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Friday, 30 March 2012
Rare Faberge Cigarette Case Expected to Sell for 15,000 GBP at Auction
Topic: Faberge


A RARE Faberge cigarette case is expected to fetch more than £15,000 at a Coventry auction next week. The 18-carat gold case was made by the world famous Russian jewellery firm some time between 1880 and 1917.


It comes in an original cedarwood box and is being sold by Warwick Auctions, in Queen Victoria Road, on Wednesday. Auctioneer Chris Burns, who has been in the trade for 30 years, said: “It’s very, very, rare.


“These come up for auction only at Sotheby’s and Christie’s in London – no Faberge has gone through here since the 1940s.


“The estimate is £10,000 to £15,000, but it could fetch a lot more. I’ve never seen one like it.”


The case is part of a large collection of Russian gold and silver being sold by a mystery seller from Coventry and Warwickshire.


© Coventry Telegraph. 30 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:57 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 30 March 2012 1:59 PM EDT
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Historian Sheds Light on Germany's Amber Room Hunt
Now Playing: Language: English. Duration: 6 minutes, 41 seconds
Topic: Amber Room

A German historian has made some remarkable discoveries about the missing "Amber Room” – an art collection dubbed the eighth wonder of the world.

­Studying declassified intelligence files, Mario Morgner found out that East Germany was devoting huge amount of time, energy and money trying to locate St. Petersburg's missing "Amber Room."

The Amber Room, once located outside St. Petersburg, was designed by German Baroque sculptor Andreas Schlueter in 17th century as a present for Russian tsar Peter the Great from King Friedrich Wilhelm I. The room was lavishly decorated with amber panels, golden ornaments, mosaics, and gems.

During World War II, it was dismantled and shipped by German troops to Koenigsberg, now Kaliningrad. The room was put on display in the royal palace, but soon it was damaged by a fire and subsequently disappeared.

There have been many rumors and theories about where the Amber room went. In his new book “Geheimsache Bernsteinzimmer” (“Secret File Amber Room”), Morgner reveals previously unknown data on an East German intelligence operation called “Pushkin” that lasted for decades.

According to Morgner’s findings, the intelligence spent millions of marks to find the treasure. They thoroughly searched the mountains of East Prussia, where they thought they might find the remains of the room.

“There were about 120 locations that were opened up – old mines, depots, etc., mainly in the Ore Mountains,” Morgner told BusinessWeek. “But nothing much was found except for old rubber boots and rusting weapons. No trace of the Amber Room.”

Still, Morger insists that the room still exists.

“It would probably be a huge 3-D puzzle, interesting for art historians to look at to see the craftsmanship, but probably impossible to put back together again,” Morgner said. “The amber itself is indestructible. It can burn and it darkens with time, but it doesn’t decay.”

© Russia Today. 30 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:42 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 30 March 2012 1:46 PM EDT
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Bialowieza: The Tsar's Hunting Palace in Poland


Visitors to the former hunting reserve of Bialowieza in Poland can now view a model of the former palace of the Russian tsars. The construction of the palace began in 1889 and was completed in 1894. An imperial hunt was organized that year for the Emperor Alexander III, it was to be his first and last hunt as he died the same year. His successor and son, the Emperor Nicholas II visited Bialowieza only five times during his 23-year-reign, the last being in 1912.

During the Second World War, the palace was used by German forces and later Soviet forces. It was during the evacuation of the Nazis in the summer of 1944 that a shell hit the tower of the palace which caused a fire that spread throughout the rest of the building.

The ruins of the palace were demolished between 1961 and 1963 by order of the Polish government. The model of the palace is on display in a museum which is located within the park. On display are portraits of the Russian tsars from Nicholas I to Nicholas II.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia.  30 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:14 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 1 April 2012 10:26 AM EDT
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Thursday, 29 March 2012
Tsarist-Era Treasures Found in 18th-Century St Petersburg Mansion
Topic: Antiques

The treasure unearthed from a secret underground room in St Petersburg could belong to a Russian cavalry soldier, almost a century ago. Silver, jewels and medals are among the valuables discovered by chance during restoration works.

­It’s believed the treasure belonged to a graduate of the Imperial Military Academy Sergey Somov, who fled Russia to France in the wake of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. The Russian hussar hid a unique selection of porcelain in a tiny room at the Vasily Naryshkin House. Somov worked as head of a history museum in Paris, and died in 1976, aged 88.

Forty bags containing several thousand pieces of silverware have been uncovered, including spoons and classic Russian samovars. According to art historians the collection is unique.

Experts will spend several days cataloguing the treasure which has not been officially valued. Afterwards the collection will become part of one of St Petersburg’s museums.

||| Click Here to View 54 Colour Photos |||

© Russia Today. 29 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:01 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 30 March 2012 1:37 PM EDT
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Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna Documentary
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 1 hour, 56 minutes.
Topic: Olga Konstantinovna GD

On March 15th of 2010, I posted an article in Royal Russia News about a documentary being made about the Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna. The complete two-hour documentary is now available for viewing.


© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 4:44 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 1 April 2012 10:57 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 27 March 2012
House of Romanov Still Doubts Authenticity of Ekaterinburg Remains
Topic: Russian Imperial House

The House of Romanov has studied the Russian Investigative Committee's statement on the criminal probe into the murder of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, and his family said that the central question - whether the Yekaterinburg remains were authentic - has not been answered.

In October 2011, following a series of forensic tests the Russian Investigative Committee referred a copy of the statement on completion of the criminal probe into the imperial family's murder to the House of Romanov, which spent several months studying it.

"There is nothing new in this statement that was kept under wraps for so long. We did not find anything that would change our opinion concerning the authenticity of the Yekaterinburg remains," the House of Romanov spokesman Alexander Zakatov told Interfax on Tuesday.


© Interfax. 27 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:42 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2012 9:13 AM EDT
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Church Bell Depicts Royal Martyrs
Topic: Ekaterinburg

A magnificent bronze bell depicting the Royal Martyrs: Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra, Tsesarevich Alexei, and Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia. The bell rings proudly from the Church on the Spilled Blood, a memorial church built on the site of the Ipatiev House, where the members of the last Russian Imperial family were murdered in 1918 by the Bolsheviks at Ekaterinburg.

Members of the Orthodox faithful in Ekaterinburg began raising funds to finance the bell in 2004. The giant bell was cast in Kamensk-Uralsk and installed in the famous church in July 2010.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 27 March, 2012



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:33 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2012 11:52 AM EDT
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Monday, 26 March 2012
Christening of Tsesarevich Alexei Nicholayevich


The christening of the Tsesarevich Alexei Nicholayevich, son of the Emperor Nicholas II and the Empress Alexandra Feodorvna took place on 11 August [O.S.] 1904, and was celebrated in the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in the Grand Palace at Peterhof. According to the tradition of the orthodox church his parents were not present. The most important godfather was the tsar’s uncle, Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich, while the Dowager-Tsarina Maria Fyodorovna was the main godmother. After the ritual the tsar presented his tiny son with the highest Russian order, the gold chain of Saint Andrew.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 26 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:41 AM EDT
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Vintage Photo of Nicholas II No. 6


Emperor Nicholas II arriving at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow in 1912. He is followed by Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich and Count Vladimir Fredericks, who served as Imperial Household Minister from 1897 to 1917.

© Royal Russia. 26 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:26 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 26 March 2012 8:32 AM EDT
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Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia - Westminster Abbey, London
Topic: Elizabeth Feodorovna GD


A statue to this modern martyr was unveiled in July 1998 and stands above the west entrance to Westminster Abbey. Sculptor John Roberts.

"I am leaving a glittering world where I had a glittering position, but with all of you I am descending into a greater world - the world of the poor and the suffering."

ELIZABETH of Hesse-Darmstadt was born on 1 November 1864. She was named after Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-31), a Catholic saint of her own family. Her mother died when she was a child, and she came to England to live under the protection of her grandmother, Queen Victoria. If her childhood was Lutheran, the religious culture of her adolescence was distinctively Anglican. In 1884 Elizabeth married Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, the fifth son of Tsar Alexander II of Russia. Elizabeth found Orthodoxy increasingly absorbing, and in 1891 she adopted the faith.

Although her life had assurance and all the comforts of eminence, it rested on fragile foundations. The Tsarist state maintained its grip over a changing society by repression. Talk of revolution persisted, and grew louder. Acts of terrorism mounted. On 18 February 1905, the Grand Duke Sergei was assassinated.

This marked a turning point in Elizabeth's life. Now she gave away her jewellery and sold her most luxurious possessions, and with the proceeds she opened the Martha and Mary home in Moscow, to foster the prayer and charity of devout women. Here there arose a new vision of a diaconate for women, one that combined intercession and action in the heart of a disordered world. In April 1909 Elizabeth and seventeen women were dedicated as Sisters of Love and Mercy. Their work flourished: soon they opened a hospital and a variety of other philanthropic ventures arose.

In March 1917 the Tsarist state, fatally damaged by the war with Germany, collapsed. In October, a revolutionary party, the Bolsheviks, seized power. Civil war followed. The Bolshevik party was avowedly atheistic, and it saw in the Orthodox Church a pillar of the old regime. In power, it persecuted the Church with terrible force. In time, hundreds of priests and nuns were imprisoned, taken away to distant labour camps, and killed. Churches were closed or destroyed. On 7 May 1918 Elizabeth was arrested with two sisters from her convent, and transported across country to Perm, then to Ekatarinburg, and finally to Alapaevsk. On 17 July the Tsar and his family were shot dead. During the following night Elizabeth, a sister from SS Mary and Martha named Varvara, and members of the royal family were murdered in a mineshaft.

In the Soviet Union Christianity survived in the face of periodic persecution and sustained oppression. But Elizabeth was remembered. In 1984 she was recognized as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, and then by the Moscow Patriarchate in 1992.

© Westminster Abbey. 26 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:14 AM EDT
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