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Grand Duchess’ wedding accessory, 05.10.2018

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Tsarskoe Selo has purchased the wedding handbag of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia (1875-1960), the elder daughter of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna, and the sister of Emperor Nicholas II.

Recently auctioned by Bruun Rasmussen in Copenhagen, the item was made in St Petersburg in the late nineteenth century as a gift accessory for guests of the Grand Duchess’ wedding to Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia (1875-1960), which took place at Peterhof on 6 August (O.S. 25 July) 1894. A traditional guest gift at Romanov weddings, a similar handbag can be seen in a photograph from the wedding album of Princess Irina Alexandreovna of Russia (1895-1970) and Prince Felix Yousupov (1887-1967).

The elegant 34x26 cm wedding handbag is an orange velvet pouch with the Grand Duchess’ embroidered silver monogram under the crown on the front and back sides. Its edges are decorated with braided cord and tassels and the golden and yellow satin lining bears a pale blue oval stamp with a poorly readable inscription, ‘ST. PETERSBURG /// DE NEVSKY ... ‘.

This handbag belonged to Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1860-1922), then to her daughter, Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1860-1922) who was Queen of Denmark in 1912-1947, then to Alexandrine’s younger son Knud, Hereditary Prince of Denmark (1900-1976) and finally to his son, Prince Christian of Denmark (1942-2013).

A great "physical addition" to the Romanov family archive that joined the Museum’s collection in 2017, the artifact will be showcased at exhibitions dedicated to the family and relatives of Russia’s last Emperor, Nicholas II.

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