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Messages - DOMOVOII

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Do you have more information about the photo, age, origins?

Could this be a recreation of the famous tiara. If you look there are a couple of other discrepancies, the cushion shaped diamond supporting the upright, and the frame.

I know that the Diamond Fund of the RF have used modern jewellers to manufacture replicas of pieces that were sold off.... there is one of the Ears of Wheat diadem first owned by Maria Feodorovna, wife of Paul I, sold by the Soviet in 1929. In the first instance the tiara had briolette stones, which were later, effected with pave set "grains of wheat" .  (The Briolette cut means that rough/uncut stones needed have to be quite big to begin with, in order to facet the gem in the round. Though I find it difficult to believe they [the new jewellers] wouldn't have had access to some large stones, as they redesigned the central stone of the Wheat Tiara to be a huge yellow diamond, -- initially it had been a 37 ct white sapphire.)

But then again. it could be the same, with the drops changed.

Reading about the jewels that most of the ladies were lucky enough to wear, I am amazed by the versatility and adaptability of them. Most pieces it seems were fitted with hidden loops, catches and pins for using one item in many ways, adding drops, or inserting  posted uprights, maybe joining two or more pieces together,  or unclipping sections to make a different look,  changing it to complement a dress, or owing to the formality of an occasion.

It sounds like good value to me!!

Grandduchess Ella, you are of course right, --apples and oranges.  Suppose you could also add "Horses for courses" Ella was drawn to the Poor and their plight, one to one, Maria used her posistion to support others to do that work. As long as the need was met, everyone won.

And I have to agree, I wouldn't like to have irked her, but to have seen this lady work a room,conversing with the leaders and movers of the beau monde at the height of its elegance, Europe-wide.


Thr briolette tiara is indeed magnificent, the swinging briolettes must have caught every eye with their fire. And Miechen would wear this and other headpieces,  there is a photo with the tips of the sprays poking through  circular holes cut into a kokoshnik along with other diadems and jewels!! Admittedly this photo is of MP in fancy dress costume, (not the 1903 costume ball (Tiara dated 1908 )  but similarly, 17th century in theme.) Wowee!!

Martyn, do you know of any photo's of these pieces worn, the Emerald aigrette, is stunning, love the upright drops (if that makes sense), but how were they worn, dead centre, set back from the hairline a'la tiara? Round the back decorating a chignon?  Worn at the front it may look like a huge pair of bugs antennae!


What is the role of a Grand Duchess? If you retire from that job, does that make you a better Grand Duchess?
Does one need to be seen to perform good works for them to be good. Ella spent her time administering to the poor, and Miechen organised a wealth of high profile fundraising charity- functions, Bazaars, Parties Cotillions and Balls. (Are these less worthwhile because they are happy, fun occasions despite the monies they raised for charity?)

The voluntary work I do is not done as a benefit to others ie, that is not the reason I do it, I do it because it needs to be done,  it is something I have done for years, which  I enjoy to do, I like the people I deal with and the "good" of it never enters the equation . It doesn't mean I work less hard at it, or have less successes. It certainly doesn't mean that I can look down on people who haven't or don't do things for others. That is conceit.

As Grand Duchesses  I'm sure they both performed their respective duties admirably, only, the holier than thou Ella draws most praise 'cause everyone knew of her obvious efforts.

I can quite understand what MP refers to, with her "the chilly breath" quote, as I am sure I would feel less inclined to have a rip-roaring night out if it was in the presence of a Nun*. Not usually known for their love of excess, and what is a ball if not excess on the grandest scale. (*Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence excepted.)

But then you'll tell me on MP's part this was completely un-altruistic, only to further herself and her reputation.Certainly no benefit to anyone but herself.
I think not.

I myself sometimes wish she had the chutzpah to carry out her threat to Paleologue, and "exterminated" the Empress....we may still have Romanovs on the throne in Russia had that been that case.

