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Thursday, 6 June 2013
The Romanov Dynasty: The Tradition of Philanthropy and Patronage
Topic: 400th Anniversary

The Alexander Solzhenitsyn Memorial House of Russians Abroad hosted the conference, The Romanov Dynasty: The Tradition of Philanthropy and Patronage in Moscow this week. The conference was held from June 4th-6th and focused on the history of the Russian Imperial family with government institutions, charities and the contribution of members of the Imperial family in the development of Russian culture, education and science.

Speakers from more than a dozen countries presented 60 papers (in Russian), including Russia, Azerbaijan, Germany, Canada, Greece, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Serbia, United States, Ukraine, Finland and France.

The conference program includes works in the following:

·         Charity and helping the poor in Russia under the auspices of the Romanov dynasty, prominent patrons of the Russian Imperial family as an example of public service

·         The Romanov dynasty and Russian culture

·         The Romanov dynasty and Russian science and education

Here is a partial list of the speakers and the topics presented at the conference:

·         Natalia Feodorovna Gritsenko (Moscow, Russia) The Romanov Dynasty – 300 Years of Service to Russia

·         Dr. Alexander Rostislavovich Sokolov (St. Petersburg, Russia) Russian Charity Under the Patronage of the Romanov Dynasty

·         Galina Ulyanov, PhD. (St. Petersburg, Russia) The Empress Maria Feodorovna: Half-Century of Russian Charity (1866-1917)

·         Father Andrei Pasternak (Moscow, Russia) The Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and the Concept of Charity, from Her Letters

·         Edward Kasinets (New York, USA) Armand Hammer and Treasures of the Romanovs

·         Fr. Vladimir Tsurickov (New York, USA) The Romanov Collection and the Diaspora – The Preservation of Historical Memory

·         Marina E. Soroka, PhD. (Montreal, Canada) Charity: A Commitment of Personal Debt? Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna Before and After 1917

·         Dmitry M. Sofyin, PhD. (Perm, Russia) The Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich as Philanthropist and Cultural Activist

·         Veronica A. Shenshin, PhD. (Helsinki, Finland) The Romanovs and Culture – the Spiritual Life, Education and Health in the Grand Ducky of Finland (1808-1917)

·         Amir A. Khisamutdinov, Professor of History (Vladivostock, Russia) The Romanov Family and Charity in the Russian Far East

·         Irina L. Zhalnina-Vasilkiotti (Athens, Greece) Charity of the Romanovs in Greece in the Twentieth Century

·         Sergey Kulikov, PhD. (St. Petersburg, Russia) Emperor Nicholas II and the Sick and Wounded Soldiers During the Great War, 1914-1918

·         Lubov Zhvanko (Kharkov, Ukraine) The Role of the Committee of Grand Duchess Tatiana Nicholayevna in the Assistance of Assistance of Refugees of World War One

·         Konstantin Milovidov (St. Petersburg, Russia) Assistance by Members of the House of Romanov to the Grand Army Prisoners of War, 1812-1814

·         Tatyana G. Frumenkova, PhD. (St. Petersburg, Russia) Empress Maria Feodorovna as Head of the Educational Institutes (1797-1828)

·         Victoria V. Tevlina (Tromso, Norway) The Participation of the Romanov Dynasty in the Development of Scientific Research in the Field of Social Assistance in the Late 19th to early 20th Centuries

·         Emma A. Annenkov (St. Petersburg, Russia) Prince P.G. Oldenburg – The Enlightened Philanthropist

·         Anastasia Koltochihina (Moscow, Russia) Philanthropic Activities of Princess E.M. Oldenburg as an Example of Public Service

·         Konstantin Semenov (Moscow, Russia) The Last Leuchtenberg – The Fate of Prince Sergei Romanovsky

·         Dr. Katherine Basargina (St. Petersburg, Russia) The Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich – Head of the Imperial Academy of Science

·         Denis N. Shilov, PhD. (St. Petersburg, Russia) The Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich and His Role in the Development of Historical Science in Russia

