Royal Russia Annual No. 7 - Winter 2015 - COMING SOON! Topic: Books
The next issue of Royal Russia is coming together very nicely and on schedule to go to the printers in early January 2015. The articles and their respective authors combined promise to make it our finest issue to date.
The No. 7 Winter 2015 edition will welcome Margarita Nelipa as resident writer. Nelipa enjoys a faithful following, thanks to her previously published books - The Murder of Grigorii Rasputin (2010) and Alexander III: His Life and Reign (2014), and her yet to be published third book, Alexei. Russia's Last Imperial Heir: A Chronicle of Tragedy (to be published in 2015). Many readers are anticipating her debut in the pages of our popular periodical with great interest and enthusiasm. Nelipa's contribution will compliment our other gifted writers in bringing you new, previously published works on the Romanovs, their legacy and the history of Imperial Russia.
The following articles will be featured in the next issue of Royal Russia:
Servant to Three Emperors: Count Vladimir Borisovich Frederiks
- a prominent figure in the public life of pre-revolutionary Russia, his career spanned over six decades. He outlived three Emperors and was witness to several remarkable events, including the abdication of Nicholas II in 1917. At the peak of his career Frederiks served as Minister of the Imperial Court and Appanages as well as Chancellor of the Russian and Imperial Orders and the Commander of the Imperial Apartments. Widely recognized by his white drooping moustache, he is often seen in photographs shadowing Emperor Nicholas II, however, for the most part few today have any idea as to who Count Vladimir Borisovich Frederiks was and what role he had played as the key Minister in the last imperial Court
by Margarita Nelipa
'A True Friend of Russia' - Russia's Relations with Siam
- the relationship between the royal courts of Russia and Siam (Thailand), includes the visit of Nicholas II as Tsarevitch to Siam, plus Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich's visit for the King of Siam's coronation in 1910
by Coryne Hall
The Youth of Catherine the Great: Stepping into History
- the period of her childhood and youth is explored, including the circumstances of her marriage to the Russian Grand Duke Peter Feodorovich
by Irene Galaktinovna
The Red Cross and the Romanov Women: The Imperial Family in Service to the Wounded (1867-1917)
- the Russian Imperial Family and nursing is explored, plus the Faberge Red Cross eggs of 1914
by Nicholas B.A. Nicholson
My Russia: The Imperial Hermitage Theatre
- built during the reign of Empress Catherine II, the history of one of St. Petersburg’s oldest theatres is explored. It served in part as the venue for the famous luxurious ball held in 1903, in which members of the Russian Imperial family and the aristocracy wore costumes of 17th century from the time of Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich
by Paul Gilbert
Mr. Stewart and the Romanovs
- Herbert Stewart served as tutor to the children of Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich and Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna in Imperial Russia from 1908 to 1917
by Peter Rogers
Moscow Kremlin: 20th Century Losses
- the architectural losses of the Moscow Kremlin during the Soviet years include the Chudov Monastery, the Ascension Convent and the Maly Nikolaevsky Palace
by Paul Gilbert
Plus 2 collections of rare and vintage photographs:
Frozen in Time
- featuring photographic memories of the Russian Imperial family
The Lost World of Imperial Russia
- featuring vintage photographs of Imperial Russia before the Revolution
Please note that the contents of this issue are subject to change without notice. This issue will be available for purchase in February 2015. We are currently not accepting any pre-orders for this issue. Standing orders for Royal Russia are currently available.
Watch for our advertisements in upcoming issues of Majesty and Russian Life magazines. Royal Russia Annual can be purchased at the NEW Royal Russia Bookshop (Canada), Amazon.com (United States), Booksellers van Hoogstraten (Den Haag, Netherlands), and Librairie Galignani (Paris, France).
