An old suitcase has yielded a mysterious item that may be relevant to the last Russian emperor, Nicholas II.
The suitcase was found among thousands of items at an unusual second-hand shop known as the Museum of Forgotten Things in Moscow. Everything from ancient pots to Soviet street signs can be found at this unusual museum, many of which are brought by locals and sold to the founder, Alexander Seregin.
"Some small treasure is found in almost every suitcase," says Seregin.
On the eve of Passover, while rummaging through a backlog of old suitcases, Seregin discovered a unique porcelain egg hidden in an old soldiers cup. What was unique about this particular egg was the monogram of Emperor Nicholas II.
It was very common for the tsar to distribute eggs as gifts to his soldiers during Easter, the holiest of all holidays celebrated by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Helen Vorushilina, of the Museum of Decorative and Applied Folk Art believes that the egg dates back to the early 20th century, and that it is one of thousands produced for distribution.
Majority of Russians Want Lenin Buried Topic: Bolsheviks
The majority of Russians would like to see Vladimir Lenin buried, RIA Novosti reported citing a poll conducted by Public Opinion Fund. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed think the communist leader should be buried, up by 10 percentage points compared with six years ago. Twenty-six percent believe he should stay in his mausoleum on Red Square.
Meanwhile, users of RIA Novosti’s social networking pages were even more in favor of burying the man. An online vote on RIA Novosti’s VKontakte page saw 67 percent choose to have him buried and 85 percent of its Facebook page users would like to see him put six feet under.
Editor's Note: There are many people (myself included) who still believe that Lenin gave the order to murder Tsar Nicholas II and his family in 1918. Further, he is responsible for the deaths and suffering of millions of innocent people when he unleashed the Civil War and the Red Terror that followed. His hatred towards religion led to the endless violence against the Russian Orthodox Church. Lenin also signed the shameful Treaty of Bretsk-Litovsk with Germany on March 3, 1918. For these reasons, among many others, his body should be removed from the mausoleum where his memory is glorified on Red Square and interred in a cemetery. Paul Gilbert
Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas Consecrated in Kronstadt Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 1 minute. 39 seconds. Topic: Russian Church
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and First Lady Svetlana Medvedeva attended the consecration ceremony of the Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kronstadt. The ceremony was carried out by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the Kremlin press service reports.
The Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kronstadt is the main shrine of the Russian Navy. The cathedral was founded in 1902 by decree of Emperor Nicholas II in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Russian Navy. In 1929 it was closed and desecrated.
The cathedral was consecrated in a public ceremony attended by Emperor Nicholas II and his family June 10, 1913
“The Naval Cathedral has a very complicated history, in which, like in a drop of water, the dramatic 20th century history of our nation is reflected,” noted Medvedev. “It was built and consecrated in the beginning of the century; this was done by popular demand of sailors, who were personally involved in collecting donations and contributed to the construction of the cathedral in cooperation with the Admiralty. St John of Kronstadt also participated in the cathedral’s consecration. Unfortunately, because of subsequent events, the cathedral was desecrated and for a long time the building was used for other purposes. But a city like Kronstadt, a city that is home to Russia’s naval base, must have its own large naval cathedral.”
In 2009, at Patriarch Kirill’s initiative, a board of trustees was established to restore the cathedral. It is expected that the cathedral will be fully restored in time for the 100th anniversary of its first consecration, which will be celebrated in 2013.
Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayevich Cigarette Case Topic: Antiques
A unique cigarette case depicting the Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolayevich (1856-1929) has recently sold at an auction in Russia.
The cigarette case is made of gold and silver, 12.5 cm x 9 cm in size, and weighs 242 grams.
Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayevich was a grandson of Emperor Nicholas I. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Russian army during the first year of World War I.
He and his wife, the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicholayevna fled Russia in April 1919, on board the HMS Marlborough, along with the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna and other members of the Russian Imperial family. He died on January 5, 1929 in the south of France.
Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 1 hour, 1 minute, 41 seconds Topic: Constantine Constantinovich, GD
The Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich (1858-1915) is one of the most beloved and highly respected members of the Russian Imperial Family.
A grandson of the Emperor Nicholas I, he is more commonly known by his pen name "KR", taken from his transliterated name, Konstantin Romanov.
Not only was he a patron of the arts, he was an artist in his own right. He was a talented pianist and a man of letters, including poet and playwright. He was Chairman of the Russian Musical Society and founded several Russian literary societies.
