Murmansk Airport to be renamed in honour of Nicholas II


Murmansk Airport will be renamed in honour of Tsar Nicholas II

Back in October, Great Names of Russia was announced, a national competition in which the Russian people could cast votes to rename 42 of the country’s major airports, by choosing from a shortlist of famous Russians for each airport.

On 28th November, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on assigning the names of prominent Russian figures to airports, seaports and railway stations, with a view to perpetuating the person’s memory.

The Chairman of the Double-Headed Eagle Society Konstantin Malofeev appealed to Russians to cast their vote on the Great Names of Russia web site, “for those historical figures who made a significant contribution to the development of our country in its imperial period. I call on all Orthodox patriots and monarchists to support the names of those who glorified our Fatherland through the ages,” he said.

More than 5.5 million people took part in the vote, the results of which were formally announced on 4th December, on the state-owned Russian television channel Russia-1 «Россия 1». The final vote yielded some interesting results.


The airport in the Russian arctic city of Murmansk will be renamed in honour of Nicholas II, who received 68,260 votes (48%), followed by Ivan Dmitrievich Papanin, who received 58,927 votes (42%). But, not every one was happy with the results.

Opponents of the vote immediately screamed “voter fraud”, their argument that the city has no connection with Russia’s last tsar. This, however, is incorrect. Murmansk, Russia’s first ice free port was in fact founded in 1916 by Nicholas II and named Romanov-on-Murman. It was from here that many believed the Imperial family would have been sent abroad to England after the tsar’s abdication, however, it was not to be. 

Ivan Dmitrievich Papanin (1894 – 1986) was a Soviet polar explorer, scientist, Counter Admiral, twice awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, and recipient of nine Orders of Lenin. He took part in the Russian Civil War on the Bolshevik side, fighting in Ukraine. In 1920 he was sent to the Crimea to organize a guerrilla movement against the forces of the White Movement leader General Baron Pyotr Wrangel.

Russian historian Peter Multatuli said that he appreciated the support of the residents of Murmansk to change the name of the airport in honour of the last Emperor. “If airports are named after a person, then the state recognizes his service to the state,” he said in an interview after the results were announced on Tuesday.

“The name of Sovereign Nicholas II won by a large margin, and this is of great importance not only in the sense of justice with regard to the Emperor. The state has finally lifted the taboo in the name of Nicholas II, in which it was vilified during all the years of Soviet power,” Multatuli  stressed.


It is Interesting to note that Nicholas II failed to make the short-list of two cities which are more closely connected to his name, and much more deserving than that of Murmansk. 

Novosibirsk – Russia’s 3rd largest city – founded in 1893 as Novo-Nikolaevsk in honour both of Saint Nicholas and of the reigning Tsar Nicholas II. It is the only city of the Russian Empire, Soviet Russia and the Soviet Union, which for almost 30 years bore the name of the last Russian emperor and was renamed Novosibirsk in 1926.

Ekaterinburg – Russia’s 4th largest city – founded in 1723 and named in honour of the Empress Catherine I (1684-1727), second wife of Peter the Great and Empress of Russia from 1725 until her death. It was in Ekaterinburg that Nicholas II and his family lived out their final days, before their murders in the Ipatiev House on the night of 16/17 July 1918. They are memorialized in the Ural city with the Church on the Blood, the Museum of the Holy Royal Family, the Romanov Memorial Hall, the Monastery of the Holy Royal Passion Bearers at Ganina Yama, monuments and more.

In 2017, Murmansk Airport was the 33rd busiest airport in Russia and served 845,928 passengers, an increase of 10.8% from 2016.

In 2017, Novosibirsk’s Tolmachevo Airport was the 8th busiest airport in Russia. serving 4.8 million passengers, an increase of 22.3% from 2016.

In 2017, Ekaterinburg’s Koltsovo International Airport was the 6th busiest airport in Russia, serving 5.4 million passengers, an increase of 25.7% from 2016.

