Christie’s Offers Portraits from the Princess Paley Collection

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An upcoming auction of Russian art will be offered at Christie’s (London) on 26th November 2018. The auction features two youthful ceremonial portraits of the future Emperor Alexander II, from the collection of Princess Olga Valerianovna Paley (1865-1929).

Princess Olga Paley, the morganatic second wife of the Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich (1860-1919), having endured the arrest and execution of both her husband and son Prince Vladimir Pavlovich Paley (1897-1918) by the Bolsheviks, escaped to Finland in 1920, and later settled in Paris.

She had long legal proceedings against the Soviet government who had actively been trading in artworks which belonged to her family, but had been nationalized by the government after the Revolution. These two portraits were part of the lawsuit, despite the fact that they were copies of the originals. She died in exile in Paris on 2 November 1929, at the age of 64.

 

Lot 22. After George Dawe, R.A.
Portrait of Tsesarevich Alexander Nikolaevich in the uniform of the Leib Guard Black Sea Cossack squadron
Estimate: GBP 50,000 – GBP 60,000 (USD 64,300 – USD 77,160)

Provenance

By repute, Empress Maria Alexandrovna (1824-1880), Gatchina Palace, until 1880.
Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich (1860-1919), Grand Duke Paul’s Palace, English embankment, St Petersburg.

Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich and Princess Olga Paley (1865-1929), The Paley Palace, Tsarskoe Selo, until 1919.

Pictures & Drawings formed by Her Highness Princess Paley removed from The Paley Palace, Tsarskoye selo; Christie’s, London, 21 June 1929, lot 21, sold as ‘George Dawe, R. A., Portrait of Alexander II, when a boy in military uniform standing in a landscape’.
Acquired by the present owner in Rueil-Malmaison, France circa 1965.

 

LOT 23. After Franz Krüger
Portrait of the Tsesarevitch Alexander Nikolaevich in the uniform of the Atamansky Cossack regiment of His Imperial Highness the Heir the Tsesarevitch
Estimate: GBP 40,000 – GBP 50,000 (USD 51,440 – USD 64,300)

Provenance

Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich (1860-1919), Grand Duke Paul’s Palace, English embankment, St Petersburg.

Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich and Princess Olga Paley (1865-1929), The Paley Palace, Tsarskoe Selo, until 1919.

Pictures & Drawings formed by Her Highness Princess Paley removed from The Paley Palace, Tsarskoye selo; Christie’s, London, 21 June 1929, lot 33, sold as ‘F. Krüger, Portrait of Alexander II, in blue military uniform with silver epaulettes, holding his shako’.
Acquired by the present owner in Rueil-Malmaison, France circa 1965.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia / Christie’s (London). 14 November 2018