A Russian Moment No. 48 - The Portrait Hall, Alexander Palace Topic: A Russian Moment
Portraits of Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayevich (left) and Grand Duke Alexander Nicholayevich - the future Emperor Alexander II (right)
by the German artist Franz Krüger
The Portrait Hall was created in place of the Second State Hall of the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo. The Portrait Hall was classically decorated with artificial marble encrusted walls, and vaulted ceilings. The furnishings included gilded furniture sets and other exquisite objects. Large windows afforded grand views of the Alexander Park.
Nicholas I was one of the first emperors who placed his and family members’ portraits in the palace. The Portrait Hall boasted one of the best portrait series by the German artist Franz Krüger, commissioned by the Emperor. The portrait of Nicholas I with a group of horsemen, his retinue, was restored to the hall several years back and today hangs in its original location, in the centre of the hall. The enormous portrait is flanked by the portraits of the Emperor’s sons, including the two pictured above: Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayevich (left) and Grand Duke Alexander Nicholayevich - the future Emperor Alexander II (right).
The Portrait Hall is symmetrical to the Semi-Circular Hall and the Marble Hall (also known as the Mountain Hall - currently under restoration). In June 2010, the Portrait Hall was one of three former ceremonial State Rooms opened to the public after an extensive restoration. The event coincided with the 300th anniversary of Tsarskoe Selo and was marked with great pomp and pageantry.
Copyright Notice: The following article was originally published in the October 17th, 2014 edition of Russia Beyond the Headlines. The author Elena Bobrova, owns the copyright of the work presented below.
Two hundred and eighteen lots containing pieces made by the official supplier of jewelry to the Russian imperial court will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in October. A series of autographed prize medals is expected to generate particular interest among bidders.
Items of jewelry, silverware and a collection of prize medals from the workshops of the House of Fabergé, the illustrious supplier of jewelry to the Russian imperial court, will appear in a Sotheby's auction in New York on Oct. 23.
“This sale includes 71 lots of items from Fabergé; the lots of miniature pendant Easter eggs (lots 68 and 69) include works from many different jewelers of the period. Fabergé is one of the most desirable names on the world market and we are always trying to find the very best examples to offer our clients,” said Karen Kettering, Senior Specialist in Sotheby’s Russian Works of Art Department.
A serious bidding war is also anticipated for some of the enamelwork.
"Undoubtedly, we are all thrilled to offer the enamel, gold, silver and hardstone study of a violet (lot 36),” said Kettering. “The freshness and delicacy of the piece represents the very best of the Fabergé flower studies: the workmasters and artisans worked the most precious materials with the greatest of skill to create an object of refined simplicity”.
A gilded silver tray ladle with the enameled coat of arms of the Russian Empire is also expected to attract a high level of interest. ”The large and impressive Fabergé silver jardinière in Rococo taste (lot 101) is extraordinarily heavy and, at 48 cm in width, quite an imposing object. We had a similar centerpiece with the same coat-of-arms in a 2010 sale. We have not yet identified the family’s name, but it was obviously part of an important silver service for a very wealthy family,” said Kettering.
Collectors and investors are also only showing interest in precious autographed prize medals. In the days of the Russian Empire, these were given to specially merited directors of commercial railways, large auction houses and industrial associations. Their starting prices range from $5,000 to $25,000.
The auction's overall revenue, even if all the items are sold at starting prices, is expected to be over $1 million.
Kettering said that the current geopolitical tensions between Russia and the U.S. have not affected the demand for Russian art. “Sotheby’s auctions of Russian art in June 2014 achieved their highest total in six years, dispelling pre-sale doubts that had been raised about the market. Specifically, demand for Russian masterpieces has never been higher, with more lots selling for over £1 million at our Evening Auction than at any Russian sale before. These record sales demonstrate that there isn’t always a clear correlation between socio-political tension and the strength of the art market,” Kettering said.