Other Russian airports will be renamed in honour of three other Romanov rulers, including Vorenezh (International Airport) in honour of Peter the Great; Kaliningrad (Khrabovo Airport) in honour of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna; and Krasnodar (International Airport) in honour of Empress Catherine II.

A final vote for St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport has yet to be announced, however, it would seem more relevant to rename the city’s airport after it’s founder Peter the Great, than that of Vorenezh.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 5 December 2018


Exhibition: ‘Fabergé Style. Excellence Beyond Time’


On December 15, the New Jerusalem Museum and Exhibition Complex* hosts the opening of a large-scale exhibition Fabergé Style. Excellence Beyond Time

The exhibition will feature more than 400 artworks, many of which have never been shown to the general public before. The project will gather the works of the House of Faberge’ from the collections of Russian and foreign museums: the Faberge Museum in Baden-Baden (Germany), the State Hermitage Museum (Russia, St. Petersburg) and others.

The Faberge** exhibition in Russia will present the full range of activities of the world-famous company:

“This is the first such large-scale project that presents not just individual items but tells the story of the development of the House of Faberge’. The extensive exhibition demonstrates visitors not only precious products, but also unique documents that mark the key milestones in the history of the famous brand”, — says Alexander Ivanov, the curator of the exhibition, professor, founder of the first private Museum in Russia (Russian National Museum) and the Faberge’ Museum in Baden-Baden (Germany).

In addition to jewelry and accessories, the Museum “New Jerusalem” presents crystal ware, gift and interior goods and also medals, lapidary works and works of Faberge’ created during the First World War. Also, at the exhibition it will be possible to evaluate and compare the work style of masters from the different departments of the House – St. Petersburg and Moscow. A special place of the exhibition is the Royal Hall, where unique copies of royal gifts, the famous Imperial Easter Eggs, items from the Cabinet of His Imperial Majesty, decorations of the Imperial Family will be displayed.

Among the key exhibits there are Easter Imperial Egg from Karelian birch (1917), the last Easter Egg, made and presented to the Imperial Family by Faberge’; Easter Imperial Egg “Imperial Blue Tsarevich Constellation Egg” (1917), intended as a gift to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna for Easter 1917; brooch “Butterfly” (1896), presented by Emperor Nicholas II to actress M. N. Yermolova.

One of the halls is recreated as the interior of the office of the chief executive of the Faberge’ firm, where you can see the original writing materials produced by the House of Faberge’ and a phone from the master’s office on Bolshaya Morskaya street in St. Petersburg. A separate room is dedicated to Faberge’s workshops. Its central installation is a huge table, a stylized version of the jeweler’s workspace with unique tools used at the turn of the century, the original sketches of artists which masters based their work on. Interactive touch panels tell all the information and photos about the features of jewelry techniques that glorified this unsurpassed brand. There is also a separate room for workshops and a projector screen showing a film about the history of the Faberge House. In addition to the works of Faberge’ jewelry house, the exhibition presents works of his contemporaries who imitated or tried to compete with the great master — items by Bolin, Sazikov, Ovchinnikov and Khlebnikov.

PHOTOS © New Jerusalem Museum and Exhibition Complex

* “New Jerusalem” is one of the largest museums in Russia. It is located in the town of Istra, 60 km from Moscow. Today the Museum’s collection consists of more than 180 000 items. “New Jerusalem” has often been the venue for major inter-museum projects. The newest one is the exhibition of Carl Faberge’, where many of exhibits will be presented to the public for the first time.

** Artist and entrepreneur, Carl Faberge (1846-1920) managed to create the largest
jewelry company in Russia that determined the development of the industry of the late XIX – early XX centuries. Baltic Germany by birth with French roots from his father, Carl Faberge studied at the German school of St. Anna in St. Petersburg, and then graduated from the Dresden Trading School and the Commercial College in Paris, learning at the same time jewelry art from the Frankfurt goldsmith Joseph Friedman.