Grand Duke Constantine served in the Russian Imperial Navy, and later joined the elite Izmailovsky Regiment of the Imperial Guard.
His devotion to duty and Russia endeared him to both Emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II. The former appointed him President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and later as Chief of All Military Colleges.
In 1884, he married Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Altenburg. Upon her marriage, she became the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mavrikievna. He was a devoted to his wife and their nine children, and a loving father.
He and his family made their home at Pavlovsk, and the Marble Palace in St. Petersburg. He and his wife were among the few members of the Romanov family on intimate terms with Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.
KR died on 15 June, 1915. His death spared him the horrendous suffering visited upon his family during the Russian Revolution a few years later.
This one-hour documentary explores the life of the grand duke and includes a wonderful collection of vintage photographs and rare film footage of him in the various stages of his life.
Berezovsky Proposes Britain's Prince Harry Be Made Russian Monarch Topic: Russian Monarchy
Alexander Zakatov, Head of the Russian Imperial Chancellery
London exile Boris Berezovsky announced on Sunday that under his new Resurrection Movement political party, he would instate a constitutional monarchy in Russia and named Britain's Prince Harry as a candidate for the Russian throne.
Prince Henry of Wales, known commonly as Prince Harry, is an officer in the British army and a controversial figure in Britain. Over the years, he has been the frequent subject of British tabloid reports. Further, not only does Prince Harry not speak a word of Russian, he is probably laughing at the mere suggestion of becoming tsar.
It is a farce – House of Romanov
The Romanovs consider his suggestion outrageous. “It is difficult to imagine that Berezovsky has sympathies with the monarchy and the British Royal Family,” Alexander Zakatov, Head of the Russian Imperial Chancellery told Interfax. “It is clear that all these ideas are doomed to failure. If someone decides to hold this experiment, it will not lead to anything good. In Russia there is either no monarchy, or it is legitimate. To just take some prince, even the best one, and to ascend him to the throne created by the oligarchs, is to basically start a new civil war in our country.”
“If monarchy in Russia is ever restored, it must be by the will of the people, and only a legitimate head of the Russian imperial house can ascend to the throne,” he said. Interfax reported that at present the Great Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, living in Spain, is the head of Romanovs.
Christie's and Sotheby's Russian Art Sales Topic: Antiques
Ivan the Terrible depicted on a silver-gilt enamel casket
Russian-art sales in New York, once boisterous affairs spread over some days and hawking everything from Tsarist silver to Soviet spacecraft, have shrunk.
This week, Christie’s International and Sothey’s have one auction each, focusing on the decorative arts, that may tally $11.7 million. Russian painting, a category which typically sees the biggest fireworks, is missing for the first time since at least 2006.
Christie’s estimates it will raise $2.9 million to $4.3 million from 176 lots today. Sotheby’s 376 lots are forecast to fetch $5.2 million to $7.4 million tomorrow.
There are many gems among the bronze horsemen, silver cups, porcelain plates and Faberge clocks. Here are the highlights.
Ivan the Terrible, white-bearded and hunched over in a carved wooden chair, solemnly regards his younger sixth wife sleeping on a bed nearby. The scene is enameled on the surface of a 5-inch-long (12.7 centimeter) box. The central image is surrounded by elaborate enameled patterns bursting with orange, purple and blue. The piece has a mark of Feodor Ruckert, a Faberge work master, and is estimated at $200,000 to $300,000.
A rectangular Faberge desk clock is elegant and chic, enameled in translucent lilac color. Its shimmering surface is adorned with entwining silver-gilt wreaths and drooping lily-of- the-valley blossoms. The clock was originally presented to Baron Marochetti, the Italian Ambassador in St. Petersburg between 1886 and 1900. A nearly identical clock was acquired by Queen Elizabeth II, according to Christie’s. The estimate: $150,000 to $250,000.
A diamond-set maid-of-honor brooch cypher, consisting of letters M and A beneath the imperial crown, may fetch $70,000 to $90,000. Designed by famed royal jeweler Hahn, it was presented to Countess Olga Alexandrovna Nieroth on Oct. 2, 1904. The letters are the initials of Nicholas II’s mother, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, and his wife Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.