Other American auction houses are also not backing off Russian art treasures. In December, New York will host the traditional international art and antique auctions with the participation of the largest auction houses and dealers from the U.S., the UK, Germany and France. Additionally, a collection of unique mechanic timepieces will be auctioned in December at the Antiquorum, a house that auctions pocket watches, hand watches and mantelpiece clocks made by the best watchmakers and jewelers from the mid-17th to 20th centuries. The collection to be auctioned is expected to contain a series of gift watches belonging to Russian Emperor Nicholas II. They were produced in a limited edition by the Pavel Bure Company, the official supplier of the imperial court.
The House of Fabergé (Dom Faberzhe in Russian) was founded by Gustav Faberge in St. Petersburg in 1842 and continued by his son Peter Carl Fabergé. The company became renowned for the high quality of its intricate pieces, in particular the ornate jewel-encrusted Fabergé eggs it created for the Russian tsars. The firm was nationalized by the Bolsheviks when they came to power in 1918.
The Head of the St. Basil Russian Cultural and Educational Foundation, Vasily Boiko-Veliky has appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to demolish the Lenin Mausoleum on Red Square and build a church in honour of the Mother of God in it’s place.
The appeal was made to Putin by Boiko-Veliky on the opening day of the exhibition dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, at the Manege in Moscow on 4 November 2013. Boiko-Veliky suggested the idea to Putin and quotes the Russian president as saying it “an interesting idea worth considering."
V.Boiko-Veliky notes that his foundation prepared the preliminary designs for the Church in Honour of Our Reigning Lady of Sorrows on the site of the mausoleum. He went on to claim that the church blended into Red Square, maintaining the historic ambiance of the famous landmark, and without damaging any of the burial vaults located in the Kremlin walls.
The design for the proposed Church in Honour of Our Reigning Lady of Sorrows would be in the neo-Russian architectural style, and could accommodate 800 people. Its size would be noticeably smaller than the Cathedral of the Intercession (St. Basil's Cathedral), thus respecting it as the main church on Red Square, and one of the most important architectural symbols of Russia. If anything, the new church would resonate with the nearby Museum of History, also built in the Russian style.
It is interesting to note that a proposal to erect a church on the site of Lenin’s Mausoleum has been raised on numerous occasions since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Boiko-Veliky notes that he recently sent a letter to Putin reminding him of their discussion last year and hopes that the Russian president would now make a decision on the matter, which Boiko-Veliky notes is timely, citing Putin’s proposal to reconstruct a Kremlin church and two monasteries that were destroyed by the Soviets in the late 1920s to early 1930s.
Romanov Legacy: The Palaces and Residences of the Russian Imperial Family 2015 Calendar Topic: Royal Russia
Cover: Likani Palace, the summer residence of Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich (1859-1919), located near the town of Borjomi, Georgia.
Photo: Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky
Royal Russia is pleased to present it's 2015 calendar. For a third year in a row, the calendar's theme showcases the palaces and residences of the Russian Imperial family.
Our new Romanov Legacy 2015 Calendar features a dozen additional Romanov palaces and residences. Each residence featured includes a short history, complete with unique vintage photographs as they looked before 1917 - including historic interiors.
The following palaces and residences are featured in this years calendar:
- Alexander Palace (Tsarskoye Selo)
- Mikhailovka (near St. Petersburg)
- Palace of Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaievich, Jr (St. Petersburg)
- Sergievsky Palace (St. Petersburg)
- Gatchina (near St. Petersburg)
- Znamenka Palace (near St. Petersburg)
- Massandra (Crimea)
- Sergievka (near Peterhof)
- Marble Palace (St. Petersburg)
- Cottage Palace (Peterhof)
- Alexandria Palace (Moscow)
- Mikhailovksy Palace (St. Petersburg)
Your purchase is helping to preserve Russia's rich Romanov legacy
Once again, the net profits from the sale of the calendar will not only help Royal Russia, but a donation will be made to the Tsarskoye Selo and Peterhof State Museum Palace Preserves. These donations are part of Royal Russia's 'Giving Back to Russia' campaign, and assist the palace museum's with ongoing and future restoration projects and the acquisition of items for the palace museum collections.
