Tsarskoe Selo has purchased the Romanov family archive of the mid-1860s to 1928. It is our largest assemblage of documents and photographs directly pertaining to the monarchial dynasty, obtained by the Museum for the first time in its almost hundred-year history.
The purchase from a private collector in London was made for over RUB 5,300,000 donated by Sberbank of Russia. As priceless historical memorabilia returning to the country, this archive is especially important before the centenary of the tragic death of Nicholas II and his family to be marked 17 July 2018.
The over 200-piece collection includes letters, photographs (see above and below, click to enlarge), telegrams (above right) and drawings related to Emperor Alexander III of Russia, his wife Maria Fiodorovna and children Xenia, Mikhail (Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich), and Nikolai (Nichcholas II) and his wife Alexandra Fiodorovna.
Of particularly great interest are three 1917-18 letters and a postcard (below right) from Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich, a first cousin of Alexander III and an eminent historian, to the Abkhaz prince Georgy Shervashidze (Chachba), as well as some very cordial letters from the British dowager queen Alexandra (consort of Edward VII) and 1928 Christmas greeting photographs from King George V of Great Britain to Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna (who relates to nearly half of the archive).
The letters’ historical value is rivaled only by the artistic beauty of their writers’ exquisitely crafted monograms (see left and top left).
The archive also has twenty photographs (above left and right) of the Romanov dynasty members, such as the portraits of Alexander III, Maria Fiodorovna, Nicholas II, and his sister Xenia.
Undoubtedly research-worthy, the documents joining the Museum’s reserve collection will be featured in our future exhibitions and publications.
Click pictures to enlarge them