The House of Faberge’ became famous worldwide in 1900 after the world exhibition in Paris, where Carl Faberge’ was a member of the jury. In 1903, a shop of the House was opened in London that also became a center of trade with France, America and Asia. The Faberge House clientele consisted of members of royal families of GB, Germany, Italy, Sweden and many other countries. A distinctive feature of the Faberge enterprise was the combination of two different specializations. The company created jewelry with precious stones, enamels and also so-called haberdashery: snuff boxes, bonbonnieres, cigar cases. Meanwhile, the House manufactured silverware — cutlery, vases, bowls, prize cups.

The exhibition Fabergé Style. Excellence Beyond Time runs from 15th December 2018 to 24th March 2019, at the New Jerusalem Museum and Exhibition complex

© New Jerusalem Museum and Exhibition Complex / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 3 December 2018

Tender Issued for Restoration of the Chinese Theatre in Tsarskoye Selo


The Chinese Theatre is currently in a terrible state of ruin and disrepair

The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve have announced a tender for the restoration the Chinese Theater in the Alexander Park. The cost of work is estimated at 4 million rubles. Acceptance of applications will continue until December 12, and on December 17 the results of the tender will be announced.

A tender for the restoration of the theatre was initially announced in March 2014, however, funding for the project was not available at the time.

The restoration of the cultural heritage object will be designed and adapted for modern use. The work in the theater itself will begin, after the area surrounding the building have been cleared of weeds and other plants, which have overgrown and causing damage to the walls of this theatre.

The Chinese Theatre was built in 1778, by the famous architect Antonio Renaldi. Simple white walls were decorated with a luxurious cornice, however, destroyed in the 19th century. The curvature of the roof gave the building an exotic look. Inside, the richly decorated oriental-style interiors were decorated with authentic elements ​​brought from China. 

The building was destroyed by fire during the shelling of 1941, and has yet to be restored.

Click HERE to read my article + photos about the Chinese Theatre, published on 26 March 2014, and now stored in our archives online.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 3 December 2018

Exhibition: ‘From the Imperial Wardrobe’


Military uniforms from the collection of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve are currently on display at a new exhibition From the Іmperial Wardrobe, in the Mir Castle Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated 100 km from Minsk, Belarus.

The exhibition, which opened on 29th November is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. It is a joint international project of the Mir Castle Complex Museum, the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve, the State Archives of the Russian Federation, the Grodno State Historical and Archaeological Museum, the Local Charitable Foundation “Brest Fortification” and the Lukskaya Secondary School. 

The First World War changed the face of the Russian Empire, the way of life of people and families, including the imperial one. For a long time that war was in the shadow of the October Revolution, the Civil War and later the Great Patriotic War. The main purpose of the exhibition is to restore the historical memory of the war, drawing attention to the personality of Emperor Nicholas II and to military events related to Mir township and the surrounding villages.


The exhibition features a total of 39 military uniforms, including those belonging to Emperor Nicholas II and his son, Tsesarevich Alexei. After the tsar’s abdication, his uniforms survived the 1917 Revolution, and were preserved in the Alexander Palace. During the Great Patriotic War (1941-45), the uniforms were evacuated to Novosibirsk.

An interactive excursion has been prepared for the visitors, during which they will be able to learn about the features of uniforms and learn about the history of individual Life Guard regiments.

A separate unit presents weapons and military equipment from the First World War from the funds of  Grodno State Historical and Archeological Museum, which are complemented by the items from the State Institution “Lukskaya secondary school” located on the territory of Korelichi district and on the basis of which the military-patriotic club “Vityaz” since 2001 has been operating.

An illustrative series of the exhibition is represented by photographs from the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve, the collection of Major General Svity EI.V. Vladimir Fedorovich Dzhunkovsky State Archives of the Russian Federation, as well as photographs from the archive of local historian Leonid Kudin.

The thematic section on medical services during the First World War will be of particular interest. A military field hospital tent and medical instruments are on display at the exhibition thanks to the Local Charitable Foundation “Brest Fortification”.

The exhibition will be open until February 28, 2019. 