In the last two years, a total of 40,000 Rubles ($1,200 USD) was donated to the two palace-museums from the sale of the 2013 and 2014 Romanov Legacy calendars.
To order your copy, please click on the link below:
Tsarskoye Selo Acquires Dress for Museum's Costume Collection Topic: Tsarskoye Selo
The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve bought at auction in the UK a dress made at the end of the 19th century by the English fashion designer Charles Frederick Worth, a supplier to the Russian Imperial Court. Dresses designed by this fashion house were worn by the last three Russian Empresses - Maria Alexandrovna, Maria Feodorovna and Alexandra Feodorovna.
"We are very excited about this acquisition, which will add to our collection of women's costume” - said Iraida Bott, Deputy Science Director for the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve. “The dress is in excellent condition, and requires hardly any restoration."
Designed in the Elizabethan English style, the dark green silk dress was designed in the early 1890s for Lady Catherine Lloyd, the wife of Sir Marteine Owen Mowbray Lloyd, owner of the Bronwydd castle estate in Cardiganshire, Wales.
This is the second dress made by the Charles Frederick Worth fashion house acquired by the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve in the past year. In April, a representative of the ancient Polish noble family of Vincent George Poklevski donated his mother's dress to the museum. His mother served as maid of honour to the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Custom made in 1913 for the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, the dress is currently being restored. Note: see link below which contains article, photos and 2 videos - PG
The costume collection of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum now numbers about 1,500 items, and includes exhibits dating from the middle of the 17th - beginning of the 20th centuries. "The collection is divided into two parts” - said Iraida Bott. - “The Emperor's wardrobe, including costumes and uniforms of Emperors Peter III to Nicholas II, as well as several uniformed dresses of Catherine the Great, Alexandra Feodorovna and her daughters, among others. The collection is actively replenished through acquisitions, notably from the late 19th - early 20th century."
The palace-museum collection includes some unique items, such as costumes of Alexander I - including his wardrobe from birth until the last days of his life. Among these exhibits are his first uniform, cross-linked with an Order presented to the infant child by the Russian empress. Other items include a wedding brocade suit worn by Alexander, who, according to the deputy director of the museum, is now considered one of the most fragile items in the collection. Due to the fragility of the material, this camisole is not displayed on mannequins, but only in glass display cases, and it’s display in expositions is very rare. "Our collection also includes uniforms and other items that once belonged to Emperor Nicholas I and his four sons, including Alexander II. The palace-museum’s clothing collection of Nicholas II and his son Alexis is now the largest in the world" - said Iraida Bott.
Currently the collection is stored in the costume wardrobes made after World War II in the pre-revolutionary designs. The museum has plans to upgrade the storage facilities, which will better protect the artefacts from the effects of time, dust and insects. "Keepers of the fund constantly monitor and treat the costumes with a special compound to protect against moths, which is the number one problem," - said Iraida Bott.
For more information on the other Charles Frederick Worth dress acquired by the museum in April 2014, please refer to the following article:
New Schools Turn Back Clock to Train Russia's Girls in Virtues of Nobility Topic: Imperial Russia
Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens. Last graduates of 1917
Copyright Notice: The following article was originally published in the October 12th, 2014 edition of Russia Beyond the Headlines. The author Anna Trofimova, owns the copyright of the work presented below.
Five schools that turn out ‘noble maidens’, just like in the times of the tsars, have recently opened in Russia. RBTH reports on the purpose these so-called ‘institutes for noble maidens’ served in the days of the Russian Empire and what their modern-day equivalents are like.
Two hundred and fifty years ago, in 1764, Russian Empress Catherine II (the Great) issued a decree establishing Russia’s very first Institute for Noble Maidens – the Smolny Institute in St. Petersburg. This institution was tasked with “giving the state educated women, good mothers, and useful members of the family and society,” as the decree reads.
