In 1907, the countries represented at the Second Hague Peace Conference were invited to contribute to the construction or interior of the future Peace Palace. Many countries responded to this call and donated works of art or a national product to decorate the building.
Monarchs and heads of state lavished the Peace Palace with gifts. In 1908, Emperor Nicholas II donated an impressive green jasper vase measuring over 11 feet in height, and weighing more than three tons and required the floors to be strengthened. The massive vase stands on a pedestal of gray-purple porphyry, decorated with gilded ornaments: lion masks and a two-headed eagle, and the Romanov coat of arms. The inscription in French on the pedestal reads: “Don de s. m. l’emperevr de Russie Nicolas II” – A gift from His Majesty Emperor Nicholas II of Russia.
Russian writer N. M. Mavrodina notes in her book Искусство русских камнерезов 18–19 вв (The Art of Russian Stone Cutters of the 18th – 19th Centuries), that the vase was made by masters of the Imperial Kolyvan Stone-Cutting Factory (now the I. I. Polzunov Stone-Cutting Plant in the village of Kolyvan, Kuryinsky District, Altai Territory). The cost of the vase was 24,289 rubles.
The vase stands today under the palace tower. In the next room is one of the last portraits to be painted of Nicholas II.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 8 November 2018