·         Natalia S. Andreeva, PhD. (St. Petersburg, Russia) The August Historian and His German Correspondent (Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich and T. Schiemann)

·         Nadezhda V. Slepkov (St. Petersburg, Russia) The Contribution of the Romanov Family in the Creation and Collection of the Zoological Museum in St. Petersburg

·         Elena Gruzdeva (St. Petersburg, Russia) The Grand Duke Konstantin – Honorary Trustee of the Women’s Pedagogical Institute

·         Anna Bazhenov (Lublin, Poland) In Search of a Solution to the Polish Question: The Romanovs and Imperial Warsaw University (1869-1915)

·         Rafiq Farhad Dzhabbarov, PhD. (Baku, Azerbaijan) Russian-Muslim Women’s College Named After the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna in Baku

·         Fr. Alexander Bertash (Bremen, Germany) Grand Duchess Alexandra Petrovna and Her Founding the Sisters of Mercy Intercession Community

·         Svetlana Fomenko (Pont-a-Mousson, France) The Karageorgevich Palace Complex in Belgrade Developed on the Architectural Traditions of the Russian Imperial Residences in the Crimea

·         Marina Vershevskaya Vilovna (St. Petersburg, Russia) The Romanov Dynasty and the Phenomenon of “Russian Wiesbaden”

·         Gregory A. Moses (Moscow, Russia) The August Patronage in the Music World: Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich and the Russian Musical Society

·         Olga Kuzminichna Zemlyakova and Victor V. Leonids (Moscow, Russia) Relics of the History of the Romanov Dynasty in the Collection of the Russian Cultural Foundation

·         Valentina Ushakov (St. Petersburg, Russia) Monuments of Charitable Activities of the Romanov Dynasty

·         Natalya Mozohina, PhD. (St. Petersburg, Russia) Representatives of the House of Romanov and Charity in Late Nineteenth – Early Twentieth Centuries

·         Marina V. Udaltsov (Moscow, Russia) The Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna – Trustee, Protector and Charity Art Associations

·         Galina K. Schutskiy (Moscow, Russia) Emperor Alexander II – Founder of the House of Romanov Boyars Museum

·         Elena Konyukhova (St. Petersburg, Russia) The Dukes of Mecklenburg-Stelitz, Their Ancestors as Philanthropists and Oranienbuam�amp;#339;озо�amp;#8230;ина �а�amp;#8218;ал�amp;#338;� �лек�анд�amp;euro;овна , кандида�amp;#8218; и�к�amp;#402;���amp;#8218;воведени� (Ро��и�, Санк�amp;#8218;-

16.00–16.30 �amp;#376;е�amp;euro;е�amp;euro;�amp;#8249;в на ко�amp;#8222;е

Щ�amp;#402;�amp;#8224;ка� �amp;#8220;алина �amp;#353;он��amp;#8218;ан�amp;#8218;иновна (Ро��и�, �amp;#339;о�ква)

·         �amp;#353;он�amp;#381;�amp;#8230;ова �amp;#8226;лена �amp;#8217;а�ил�amp;#338;евна (Ро��и�, Санк�amp;#8218;-�amp;#376;е�amp;#8218;е�amp;euro;б�amp;#402;�amp;euro;г) Dean L. Trofimov (Moscow, Russia) Representatives of the Romanov Dynasty in the Formation of Funding Public Libraries in Pre-Revolutionary Russia


·         Natalya Ehina, PhD. (Moscow, Russia) The Activities of the Moscow City Department of Relief Society Under the Chairmanship of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna


18.00 �amp;#376;�amp;euro;езен�amp;#8218;а�amp;#8224;ии книг �amp;#402;�amp;#8225;а��amp;#8218;ников кон�amp;#8222;е�amp;euro;ен�amp;#8224;ии 6 �amp;#732;Ю�Я, �amp;#8225;е�amp;#8218;ве


The exhaustive acts of charity of the Romanovs are often overlooked by contemporary historians who prefer to portray members of the Romanov dynasty as evil demigods who did little to alleviate the sufferings of the lower classes. This conference surely proves otherwise, and is also an indication of the magnitude of resources held in Russian archives, museums, libraries and other institutions which remain untouched by Western scholars, historians and writers.


Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 06 June, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:40 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 6 June 2013 1:51 PM EDT
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The Romanovs: The Finishing Touches to the Biography
Topic: Exhibitions

In honour of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, the Alexander Solzhenitsyn Memorial House of Russians Abroad in Moscow is hosting a new exhibition entitled The Romanovs: The Finishing Touches to the Biography.

The exhibition coincides with the conference The Romanov Dynasty: the Tradition of Philanthropy and Charity, which was held June 4-6 at the Solzhenitsyn Memorial House (please refer to above article for more information about this conference).

The exhibit consists of three sections dealing respectively with Emperor Nicholas II, Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayevich, Jr., and Prince Gabriel Konstantinovich (son of the famous poet, KR) and includes letters, documents, photographs and personal items of the Russian Imperial family from the archives of the Solzhenitsyn Memorial House.

The first section shows the family life, and the military and political activities of Nicholas II. On display is a unique album of photographs of Nicholas as Tsesarevich (from the private collection of General M.N. Plautin). In addition are documents from the Coronation of Nicholas II at Moscow in 1896 (from the Dolgorouky-Dietrichstein Family Foundation), and another album of photographs of the Imperial yacht Shtandart, which offer a collection of historic images of the Imperial family onboard the famous yacht during happier times. A number of items from the Ipatiev House are also on display from a private collection of T. Venturoy-Laduska (Shcheglova). These items were handed down from Nikolai Uspensky, the confessor of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna.

The second section is dedicated to Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayevich, Jr., who served as Commander-in-Chief of the Russian army at the beginning of World War One. It features the correspondence of the Grand Duke from the collection of Prince Nikolai Leonidovich Obolensky (obtained by A.I. and N.D. Solzhenitsyn) with foreign royals and heads of state, such as King Alexander I Karadjordjevic of Serbia, King Alfonso III of Spain, Winston Churchill, along with documents on the interaction of the Grand Duke with church organizations, as well as a collection of letters of condolences on the death of Grand Duke Nicholas in 1929.

Finally, the third section of the exhibition is devoted to the Konstantinovich branch of the Romanovs, and in particular the Prince of the Imperial Blood Gabriel Konstantinovich. This section is based on documents from the private collection of the Prince (obtained by A.I. and N.D. Solzhenitsyn). They include rare photographs of Gabriel, his memoirs, and those of his wife, Antonia Rafailovna, plus his correspondence with his mother, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mavrikievna. This section also presents documents that reflect his life in exile and the various organizations he was affiliated with.

The exhibition will run from June 6th to August 15th at the Alexander Solzhenitsyn Memorial House of Russians Abroad, which is located at Ulitsa Nizhnaya Radishchevskaya 2 in Moscow. �ижн�� Ради�amp;#8240;ев�ка�, д. 2 It was founded 17 years ago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn; his widow is on their board. The Foundation is also partly supported by the city of Moscow.

The Foundation hosts conferences, exhibitions, lectures, films and occasionally concerts, publishes a wide range of texts and is building an archive of material relating to the activity, usually to the literary activity, of Russians outside Russia. It is a substantial operation, located in a large modernized building and with a professional staff of 40.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 06 June, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:53 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 6 June 2013 1:46 PM EDT
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Faberge Cigarette Case Sells at Bonhams
Topic: Faberge

A stunning Faberge cigarette case has sold at Bonham's in London for £205,250 ($317,000 USD).