An enamel cigar box made in 1912 depicts Napoleon Bonaparte in an overcoat and white suit standing by the burning walls of Moscow’s Kremlin. Floral patterns frame the central image, inspired by a painting from Vasili Vereshchagin’s “1812” series based on the French emperor’s failed Russian campaign. Estimate: $150,000 to $250,000.
A 4.5-inch gold cigarette case starring a four-carat diamond and red enamel geometrics was once given as a gift to a Cossack general by the “grateful” citizens of the Taganrog district he presided over. It was designed about 1900 by master jeweler Carl Blank and has an estimate range of $110,000 to $130,000.
A Faberge lamp, which had belonged to the late banker Edmond J. Safra and his wife Lily, is forecast to sell for $100,000 to $150,000. The lamp is adorned with silver-winged lions at the base and the baluster stem rises from acanthus leaves, a frequent motif of Corinthian columns.
An auction at Elite Decorative Arts in Boynton Beach, Florida, on 28th April will feature 400 lots, including rare Russian works.
The auction’s expected top lot is a late 19th century Russian red enameled medal from the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky by Albert Keibel (St. Petersburg). Constructed of 14K yellow gold with red enamel, the medal measures 3 1/4 inches tall by 2 1/2 inches wide, holds an “AK” mark under the enamel and has a total weight of 33 grams. It should gavel for $50,000-$75,000.
"Christ is risen!": Patriarch Kirill Sends Easter Message Topic: Easter
Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, is delivering his traditional Easter address to Orthodox believers.
I address you, dear brothers and sisters, with this Paschal greeting: Christ is risen!
This greeting, which we have inherited from the days of holy apostles, proclaims divine truth and asserts a historical fact. Indeed, 2,000 years have passed, but nobody can say that this greeting is no longer relevant. It is living and effective, and this alone manifests divine power and truth.
The greeting that you have just heard and that you will pass to each other later today contains a great hope, because our Lord Jesus Christ, being without sin, in other words not having sinned before men or before God, was crucified, and before that subject to suffering, torture and humiliation.
How often, when facing suffering, especially suffering inflicted by other people, we become anxious and desperate. We think that it is unjust for us to suffer, that we don’t deserve this. We resist injustice. Believers often say that by being reviled they are bearing their cross.
So why is apostles’ greeting, ‘Christ is risen!’, a sign of hope for us? It’s because if Christ, who was without sin, suffered, we, too, should remember our Lord and Savior when facing injustice, slander, malice and lies.
Every one of us, even those who suffer unjustly, has some personal sins, some wrongdoings. This alone means that we can regard our suffering as a punishment for our wrongdoings.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, who had not committed any wrongdoing and had never lied, accepted reviling from people and even agreed to be put to death being innocent.
The Lord has taken the way of the cross, and now He encourages us to follow Him and remember that resurrection follows the cross.
The Lord has risen from the dead, and this resurrection is His victory over all those lies.
We believe that as we proclaim, with faith and hope, that Christ is risen, we too are heirs to everything Christ entrusted to His apostles, because Easter, the day of Christ’s resurrection, is a day of great hope, which should strengthen us in our sorrows, help us overcome hardships, cope with injustice and move forward remembering that Christ defeated evil, which means that we too should overcome evil in our lives, through the power of God, the power of prayer and the power of faith.
That is why the holy day of Easter is a celebration of hope for all people.
I would like to share the joy of this celebration and the joy of Christian hope with you. Let this hope give you strength to go through your life, following the great, unfading and shining image of the risen Christ.
Busts of Nicholas II in Belarus Topic: Nicholas II
Saint Nicholas Church in the tiny Belarusian village of Kraesk is home to a bronze bust of Emperor Nicholas II.
The bust was created in bronze by Russian sculptor Vladimir Zelyanko, and installed in 2008 marking the 90th anniversary of the murder of Tsar Nicholas II.
The inscription plaque reads: Holy Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II. This bust - our gratitude to the Holy Royal Martyrs of Heaven for protecting us believers, Christians, and our Orthodox parish of Kraesk.
Kraesk has a population of 340 inhabitants and is approximately 40 km from Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
A second bust of Nicholas II was presented to the regional museum in Mogilev by the former mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov in 2009.
During the years 1915-1917, Mogilev served as Stavka, the headquarters of the Russian Imperial Army. It was here that Nicholas II spent long periods of time as Commander-in-Chief, often accompanied by his son and heir, the Tsesarevich Alexei.