwig.