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Friday, 8 February 2013
Faberge's 1917 Blue Tsarevich Constellation Egg
Topic: Faberge

 

Yesterday, I posted an article on Royal Russia News about the Faberge: Legacy of Imperial Russia exhibit, which opened this week at the Heritage Museum in Hong Kong.

The exhibition, which runs until April 29th features 4 Imperial Easter Eggs made by the workshops of Karl Faberge. One that will arouse the interest of visitors will be the unfinished 1917 Blue Tsarevich Constellation Egg.

The Constellation Egg is one of 2 Easter eggs created by Faberge for Emperor Nicholas II in 1917. It was also the last Imperial egg made by Faberge.

The egg was never finished or presented to its intended recipient, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, due to the Russian Revolution of 1917 which brought an end to the Romanov dynasty and the monarchy.

The Constellation Egg, as is known from 1917 documents, was made of dark blue glass with an opaque crystal base. There are stars that are marked by rose-cut diamonds. The zodiac sign of Leo is engraved on the glass. The Heir to the Russian throne, the Tsarevich Alexei Nicholayevich (1904-1918) was a Leo, born on August 12 [O.S. July 30] 1904.

In recent years, this particular egg has been the subject of a dispute between two museums: the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow, and the Faberge Museum in Baden Baden, Germany.

In 2001, an unfinished egg was found at the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow. The clockwork and the dial were missing. Most experts believe it to be the unfinished 1917 egg by Faberge. This particular item is without diamonds, and this is the egg currently on display at the Hong Kong exhibition.

Russian millionaire Alexander Ivanov claims that he owns the original (and finished) egg. In 2003-2004 he said that he had acquired this egg in the 1990s and affirms that "the Fersman Museum erroneously continues to claim that it has the original egg. Some experts and their research clearly support the Alexander Ivanov egg as genuine." Fersman museum authorities, however, consider this as "nonsense" and "fake."

Most Faberge experts believe that the Ivanov egg is in fact a modern egg modelled after the unfinished 1917 original egg found in the Fersman Museum in 2001.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 08 February, 2013


  

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:54 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 8 February 2013 11:31 AM EST
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Thursday, 7 February 2013
WWI Russian Soldiers Honoured in Paris
Topic: Russian History

 

 Monument to the 1916 Russian Expeditionary Force at Paris

On February 5 representatives of Russia and France laid wreaths at the monument honoring Russian soldiers on the bank of the Seine in Paris. Sergey Naryshkin, speaker of the Russian State Duma, took part in the ceremony, RIA Novosti reports.  

In 1916 the Russian Expeditionary Force was sent to Europe to assist allies during World War I. The Russian soldiers together with French troops defended the Champagne-Ardenne region. The Russian infantry performed a key role in stopping the German army and preventing the capture of Paris.

“Without Russia’s participation, many of the battles of the Allies would have ended differently, and for France in particular,” said General Elrick Irastorza, who heads the France’s interdepartmental commission on commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

Following the February Revolution, the Russian Expeditionary Force was demobilized, but approximately 1000 Russian volunteers continued to serve among allied forces. This group was called the Russian Legion of Honor.

The monument to the Russian Expeditionary Force was unveiled in summer of 2011 during a visit to France by Vladimir Putin. It is situated in the historical center on the right bank of the Seine not far from the Grand Palais and Pont Alexandre III.

The Russian delegation met at L'Hôtel national des Invalides with representatives of France to discuss preparations for the 100th anniversary of World War I in Moscow and Paris.

© Russkiy Mir and RIA Novosti. 07 February, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 3:22 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2013 3:27 PM EST
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Australian Cossacks Save the Graves of Russian Soldiers
Topic: Cossacks

 

Cossack graves in Rookwood cemetery in Sydney, which have not been looked after for a long time, will in part be cared for by their descendants—Cossacks of the Australian Embassy ‘stanitsa’ (section) of the Trans-Ural Cossack army. The relevant agreement between Cossack representatives and the cemetery management was signed today.

Those present at the meeting examined the cemetery and drew up a scheme of work for the immediate future. On the same day, several graves were tidied up, including that of the Colonel of the Orenburg Cossack army, Stepan Ivanovich Nesterenko, born 1893.

Mark Boondy, representing the cemetery administration, was delighted at the Cossacks' initiative and noted that a great many graves in the cemetery are seriously neglected, even though some relatives are still alive. "It would be better to have less talk and argue about the various plans, and instead start carrying them out straightaway. That is also a reflection of the Cossack spirit— to put words into action straightaway," said in turn the head of the Australian Embassy stanitsa, Semion Boikov.

Thousands of Russian soldiers and exiles are currently buried in Australia: officers and soldiers of the Imperial Army, engineers, pilots, doctors, scientists, and representatives of nearly all the Cossack armies: the Trans-Baikal, the Kuban, the Don, the Ussuriysk and the Orenburg.

© Pravoslavie.ru. 07 February, 2013


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 3:04 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 10 February 2013 8:21 AM EST
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A Tribute to Alexander Kolchak
Topic: Kolchak, Admiral

Click here to listen to Voice of Russia's tribute to Alexander Kokchak

There are people of so many accomplishments living such eventful lives that any attempt to paint their full portrait is futile. One such person was Alexander Kolchak, a naval officer, Polar explorer and an anti-Bolshevik leader proclaimed Supreme Ruler of Russia. Voice of Russia offers this tribute to this outstanding personality.

© Voice of Russia. 07 February, 2013


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:29 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2013 3:03 PM EST
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Wednesday, 6 February 2013
Countess in Limbo: The Diaries of Countess Olga Hendrikoff
Topic: Books

 ||| Click Here to Order Your Copy! |||

Countess Olga "Lala" Hendrikoff was born into the Russian aristocracy, serving as lady-in-waiting to the Empresses and enjoying a life of great privilege. But on the eve of her wedding in 1914 came the first rumours of an impending war - a war that would change her life forever and force her to flee her country as a stateless person, with no country to call home.

Spanning two of the most turbulent times in modern history - World War I in Russia and World War II in Paris - Countess Hendrikoff's journals demonstrate the uncertainty, horror and hope of daily life in the midst of turmoil. Her razor-sharp insight, wit and sense of humour create a fascinating eyewitness account of the Russian Revolution and the Occupation and Liberation of Paris.

In A Countess in Limbo, Countess Hendrikoff tells her remarkable true story that includes the loss of her brother in the Russian Gulag, her sister-in-law murdered with the Russian Imperial family at Ekaterinburg, and herself being robbed at gunpoint and accused of being a spy by the Nazis. She also speaks of the daily life that continues during wartime - ration cards and food restrictions, the black market, and the struggle just to get by for another day. Her gripping story and thoughtful analysis provide an invaluable look at life and humanity in the face of war.

© Paul Gilbert - Bookseller. 06 February, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:03 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2013 7:08 AM EST
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Restoration of Naval Cathedral at Kronstadt Near Completion
Topic: Russian Church

 

Preparations for the long awaited opening of the Naval Cathedral at Kronstadt are near completion, according to Andrew Lyalin, Director of the Central Naval Museum in St. Petersburg.

"The cathedral has undergone a complete restoration and will open its doors in May, marking its 100th anniversary," said Lyalin at a press conference today.

The cathedral took 10 years to build, 1903-1913, and served as the main church of the Baltic Fleet and dedicated to all fallen seamen.

The cathedral was closed in 1929, and was converted into a cinema, a House of Officers (1939), a club and concert hall (1956) and a Museum of the Navy (1974).

The Russian Orthodox Church installed a cross on the main dome of the cathedral in 2002, and served the first Divine Liturgy in the cathedral in 2005, the first since 1929. In April 2012, the cathedral was consecrated by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill I.

A complete restoration of the Naval Cathedral at Kronstadt began in 2009 and cost 1.3 billion rubles ($43 million USD). Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said the cathedral "looked better than it did a hundred years ago."

© Paul Gilbert. 06 February, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:35 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2013 6:55 AM EST
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Tuesday, 5 February 2013
Exhibition: Wilhelm II and Anna Pavlovna. Royal Luxury of Dutch Courtyard
Topic: Exhibitions

 

Wilhelm II and Anna Pavlovna with their family, 1832. Artist: Jean-Baptiste Van der Hulst (1790-1862) 

In 2013, the Netherlands, Russia, and the city of Amsterdam will celebrate their special relationship. The two countries have been major trading partners since the Dutch Golden Age, and their ties grew stronger in the centuries that followed. When Napoleon was defeated in 1813, Russian Cossacks advanced as far as the gates of Amsterdam.

On 21 February 1816 at the Chapel of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, the daughter of Emperor Paul I, Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna married Wilhelm the Prince of Orange, who would later become King William II of the Netherlands.