© Mir Castle / Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve. 30 November 2018

This Week in the News – The Romanovs and Imperial Russia


PHOTO: Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna with her brother Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, on the garden terrace leading into the Semi-Circular Hall of the Alexander Palace, 1909

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This Week in the News includes a link and brief summary to full-length articles published in the past week from English language media and internet sources.

This initiative is a courtesy to those who do not have a Facebook account, or for some reason cannot view the Royal Russia Facebook page – now, with more than 172,000 followers from around the world!

Royal Russia is pleased to offer our dedicated followers with the following 5 full-length articles, on a variety of topics covering the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, monarchy, and the history of Imperial and Holy Russia, for the week ending 24 November 2018:


ARTICLES – click on the red headline text below to read the respective articles

A Pearl Earring and Imperial Russia

Royal historian Elizabeth Jane Timms writes about a pearl earring, which is currently on display in London. This extraordinarily poignant object has its own silent story to tell, concerning the fate of the Romanovs. Believed to have belonged to the Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, this single pearl earring is symbolic of the pieces of the Tsarina’s personal jewellery that followed her – if indeed it is hers – literally until the end.

How did Moscow’s Kremlin become Russia’s main symbol of power and authority? + PHOTOS

Over two centuries ago, Napoleon planned to obliterate the main symbol of Russia, the Moscow Kremlin. Only thanks to natural forces and the people of Moscow was this tragedy prevented.

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PHOTO: A charming photo of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, on the balcony of the Imperial Hunting Lodge at Spala, 1897

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Disclaimer: the links published on this page are for information purposes only,
and may not reflect the opinions of Paul Gilbert and/or Royal Russia

Anglo-Russian Hospital: Six Thousand Saved


PHOTO © The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve

The Anglo-Russian Hospital in Petrograd. 1915–1918, a joint exhibition by Tsarskoe Selo and the Russian Museum of Military Medicine, is open at the Martial Chamber till 27 January 2019.

The exhibition is based on old photographs, nearly 50 copies of which were donated to Tsarskoe Selo by Dr Pauline Monro MBE MD FRCP, a British neurologist with long-standing connections to the medical community in Russia (see below, middle), and Mr Simon Boyd, the grandson of Lady Sybil Grey (see below, right) who set up and temporarily ran the Anglo-Russian Hospital in Petrograd (as St Petersburg was renamed in 1914 to make its name Sankt Peterburg sound less German).

The original photographs were gathered by Dr Monro and Mr Boyd from descendants and relatives of those who worked at the Anglo-Russian Hospital during World War One.


PHOTO © The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve

The Russian Museum of Military Medicine lent to the exhibition such artifacts as soldier hospital clothes, Russian and British surgical kits and patient care accessories.

The establishment of the Anglo-Russian Hospital in Petrograd began from a special committee created in London in August 1915 under the patronage of HM Queen Alexandra. Lady Muriel Paget, a British philanthropist and humanitarian relief worker was appointed Honorary Organizing Secretary. According to the committee’s estimate, an equipped and staffed hospital with 200 beds would require 30,000 pounds sterling a year.  Proposed by the British Foreign Office, the hospital was funded by public subscription and supported by donations from King George V and Mary of Teck, the British Red Cross Society, the Canadian government, the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem and other organizations. The British government provided transportation.

An advance party left for Petrograd in October 1915. It was was led by Lady Muriel Paget and her colleague Lady Sybil Grey, the second daughter of Albert Grey, 4th Earl Gray and Governor General of Canada. The two women were the key figures involved in organizing and running the hospital. 


The Dmitri Palace, now known as the Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace, was formally offered as the ‘base’ hospital in Petrograd. A huge, Neo-Baroque building by the Fontanka River with a distinctive orange facade and opulent interiors lit by brilliant chandeliers, the Palace had hosted lavish parties for Russian high society in the 19th century, and had been home to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich before he was killed by a terrorist bomb. It was the property of Emperor Nicholas II’s cousin Dmitri Pavlovich, one of the few Romanovs to later escape execution after the revolution.