If she'd acted in the December of 1916 when Rasputin was killed, and succeeded in putting...GD Dmitri P on the throne, for example-- (the Vladimirovichi plotters thought he would be best received by the country) the March Revolution may not have occured (between NII's arranged "abdication" , the new Emperor's coronation, changes to the government, a responsible ministry etc) and the Bolsheviks though barracking from outside all the while would have had to wait for the next viable opportunity (which with a progressive, strong, monarch, strong leadership of the Armed Forces etc may be years and years....1929??) to take hold in Russia,

You never know.

Wouldn't Maria have out-ranked Ella anyways?

She was the third most important woman in the Empire, and after 1909 when Vladimir died,  possibly the most independant of all the Romanov women. Able to do as she chose, to go, to buy,to see, to wear, to visit whatever and wherever she wanted. With none of the constraints of a husband or the social predilections of others (Ella's Alms) beside that of pleasing herself.

I'm not entirely sure whether she'd have felt jealous of anyone, she seemed to me to be extremely self assured and aware of her talents. Jealousy to me only occurs when there is doubt in the mind. She definitely knew her mind.

Looking at pictures of her in her youth; (sorry I can't post... the valves and pistons canna take it Cap'n!!) she was pretty. Now she doesn't have the "refined, ethereal" quality  that Ella and Alix in her youth had but is never the less not unnattractive. Sure she thickened in later years but she remained a striking woman. (I suppose a few hundred carat weight in diamonds will always help there)

Most of the famous jewels got divided between her children at her death, some pieces from her collection passed to family members around Europe . Queen Mary acquired the tiara you see in the photo of MP, it is now part of the Queen Elizabeth's personal collection.

Forum Announcements / Re: loyal czarists feel fee to contact me
« on: January 29, 2005, 02:39:31 PM »
rsskyia... will my best wishes do?.

...I found at a similar time in my life what great comfort there can be in the quiet , ordinary things. You feel sometimes, that this time is meant to be full and happy and worthy, whereas there is nothing more special than having dear one's close. These times are what you can treasure, always.

Please remember to make time for yourself too.

What a great friend you must be to have.


, AF didn't like her for a number of reasons, mainly that MP had ambitions for her children that the Imp Fam didn't share. MP also towards the end of the Empire became involved in a number of small schemes/plots to force N to resign and install another family member on the throne. I am sure there are many other examples that members can quote but I believe AF's attitude was influenced foremost by these. She also differred her conversion to Orthodoxy which was another sticking point for family members.

MP filled the social void in St Petersburg, her court outshone that of the Empress. Which considering AF had little inclination for it only guaranteed MP's social standing.

All in all a very interesting woman. I would have loved to have met her.

My favourite quote regarding her;

"We have heard a great deal of the gentlemen of the age and now one about the ladies, Well, here is one without any shadow of doubt whatsoever, in fact  I may call her the Lady of Europe of the time. With Petersburg as her capital city where her court outstripped that of the Empress, every other capital knew her well and none better than London. Imperious, capable to a degree that was uncanny; without any preparation whatever she could adapt herself to the most diverse assembly without any previous knowledge of it's human components and come out of the ordeal as fresh and as undaunted as when she entered. Always with the right question to ask, the search of which is the prime concern for all royal ladies, was to her as natural as the intake of breath."

HC Bainbridge

You are quite right, for me GDss Maria Pavlovna was one of the most interesting women of the era.  The Grande Dame of Europe, was a soubriquet conferred upon her, and she dazzled it's capitals, with her style and jewels, and more importantly her "presence".

She was famed for her jewels and must have been Cartier's best customer being instrumental in bringing the Parisian jeweller to St Petersburg, even to the point of introducing him to the Imperial couple. Miechen ordered a great many important pieces from him right up until 1914 and the outbreak of war.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to dig up much in the way of information about her, I always assume that the animosity that N&A had towards her, influenced the number of biogs  written about her and then assumed that GD Kyrill wouldn't have wanted the greyer areas of his entitlement to the throne in exile made common knowledge. I have asked and asked, and abe/amazon searched but to no avail. Perhaps some one else has had better luck.