Fabergé, workmaster August Holmström, c. 1897, scratched inventory number 56102 of rectangular shape with rounded corners, with finely chased leaf vines in silver-gilt covering the entire surface and encircling a magnificent heraldic double-headed eagle, the reverse with similar vines forming a four-pointed arabesque centred with four-petal flower, all against guilloché enamel in delicate hue of lavender, with rose diamond thumb piece; interior of the lid inscribed 'from your loving Alix' and further in Cyrillic 'Peterhof/ 29 May 1897', 88 standard 9.4 x 6.5cm (3 5/8 x 2 1/2in.)

Bonhams offered a number of Fabergé pieces in this year’s auctions, but this one comes with a story.

The double-headed Romanov eagle and inscription, “From your loving Alix, Peterhof 29 May 1897,” testify that this was a gift from the Tsarina, Alexandra, to her husband, Tsar Nicholas II, on the day their second daughter was born.

Bonhams’ Sophie Law sees the design as a reflection of shy Alexandra’s dual existence in public and private life: “A grand, stately dynastic eagle set against lilac enamel, a favourite colour of the Empress’s.”

PROVENANCE (Courtesy of Bonhams)

- Purchased by Empress Alexandra Fedorovna, 28 April 1897
- Presented by Empress Alexandra to Nicholas II, 29 May 1897, on the occasion of the birth of their second daughter Grand Duchess Tatiana (29 May 1897 - 17 July 1918)
- Collection of Emperor Nicholas II, St. Petersburg
- Moved to the safe storage of the Kremlin Treasury in late 1917 for safekeeping
- Nationalized as part of Imperial treasures after October 1917 and probably de-accessioned in late 1920s
- Acquired by an American businessman in Moscow, at the Torgsin store on 18 August 1931 for 103 roubles (copy of the original invoice is offered with the lot)

This historic cigarette case, recently discovered in the collection of an American family, can easily be considered as one of the most important artistic discoveries of the Russian art season.

Made by the legendary Fabergé firm this stunningly beautiful cigarette case features delicate gilded vines intricately arranged into arabesque cage work showcasing lavender guilloché enamel. The elaborate design and flawless craftsmanship alone suggest Imperial ownership, but the dominating presence of the large Romanov double-headed eagle leaves no doubt that the cigarette case has a Russian Imperial provenance. Furthermore, the inscription on the lid confirms that its significance goes beyond its stunning beauty.

In a perfect facsimile reproduction of the last Russian Empress's handwriting, the inscription reads, 'from your loving Alix. Peterhof 29 May 1897'. The cigarette case was a gift from the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna to her husband Emperor Nicholas II on the day that their second daughter, Tatiana, was born at Lower Palace at Peterhof, a family summer retreat. Alexandra's pregnancy was difficult; period documents recorded that Empress Alexandra had spent seven weeks bedridden due to concerns about her delicate condition and the danger of miscarriage. The Imperial couple was under considerable pressure to produce an heir to the Russian throne; without a male heir, the future of the Empire and the order of succession would have been uncertain. Only two years earlier, the joy of first pregnancy was tinged with sadness that the first-born child was a girl. Named Olga, she was enthusiastically welcomed by the Imperial parents, but met with almost palpable disappointment by the Court.

Given the enormous pressure of this second pregnancy, one might argue that the Empress deliberately commissioned the dynastic Romanov double-headed eagle as the main decorative element on the cigarette case in the hope that the second pregnancy would yield a male heir. Her hopes did not materialize until 1904 when Tsarevich Aleksei, the fifth child of Nicholas and Alexandra, was born.

The offered lot was a personal gift from the young Empress, born Alice Victoria Helen Brigitte Louise Beatrice, the daughter of Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse-Darmstadt, who only three years earlier moved from a small German principality to the cosmopolitan St. Petersburg to marry her beloved Nicholas, heir to the Russian throne. The premature death of her father-in-law Emperor Alexander III made them an Imperial couple before the young Nicholas and Alexandra were even fully acquainted with each other. The ascent to prominence was not an easy transition for the naturally reserved and shy Alexandra, simply known as 'Alix' to her immediate family.