In honour of Russia-Netherlands Year, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg will host an exhibition dedicated to Anna Pavlovna and Wilhelm II, in the Armorial Hall of the Winter Palace. The exhibition will open on 25th September, 2013 and run until 12th January, 2014.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 05 February, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:15 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 5 February 2013 5:30 AM EST
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Monday, 4 February 2013
Exhibition: Peter the Great, an Inspired Tsar
Topic: Exhibitions

Early in 2013, a year of celebration in Dutch-Russian relations, the Hermitage Amsterdam will present a major exhibition devoted to Peter the Great (1672–1725), the modernizer of Russia.

The exhibition will paint a picture of this unconventional, inspired and inquisitive Russian tsar, who by the time he took power at the age of 17 was determined to transform his country. His achievements include reforming the military and the church, expanding trade and industry, and improving education and public health. He turned Russia into a great European power with a brand-new capital city: St Petersburg, his “window on the West.”

With historical artefacts, paintings, gold jewellery from the ancient world, weapons and unique documents, the exhibition will sketch the life of this peerless ruler.

From his youth Peter collected art, including a Rembrandt, planting the seed for St Petersburg’s later Hermitage collection. An enthusiastic traveller, he went two visits to Western Europe, including the Dutch Republic. It was the city of Amsterdam, in particular, that inspired him to found his new capital. Peter befriended many leading figures in Dutch society, such as Nicolaas Witsen (mayor of Amsterdam), Christoffel van Brants (shipper, and grain and arms merchant), Albert Seba (apothecary and collector of natural curiosities) and Frederik Ruysch (physician, anatomist and botanist). Like a sponge, he absorbed what they taught him about shipbuilding, making instruments, carpentry, etching, dissection, pulling teeth, making paper, gardening, bookmaking, and much more.

Find out how this knowledge bore fruit in Russia during your visit to Peter the Great, an Inspired Tsar. You will also find many of Peter’s personal effects, such as his suits and one of his coaches, which show how profoundly he was influenced by Western tastes.

The exhibition will be based on the collection of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, with additional pieces from the collections of museums and institutions in the Netherlands and elsewhere.

Exhibition Center - Hermitage Amsterdam

9 March - 13 September, 2013

© Hermitage Amsterdam. 04 February, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:01 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 5 February 2013 5:11 AM EST
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Sunday, 3 February 2013
Putin: Orthodox Bishops' Meetings Play "Invaluable Role" in Russian History
Topic: Russian Church

 

Patriarch Kirill and President Vladimir Putin 

President Vladimir Putin has credited regular episcopal assemblies of the Russian Orthodox Church with an "invaluable role" in Russian history.

"Bishops' assemblies have always played a great, truly invaluable role in the development of Orthodoxy, and in the many centuries of Russian history. Their decisions and their wise advice and assessments are still significant both for church and for public life," a statement from the president's office quoted Putin as saying in a message to a bishops' assembly that opened in Moscow on Saturday.

The Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church meet with President Vladimir Putin in the Grand Kremlin Palace

"The Russian Orthodox Church has a significant voice in asserting ideals of humanism, virtue and mercy, and in bringing up younger generations on the basis of intransient moral values, patriotism and civil spirit," Putin said.

"It is my deep conviction that we need to make every effort to boost collaboration between Church and State in key areas such as addressing urgent social problems, promoting antireligious and interethnic dialogue, and imbuing young people with respect for the extremely rich historical, cultural and spiritual legacy of the peoples of Russia," he said.

© Interfax. 03 February, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:24 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 4 February 2013 1:39 PM EST
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Saturday, 2 February 2013
A Russian Moment No. 6 - Palace of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna
Topic: A Russian Moment

 

The palace of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovich (1875-1960) and Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich (1866-1933) is situated on the Moika Embankment at No. 106, in St. Petersburg. The palace of Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovich (1850-1908) is also situated on the Moika Embankment at No. 122.

In recent years, the former palace has undergone a much needed face-lift. The facade has been restored and freshly painted (the palace was formerly white), a new roof installed and new brick laid in the courtyard.

The palace is now home to the P.F. Lesgaft Instutute of Physical Culture. A monument to Lesgaft sits in the courtyard. Peter Franzevich Lesgaft (1837-1919) was a founder of the modern system of physical education 

I had the privilege of visiting the palace some years back. I noted that aside from some notable interior elements dating from the tsarist period,  very little of the historical interiors had been preserved.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 02 February, 2013


  

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:25 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 30 March 2013 12:59 PM EDT
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