Forum Announcements / Re: loyal czarists feel fee to contact me
« on: January 29, 2005, 06:30:22 AM »
Surely the first indicator that this isn't a Romanov appreciation society is that the name of the board is the APTM discussion forums. That was clear to me from my first visit.

What this site can do is offer a framework that discusses the whole scenario in which the Romanovs dealt, not just the personalities but their possessions, their politics and policies and the context that is set against. From being a Romanov site we now include many diverse aspects of their extended family history.

I can certainly sympathise with Aligertz, there have been many points I have wanted to raise, but have felt that the poster's posting previous to me would not appreciate the flipside of their argument interrupting their love-in be it for or against the family. So many people on here seem to adopt OTMA as a surrogate Barbie doll and wish to hear no real debate, based on fact about the Romanovs.

Michelle has called me a commie, before now, (which doesn't begin to explain or describe my political viewpoint)  she is under the impression that because she makes so many postings, (of little real contribution other than sychophantic repetition), that she believes to be sacrosanct, anyone who disagrees immediately becomes a "commie" for her to justify herself. With so much chiming in, and oohing and ahhing over OTMA, I have chosen to avoid all threads she enters, bar this one, as I think her attitude is in need of assessment. (Incidentally I couldn't sort this out with Michelle as she barred my reply as soon as she had labelled me a commie...pardon me for raising it here)

How about a zero tolerance approach to people like Michelle who continually use offensive remarks regarding other members, I'd be  more than happy to comply if others agreed... It's just that I left name calling in the playground. I don't want my freetime relaxation to be interrupted all the while with immature people bandying around terms they are inherently ignorant of the meaning.

....and I would much rather discuss a point with someone of a differing opinion, because only then would I feel able to understand how that person had been able to reach their conclusion and how it differs to mine. For me it is the understanding of the differences that is the greatest lesson from history. Looking from a new posistion, appreciating the contributory factors that caused the consequences, the similarity and difference between events and factions. Only when it has all been examined are we able to hold a personal, definitive opinion, anything other than that is merely supposition

Much more informative than the litany of "Olga rocks" or "Maria was the Grandduchess most like a ?" or "GD Dmitri, he's fine!" "Me too!!!!!!!!" diatribe.

Having Fun! / Re: What Romanov wuold you invite to dinner?
« on: January 19, 2005, 02:12:07 PM »
I'd have liked to get GV and NII around a table.... see if GV had much remorse. I think he might but then in that ubiquitous gruff fashion I don't think he'd make much mention of it, at least not first.

For a dinner strictly a deu, Miechen would be top of my list. I'd ask who she thought was a shyster, which characterswere involved in scandals or in intrigues, or who she felt was was truly brilliant. I'd love to hear how she felt about her nephew and his wife and what she felt about their mistrust, if she cared at all. Ask her what her dreams for her children were and see whether see was as driven as she is made out to be. Perhaps over dessert she could tell me about her dealings with Cartier and Faberge, who she preferred and why....Pick over her story, which I believe is yet to be told fully.

MF would be my second choice; I'd ask about her first engagement, which occasions featured her favourite Balls...her thoughts on her daughter in law, her hopes for her daughters, and then the rest of the tribe... Jewels, gowns, Palaces, and then about her life in exile. A fascinating woman who had so much and yet remained undiminished when it was all taken away.

Imperial Russian Antiques / Re: Czarevitch George Alexandrovitch
« on: January 19, 2005, 11:00:10 AM »
Sorry...I've just found the information I was after....Faberge used an astonishing 144 different shades of enamel.   WOW!

So I suppose the chance of repetition, wasn't neccessarily such a problem.

The Yussupovs / Re: Was Prince Felix a closeted gay man?
« on: January 18, 2005, 04:04:31 PM »
Firstly Penny I feel I need to explain, when I said that gay people have a choice, I meant that that choice was whether or not to live openly in their community. To be out, not what I think you believe I meant; that these people have to chosen not to be themselves. Not my meaning at all. And yes, the pioneers who advanced the fledgling movement for equality should be applauded, in no way do I want to denigrate those who suffered so that I today, can marry my partner. I thank them sincerely.

