Ulrike Kannengiesser, a German soldier’s daughter (see left, click to enlarge), recently came to Tsarskoe Selo to return an eighteenth-century book bearing the stamp Bibliothèque de Tsarskoe Selo (Library of Tsarskoe Selo) and the inventory number A No 12102 of the Alexander Palace's library on the endpapers.
Published in 1783 and encased in a semi-leather binding like all the other German books in Catherine the Great’s library at Tsarskoe Selo, the book is Johann Joachim Eschenburg’s classical literature textbook (Handbuch der klassischen Literatur enthaltend I. Archäologie, II. Notiz der Klassiker, III. Mythologie, IV. Griechische Alterthümer, V. Römische Alterthümer. – Berlin und Stettin : Friedrich Nicolai, 1783). The author was highly regarded by the Russian empress.
The book stayed at the Alexander Palace until the early 1940s. According to Ulrike Kannengiesser, her father never talked about the war and only once gave her a very brief account of how he picked this book up from the ground near a palace in Tsarskoe Selo. Fond of art history, he took it because it was in German and of his interest. After his death, his daughter was set on personally returning the book to the Museum as soon as she verified its provenance. Click pictures to enlarge them