27 April 2017 seventeen objects of cultural value, confiscated by customs in 2013–15, were handed over to the Museum by representatives of Russia’s Ministry of Culture and North-West Customs Office. The handover ceremony was led by Director Olga Taratynova of Tsarskoye Selo and by Mr Sergey Bulavsky, Head of the Customs Office.
Among the donated antiques are sabres, bayonets, crucifixes, an icon of St George the Bringer of Victory, a Luger P08 (Parabellum) pistol with a holster (see right, click to enlarge), and an American cash register. Some of the objects will be put on display at our World War I Museum.
The edged weapons (above, click to enlarge) include three nineteenth-century Spanish sabres from Toledo, a late nineteenth-century French light-cavalry sabre of the 1822 pattern that remained in service until 1961, and a ritual sword of the New York Masonic lodge made by W. Clauberg in Solingen, Germany, in the late nineteenth – early twentieth century.
The bayonets for the Austrian Mannlicher rifle and French Berthier rifle and a rare Portuguese bayonet for the Austrian Kropatscheck rifle will be great additions to the trench warfare display at the Martial Chamber.
An unusual and rare object is the National cash register (left and below, click to enlarge) produced in Dayton, Ohio, USA, in the late nineteenth century. The mechanical device in the Art Nouveau style is covered with polished brass and decorated with relief vegetative ornaments. Products by the National Cash Register Company were popular all over the world and particularly in Russia in the 1910s.
The North-West Customs Office earlier donated seized objects to the Museum in 2013 and 2011.