Alexandra struggled with the duality of both roles: a public figure symbolizing Imperial grandeur and a private figure with a personal relationship with her family. The cigarette case reflects this duality; a grand, stately dynastic eagle set against lilac enamel, a favorite colour of the Empress. The personal quarters at the Alexander Place at Tsarskoe Selo were furnished and decorated in a lavender and lilac palette, reflecting Alexandra's preference for a delicate hue of this unusual colour.

The State Russian Historical Archives preserved a bill submitted by the Fabergé firm on 3 June 1897 to Empress Alexandra's office that included all purchases made by the Empress from the beginning of that year. Listed on 28th April under the firm's inventory number 56102 is 'a cigarette case of lilac enamel with eagle and diamond' purchased for 350 rubles.

The case became part of a collection of more than two hundred cigarette cases accumulated by Nicholas II, a serious smoker, who frequently received cigarette cases for birthdays and holidays. When the First World War broke out, the State Imperial regalia and many cherished personal possessions of the Imperial family were transported to the Armory in the Kremlin for safekeeping. This was the last time Nicholas II saw the cigarette case.

Between 1917 and 1931, the whereabouts of the cigarette case are unclear. The case was likely kept at the Kremlin art storage until a new government resolution instructed curators to evaluate stored collections and to allocate objects 'without museum and cultural significance.' Those 'newly-found' treasures were used to finance the First Five-Year Industrialization Plan. Items made of gold and silver, especially those associated with the Imperial family and their immediate aristocratic circle, were de-accessioned and initially sold at European auctions. Then in 1931, they were sold through Torgsin shops frequented by affluent European and American diplomats, businessmen and tourists. At that time, foreign visitors were allowed to bring foreign currency to Soviet Russia, but were forbidden to take it out. They were encouraged to shop these treasure troves for Russian and European antiques and for personal mementos of the Russian Imperial family. That is exactly how the present cigarette case ended up in the family of the current owner.

The original receipt issued by Torgsin store located on Armianskii pereulok 2 listed the cigarette case as a 'gift from the last Tsarina to Tsar Nicholas II.' According to a written note preserved in the family, it was sold for 103 rubles. The American businessman discovered Torgsin's store on his second business trip to Russia where he purchased the Imperial cigarette case, a pair of porcelain vases, Yusupov silver (also offered in this auction, lots 178 and 197), Imperial porcelain plates and a marble clock. Later, he left his family a vivid description of his experiences at the Torgsin shop:

At the 'Torgsin' shop, exclusively for trade with foreigners. What an attractive shop, such gorgeous things. At the jewelry counter I fingered a string of pearls, then I noticed many intimate trinkets and I asked, 'Where did you buy all these things?' 'Well', the Russian stuttered, 'you see they became nationalized'. An American engineer enlightened us. 'This is what the Soviets stole from everyone, for if you had a house worth more than $1500.00 all you had was taken and this is the government fence; stolen goods. They have 40 of these shops stretching from Manchuria to the Baltic'.

Regardless of how this cigarette case was viewed by Soviet cultural authorities in 1931, at least its commercial importance was not entirely lost on the Soviet officials who even then could appreciate its appeal to the American and European collectors.

Lovingly preserved by three generations of an American family, the cigarette case survived many odds to tell the story of a romantic but doomed love, the Russian revolution and the displacement of Russian cultural patrimony. As an embodiment of all these complex and intertwined personal and historical narratives, this lot stands as a particularly fascinating object. The exceptional quality and unparalleled elegance of the cigarette case exemplify the enduring qualities associated with the famous Fabergé Firm and the legendary opulence and luxury of the Russian Imperial court.

© Bonham's (London). 06 June, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:26 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 6 June 2013 8:52 AM EDT
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World War One Museum to Open at Tsarskoye Selo
Topic: Tsarskoye Selo


In August 2014, which marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, a museum called the Museum of the Great War will open at Tsarskoye Selo. The former Sovereign's Martial Chamber will house the museum, as this building was initially planned as a tribute to Russia’s military achievements. It was Russia's first war museum up until 1919.