I came (read= exploded!!) out over fifteen years ago now,.... easy for me to do, and yes it might have been easy for Felix, today, but in his social circumstances he would still have had a pretty proscribed choice in his own future. Which doesn't mean that he didn't have (from your posting Penny) shall I say, something more than leanings  but he didn't live as a Gay man as there was no option of it.

Incidentally, I had a friend who said he was involved in the Elton John cocaine scandal of the late 80's, I have another friend who'd dated a particularly well known footballer from Man Utd... apparently. The only thing is I'll never know either way if they were really telling the truth.

The Yussupovs / Re: Was Prince Felix a closeted gay man?
« on: January 18, 2005, 12:22:37 PM »
Thanks... but what I should have said was; a gay man is defined by his sexual identity.

Felix, as far as I have read, did not identify himself as a homosexual or with having "leanings", or having had many experiences to suggest positively otherwise. Many young people have a curiousity towards members of their own sex; a "phase" --which is the very most that could ever be attributed to Felix, and even then with no real certainty.

Imperial Russian Antiques / Re: Czarevitch George Alexandrovitch
« on: January 18, 2005, 11:59:00 AM »
Following on from the last remark; do we know how many different colours of enamel Faberge used? How many different patterns of guillochages were used to such beautiful effect on so many of his enamelled pieces? I'm just thinking with 80ish colours and thirty-odd (GUESS) options the possibilities open out a little...

Secondly, after looking at the charka again and again, I feel that the Toucan aspect is made most clear when the cup is inverted, (but you knew that) in this attitude, the bowl of the charka becomes the bill of the Toucan and the eye set on the mask, naked before the black feathers start, (I know... I'm sat beside one! (a Toucan, not a charka!))

The Yussupovs / Re: Was Prince Felix a closeted gay man?
« on: January 18, 2005, 11:08:12 AM »

Umm.  Anyone recall Oscar Wilde?   :-*

Oscar had a devoted wife called Constance..... what does this clarify? Two sons too.... which contrevenes the notion of the modern gay man.

Perhaps what's confused the issue is that although the Victorians may have had a brave new word for the  "situation", in effect, it was really just a classification; in a social context there was no homosexuality...because it was against the law, for many( the Code Napoleonin France  granted certain allowances and Frederik the Gt, also; "as long as it didn't scare the horses"!?!) and because it defied religious teachings .

Yes "relations"occurred  the within same sex, but beyond that no prospect of a modern "partner-ing" situation. (Living together in a state of union protected under and by law.)

Go back to the start of the question and insert "open" instead of closetted. No is the simple answer. Was he is the answer....

If you can't be out and open as a gay man, you can't be closeted either. To my mind, a closet exists only in a society where homosexuals can live openly. Only when Gays and Lesbians are able to choose not to live in fear or shame can other's choose not to live that way.

Besides, Felix pleased himself....many gay men would find the idea of dressing in women's clothing abhorrent, and a love of fine things, though highly attentuated in Gay men particularly is by no means a distinguishing feature... Style, drama, flair the same applies, what defines a gay man is his sexuality, not his sensibilties.


You just can't help yourself can you?  Who said he had 7 million?  I must have dozed it tea-time, more to the point is it time for Richard and Judy?  How can you be so cruel about her, it must be hard being married to such an icon of the small screen.
BTW, I think that you should add that disclaimer to all your posts, and while you are at it, think of one for me.  That way we can both avoid the dog-house...

When I find the notes, I shall elaborate on the details of the settlement for you, though I am certain the final award was a  around a tenth of what was claimed. I should really have but "several" I'll have a dig, I'm interested to hear what he claimed against, just Tatoi or other property and belongings

As for the "eggs and basket" situation, there must have been some proviso arranged, remember right at the outset; on accepting the throne George I had secured an annuity should he lose his title/throne, I'd figure that kind of mindset would have been maintained throughout the family. Changes always happen.

Martyn, I'm thinking of givin' the Victor Hugo quote the heave ho, so might just insert the disclaimer down there! Two birds, one stone!! Good idea huh? Cooking on gas today!!

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