School for royal ladies
The institute accepted girls no older than six and provided them with a 12-year training course. According to the charter, their parents could be ranked no lower than colonel and state councilor. The institute also accepted the daughters of hereditary nobility for an annual fee. All pupils were prepared for the life of the royal court.
The training program included Russian literature and language, arts, geography, arithmetic, history, foreign languages, music, dance, drawing, conventional manners, and home economics. The girls lived according to a regimented daily routine and could only see their relatives on weekends and holidays, and only in the presence of the headmistress. They did not have the right to leave the institute prior to graduation, either of their own volition or at the wishes of their families. With the help of this institute, the Empress planned to snatch schoolgirls from their familiar surroundings and create a “new breed of people.” After Catherine’s death, the institute started accepting girls from a later age (nine or older) and deliberately preparing them for marriage to military men. Military wives needed to be educated women capable not only of rearing children, but also of engaging in small talk. The Smolny Institute existed right up until the 1917 revolution, producing women such as Maria Budberg (Maxim Gorky’s lover and an NKVD agent) and the writers Nina Berberova and Maria Dobrolyubova (a teacher, nurse, and revolutionary).
The Russian Empire had a total of 12 Institutes for Noble Maidens in different cities, including far-off Siberia (Irkutsk), the Urals (Orenburg), and present-day eastern Ukraine (Kharkov).
Boarding schools for the children of the military
Today, announcements recruiting girls for schools or preparatory courses for ‘noble maidens’ are becoming ever more commonplace. The largest such institution is the Ministry of Defense of Russia Boarding School for Girls, which was founded in 2008. This establishment uses as its inspiration pre-revolutionary ‘institutes for noble maidens’, leaving the old terms of enrollment, list of subjects, and daily schedules intact.
In order to matriculate at the Boarding School, a girl must come from a family of “servicemen who completed military service at remote military garrisons, from single-parent families, and large families, the daughters of deceased servicemen and of combatants decorated with government awards for the fulfillment of military duty,” according to the institution’s charter.
“Neither my parents nor I knew what sort of education was provided in these institutions,” said a graduate of the Boarding School who is now studying at a military university in Moscow and requested anonymity. “My enrollment was my parents’ decision. We lived in a remote garrison, and I could hardly imagine where I would end up.” “This type of school is adapted to the modern social environment. We don’t isolate the girls at all. We teach them things that are not taught in ordinary schools,” said Yelena Venediktova, director of studies at the Academy for Noble Maidens attached to the Novosibirsk Cadet Corps. Such subjects include homemaking, social practices (etiquette, behaviour and so on), and choreography; girls from the school dance the waltz together at balls with boys from the Cadet Corps. In contrast with pre-revolutionary noble maidens, modern ‘noble maidens’ prefer to continue their education, usually in the humanities or in the military field. This is the key difference: The girls not only leave the institute’s walls as cultured women and homemakers, but they can also compete with graduates from general schools for university admission.
Monument to Emperor Nicholas II Installed in Serbian Capital Topic: Nicholas II
Monument to Emperor Nicholas II has been installed in the center of Belgrade, capital of Serbia
A new monument to Russian emperor Nicholas II has been installed in the center of Belgrade, in recognition of his support of Serbia and the Serbian people in 1914.
The monument arrived in the Serbian capital on Friday evening. Together with the pedestal, it stands at 7.5 meters in height and weighs over 40 tons. It took 6 hours to unload from the truck and nearly 13 hours to install with the help of a crane yesterday.
The installation of the pedestal and sculpture was organized by two teams of specialists and workers from Russia, with the support of two local Serbian companies.
The monument’s creators, sculptor Andrei Kovalchuk and academician Gennady Pravotorov were on hand and directly involved with the monument’s installation.
Andrei Kovalchuk said that the work on the monument lasted six months. The sculpture is made from bronze, and the base - of granite. According to the sculptor, he found inspiration in the story of the Russian emperor coming to the aid of his country a century ago. "Russia and Serbia have always been fraternal powers" - said Kovalchuk.