Construction began on the Sovereign's Martial Chamber in 1913 and by 1917 the so-called “People’s Museum of the Great War of 1914-1917 was opened there. The collection was based largely on gifts from Elena Tretyakova to Emperor Nicolas II. The museum closed shortly after the Revolution and the collection was divided up among other mueums.  Some of the items ended up at the Artillery Museum and others are the Russian Museum. The collection of the Museum of the Great War is being assembled anew.

The Museum of the Great War will include authentic weapons, banners, medals and uniforms. The Sovereign's Marshall Chamber is situated in the Alexander Park near the former Imperial Farm.

For more information on this new museum, please refer to the following Royal Russia links;

(1) Restoration of World War I Museum at Tsarskoye Selo

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 06 June, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:43 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 6 June 2013 7:11 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 5 June 2013
Grogan Auctioneers Offer Imperial Russian Treasures
Topic: Auctions

Grogan & Company. 05 June, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:32 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 5 June 2013 12:03 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Alexander III Monument to Remain at Marble Palace
Topic: Alexander III

The St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly have voted against moving the Tsar Alexander III monument from its current location in the courtyard of the Marble Palace on Millionnaya Ulitsa to its original historical location at Ploshchad Vosstaniya, Baltinfo news agency reported on Monday. The idea to move the monument was initiated by Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky. The issue was discussed with deputies eventually deciding that the relocation would be unreasonable.

The equestrian monument by the scultptor Paolo Trubetskoy was unvelied on May 23rd, 1909 at Znamienskaya Square (Vosstnaniya Square since 1918). The location was chosen because it was near the Nikolayevsky Train Station (Moskovsky since 1924) as the Emperor is considered the founder of the Trans-Siberian Railway. 

In 1937 it was removed from Ploshchad Vosstaniya and placed in an interior court yard of the Russian State Museum where it was ostensibly separated from the city. According to popular folklore of the day, the monument became "the prisoner of the Russian museum."

In 1994, the statue was moved to the courtyard of the Marble Palace where it remains to this day.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 04 June, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:42 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 4 June 2013 6:05 PM EDT
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The State Hermitage Museum Celebrates Its 250th Anniversay In 2014
Topic: State Hermitage Museum

The Hermitage Board of Trustees met recently to discuss preparations for the 250 the anniversary of the Museum’s foundation, which will take place in 2014. This will be a big event in Russia. By the Museum’s anniversary the renovation of the East wing of the General Staff Building – a magnificent building of c.1830, facing the Winter Place across Palace Square - will be finished and a new museum of art of the 19th-21st century will be opened in its interior (5 courtyards and 800 rooms). The Hermitage will become the largest museum in the world.

The Restoration and Storage Center at "Staraya Derevnya", unique in Russia for its advanced technology, is already working and a second phase was completed in 2012. By 2014 there will be new space for temporary exhibits in the Small Hermitage and new restoration laboratories at no. 30 Palace Embankment. By the 250th anniversary the interior of the church in The Winter Palace will be restored and all the museum’s permanent displays will have been renovated. Electronic catalogues of the museum’s collection and a new website will be under way.

This will be realised with substantial support from the Federal Government and a new Hermitage Endowment. The trustees debated how this should be achieved. Russia introduced a tax rebate for personal donations to charitable endowments in January 2012 and the State Hermitage Museum has been the first to pick up on this in the arts sector. The rebate is likely to make a significant difference to fundraising for the museum in 2013-14. The Hermitage Endowment is the largest cultural endowment in Russia, thanks to a donation from the Chairman, Vladimir Potanin.

© State Hermitage Museum and Royal Russia. 04 June, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:39 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 4 June 2013 7:56 AM EDT
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The Rooms of Karl Faberge at the State Hermitage Museum
Topic: Faberge

Faberge Coronation Regalia miniatures  

The Rooms of Karl Faberge is a new Hermitage Museum exhibit which will open in the General Staff Building next year. The new permanent exhibit is intended to represent the heritage of the firm founded by Karl Faberge, demonstrate the development of the art of jewellery, and the achievements of contemporary jewellers and lapidaries.