The Palace was then converted into a hospital during November and December 1915. The official opening of the hospital took place on 1 February 1916. The opening ceremony was attended by Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna, Tsarina Alexandra with her elder daughters Tatiana and Olga, Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna and the British ambassador to Russia George Buchanan.

The staff was volunteer and included several prominent London surgeons. Two large wards were arranged in the Music Room and two adjacent sitting rooms. Those were adjoined by the patients’ dining room, bathrooms, toilets and a large wound dressing room. The operating, narcosis and sterilization rooms, an X-ray room and a bacteriological laboratory were located on the same floor. There was also a staff room with two surgeons and two orderlies on duty, a dental office, a kitchen, a laundry room and a carpentry workshop.


PHOTO © The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve

The hospital’s official blazon consisted of a British imperial lion and a Russian imperial double-headed eagle holding a red cross (see upper left in picture above).

During the 11 months between November 1915 and October 1916 more than six thousand patients received treatment in the Anglo-Russian hospitals (and field camps) in Russia, including at the base hospital in St Petersburg.  It closed in January 1918 as conditions became too difficult following the revolution.

A memorial plaque was hung in the entrance hall of the Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace in 1996.

© The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve. 23 November 2018

Two New Memorials to Imperial Family Established in Russia & Ukraine


Black granite memorial to Nicholas II and his family in Pokrovskoye

On 17th November, a monument dedicated to the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his family, was established on the grounds of the Grigoriy Rasputin House Museum, in Pokrovskoye, situated in the Tyumen region of Siberia.

The Imperial family stopped in Pokrovskoye on their way from their exile in Tobolsk Ekaterinburg, where they were subsequently murdered by the Ural Soviet, on the night of 16/17 July 1918. “. . . We had to change horses in the village of Pokrovskoye, which meant standing for a right opposite Grigoriy [Rasputin’s] house, and we saw his whole family looking through the window . . . ,” Nicholas II wrote in his diary on 27th (O.S. 14th) April 1918.

The monument is a slab of black granite, split in two by a cross. On one half is a quote from the tsar’s diary, on the other, the prophecy of Grigoriy Rasputin: “They will come to Tobolsk and, before they die, they will see my native village.”

The initiator and organizer of the installation of the memorial is the founder and owner of the Grigoriy Rasputin House Museum Marina Smirnova.


The Grigoriy Rasputin House Museum in Pokrovskoye


Chapel dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Rasputin’s death in Pokrovskoye

“It is symbolic that the Imperial family stayed in Pokrovskoye, not just in front of the house of Grigoriy Rasputin, but at the very place where in 1914 an attempt was made on him, where his blood was shed,” she said.

In 2016, Marina Smirnova, using her own funds, installed a chapel on the site of the Grigoriy Rasputin House Museum, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Rasputin’s death on 30th (O.S. 17th) December 1916.

Today, Pokrovskoye is included in the program of the national tourist project “The Imperial Route”, which connects cities and villages of Russia related to the last days of Nicholas II and his family.


Memorial cross to Nicholas II and his family opposite the Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra

A memorial cross dedicated to Emperor Nicholas II and his family has been installed on the Kaminschik Mountain, opposite the Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra, situated in the town of Pochayiv, in Western Ukraine.

The memorial cross was consecrated on 8th November, by the priests of the Moscow Patriarchate.

“This cross was established by the faithful parishioners of of the Orthodox Church in honor of the 100th anniversary of the martyr’s death of the Holy Royal Martyrs and all the saints during the times of persecution from the godless power for the faith of Christ the slain. 1918-2018,” says the explanatory tablet to the cross.

In 2017, the official website of the Pochayiv Lavra called for the faithful to pray to the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers for the fate of Russia. Pilgrims held a cross procession from Kamianets-Podilskyi to the monastery, carrying with them a large icon of the Russian tsar Nicholas II.