Co-creator of the monument academician Gennady Pravotorov noted that the monument is dedicated to the Emperor, who at one time was admired and appreciated more in Serbia than in Russia. "Nicholas II lives in the hearts of Serbs long and fervently" - said Pravotorov. He went on to say that they did their best to achieve harmony with the sculpture and they spot were it would stand.
The monument is made in the classical tradition which is quite rare in contemporary Europe, Kovolchuk said and added that the pedestal contains details linking our era to the historical period honoured by the monument.
The monument to the Tsar Martyr is set in Devojacki Park on King Milan Street - near the place where the Embassy of the Russian Empire once stood - and in the immediate vicinity of the Russian House and the Assembly of the City of Belgrade. It was a gift of the Russian Federation to Serbia in honour of the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War. The installation takes place one week before Russian President Vladimir Putin's forthcoming visit to the Serbian capital on October 20th.
The grand opening of the reconstructed park and monument to Emperor Nicholas II is scheduled for November 11th. The event will be attended by senior officials from Russia and Serbia, while the chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk expressed the hope that the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill will consecrate this monument during his visit to Serbia in mid-November.
It is interesting to note that at the beginning of the 20th century a monument to Emperor Nicholas II stood in front of the Embassy of the Russian Empire in Belgrade.
Up until now, there were only two places of memory of the last Russian Tsar in Belgrade. At the Belgrade New Cemetery in 1935, was erected a memorial to "Russian Glory", on which is written: "Eternal Memory Emperor Nicholas II and two million Russian soldiers of the Great War." In 2013, a bust of Nicholas II was unveiled in the Russian House.
For more information on this monument, please refer to the following article:
Moscow to Host the Exhibition, "My History. The Rurikovichi" Next Month Topic: Exhibitions
From November 4th - 20th, 2014, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia the exhibition, My History. The Rurikovichi (the descendants of Rurik) will take place at the Manege Moscow central exhibition hall. The 700-year-long history of the Ancient Rus’ will be represented in 18 multimedia halls with a total area of 4,000 square meters (c. 43,100 square feet).
The age of the Rurik dynasty was rich in the events that exerted a decisive influence on the formation not only of Russian statehood, but of all the sides of Russian life: the foundation of ancient cities and towns, the Baptism of Rus’, the 200-year-long Mongol-Tatar Yoke and how it was overthrown, the struggle with foreign invaders, the transformation of Moscow to one of the centers of European socio-political life, and the establishment of a strong state with its distinctive character. These significant events and periods of history will be represented at the exhibition through several hundred multimedia stands and exhibits.
The events of the distant past, created by historians, artists and specialists in the field of advanced computer technology, such as those in The Tale of Bygone Years (a chronicle of history of Kievan Rus’ from 850 to c. 1100, which is considered to be a fundamental source for the early history of the Eastern Slavs), the history of ancient trade routes and legendary battles, the mysteries of fortified strongholds and great victories and little known facts of the period of division among principalities and of the Mongol invasion, will literally come to life before the audience. Great deeds of heroes and diplomats, examples of holiness, sacrificial maternal love, bitter lessons of apostasy and betrayal and many other stories will be displayed before the exhibition’s visitors. Widely known and forgotten pages of history will become an unexpected key to understanding of the present for attentive guests.
A revered Icon of Venerable Sergius of Radonezh will be brought to the exhibition from the Holy Trinity – St. Sergius Lavra.
The project was developed with the support of the Administration of the Russian Federation’s President, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Government of Moscow, the Rosneft Public Corporation, the Fund of Saint Basil the Great.
Opening of the exhibition will take place on November 4, 2014, at the Manege central exhibition hall; the address: Moscow, the Manege (Manezhnaya) Square, 1. Admission to the opening day is by invitation only. On that day the exhibition will work from 15:00 till 21:30.