Most of this exhibition space is intended to display examples of Russian jewellery from the second half of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. The works of Karl Faberge's predecessors, the best products of the House of Faberge and its cotemporaries from the Hermitage collection will be displayed in specially equipped cases. These new museum facilities will provide a place for temporary exhibits of jewellery and lapidary pieces from contemporary Russian and foreign artists. The Rooms of Karl Faberge project is intended to include holding classes, conferences, seminars, and round tables dedicated to jewellery and lapidary arts.

The General Staff Building is situated on Palace Square, directly opposite the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. The Rooms of Karl Faberge are expected to open in 2014.

© State Hermitage Museum and Royal Russia. 04 June, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:32 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 4 June 2013 7:38 AM EDT
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Monday, 3 June 2013
Ropsha: Between Fact and Fiction
Topic: Ropsha



The above poster shows an aerial view of Ropsha Palace as it looks today

A new photo exhibition, Ropsha: Between Fact and Fiction will open on June 4th at Oranienbaum. The exhibit is dedicated to the history of the Ropsha Palace and park complex up to the present day. Ropsha Palace was transferred to the Peterhof State Museum Preserve at the end of 2012.

On display are photographs from the State Central Archive of Film and Photo Documents in St. Petersburg. Visitors will see historic photographs of the palace during its heyday before the Revolution, including images of Tsar Nicholas II and his family during their periodic visits to the palace and park. Also included are images of the palace taken in 1930 when it was converted to a resort for the "Party faithful". These are followed by images taken during World War II when the palace and park were converted to a hospital, barracks and stables by the Nazis. The final part of the exhibit offers contemporary photographs of the palace in its current abandoned state.

The final touch to the exhibition will be a short video by Paul Ovsyanko and Konstantin Gusev, which includes a birds-eye view of the palace and the planned future reconstruction of the palace and park ensemble.

The exhibition will run from June 4th-30th at Oranienbaum.

For more information on Ropsha Palace, please refer to the following Royal Russia links;

(1) Ropsha Palace: New Life for an Imperial Residence

(2) Ropsha Palace to be Transferred to Peterhof

(3) Ropsha Palace in Urgent Need of Repair + VIDEO

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 03 June, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:56 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 12 January 2015 6:56 AM EST
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New Monument to Tsesarevich Alexei Unveiled in St. Petersburg
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 5 minutes, 26 seconds
Topic: Tsesarevich Alexei

A bronze monument to the Tsesarevich Alexei Nicholayevich was unveiled on May 26th, at the Cossack Church of the Exaltation of the Cross in St. Petersburg. The Cossacks revere the young Tsesarevich Alexei who served as Cossack Ataman. 

The tradition of members of the tsar’s family being as it were ‘adopted’ by heads of guard divisions had a long history in tsarist Russia. For an heir to the throne to be made commander of a regiment was an exceptional honour. Only a few days after the birth of the tsarevich, the hetman or commander of the Astrakhan regiment of the Cossacks received a telegram from the tsar: ‘It is with great joy that I instruct you to inform the Cossacks of the Astrakhan unit that the Heir to the Throne Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich is appointed hetman of all the Cossack regiments. Nicholas .’

When the heir to the throne was a little older, the decision was made to start introducing him to the regiments that he was to command. In this context it is worth quoting the reminiscences of General Krasnov, who was there when the tsarevich was presented to the Astrakhan regiment. ‘His Highness took his successor by the hand and went slowly with him past the front line of the Cossacks […] And when His Highness walked on […], the Cossacks wept and waved their swords in their rough calloused hands.’

The new monument of the Tsesarevich stands next to one of his father, Tsar Nicholas II which was unveiled on May 19, 2002. It is the third monument dedicated to the Tsesarevich Alexei Nicholayevich (1904-1918) in post-Soviet Russia.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 03 June, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:36 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 8 June 2014 10:00 AM EDT
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