One of the monks of the Monastery declared that the restoration of the Russian Orthodox monarchy is one of the most pressing issues of our time.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 20 November 2018


Siberian Gastronomic Festival Honours Nicholas II and Family


An Imperial family cake and macaroons offered at the Tyumen Gastronomic Festival

Events marking the centenary of the deaths of the Russian Imperial family have been held across Russia this year, and have included exhibitions, documentaries, concerts, forums, and more.

On 18th November, the Great Dessert Ball (Большой десертный бал), one of the most unusual events was held in the Siberian city of Tyumen, as part of the city’s annual gastronomic festival, at which the best pastry chefs presented their sweet creations. This year, the centenary marking the deaths of Emperor Nicholas II and his family was the central theme of the culinary event. 

The chefs created rich and royally decorated desserts honouring the members of the Imperial family. Special attention was given to each dessert. One chef recreated the Imperial train in the form of a chocolate cake. Another created coconut macaroons (see photo) marked with portraits of the last emperor Nicholas II and members of his family. Another cake was made in the form of a book (see photo) titled  The Imperial Route (императорский маршрут).

It should come as no surprise that some visitors to the festival viewed the depiction of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers on cakes as blasphemous. The office of the Tobolsk Diocese issued a statement criticizing the cakes as “inappropriate”.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 19 November 2018

This Week in the News – The Romanovs and Imperial Russia


PHOTO: This lovely framed watercolour of Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich (1904-1918), contains a curl of the heir’s hair, which is embedded between two griffins in the lower part of the frame.

Genetic testing recently confirmed that the sample is authentic. The framed image and hair sample are from the collection of the Belgrade Museum, and currently on display at the Nicholas II. Family and Throne exhibition, which runs until 15th April 2019, in the State Historical Museum in Moscow. Click HERE to read more about the exhibition.

* * *

This Week in the News includes a link and brief summary to full-length articles published in the past week from English language media and internet sources.

This initiative is a courtesy to those who do not have a Facebook account, or for some reason cannot view the Royal Russia Facebook page – now, with more than 171,000 followers from around the world!

Royal Russia is pleased to offer our dedicated followers with the following 5 full-length articles, on a variety of topics covering the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, monarchy, and the history of Imperial and Holy Russia, for the week ending 17 November 2018:


THIS WEEKS ARTICLES (Click on links below to review)

Russia in World War I: Was victory ‘stolen’ by a stab in the back?

Some experts claim that Russia was on the road to victory in the Great War but then it was abruptly sabotaged by selfish and cowardly politicians who organized the two revolutions in 1917, and who then later signed a separate peace deal with Germany. Is this thesis valid?

Just for fun . . . QUIZ: Chow time! Are you more like Ivan the Terrible or Nicholas II?

Answer the questions and find out the diet of which Russian ruler suits you better: Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great or Nicholas II.

The elephants that entertained Russian tsars

‘Russia is the motherland of all the elephants,’ an old joke goes. Ironically, there were numerous elephants have made their mark on the country. Some had tiger’s claws, drank vodka, entertained the tsars, and took part in weddings.

RT’s Multimedia Project #ROMANOVS100 Wins Silver at Clio Entertainment

#Romanovs100, a large-scale, cross-platform, multimedia project launched by RT to mark the centenary of the execution of the last Russian royal family, won silver at Clio Entertainment—a prestigious awards competition honoring outstanding work in the field of film/television promotion and advertising.

Stairway to heaven: The churches at Romanov + PHOTOS

Architectural historian and photographer William Brumfield writes in RBTH, about some of the most unique church architecture in central Russia.

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PHOTO: The highly anticipated exhibition Russia, Royalty and the Romanovs opened on 9th November. It showcases a collection of nearly 300 works, ranging from Fabergé eggs to jewellery, paintings, and letters, exploring the interconnections between the Romanov dynasty and the British royal family. The exhibition runs until 28th April 2019 in the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London, England. Click HERE for more details about the exhibition.

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Disclaimer: the links published on this page are for information purposes only,
and may not reflect the opinions of Paul Gilbert and/or Royal Russia

Christie’s Offers Portraits from the Princess Paley Collection


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)


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)


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