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Topics - James_Davidov

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Russian Noble Families / Baroness Marie von Graevenitz
« on: December 15, 2012, 11:17:20 AM »

The Hohenzollern / German Court Etiquette
« on: August 09, 2011, 12:43:54 AM »
One often reads that many of the German houses were stifling in their formal etiquette. 

Courts such as Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and Mecklenburg-Strelitz are examples where strict and irrational formal ritual served to alienated and victimised its own members.

I was wondering if anyone could provide some specific examples or anecdotes, of German court etiquette.


Their World and Culture / Interesting Women of the Nobility
« on: February 10, 2007, 05:06:30 PM »
The Marchesa Luisa Casati was a legend of her time, she was one of the greatest hostesses in Europe and would find fame and infamy as a muse for some of the finest artists of the day.  Word of mouth did not do her extravagance credit, nor did the eccentricity of this woman.  Luisa was a egocentric who found that in the role of ‘muse’ she could have an eternal presence in art, her popularity as a subject form lay with her successful attempts to distinguish her very own life as a forrm of art.

She was a Milanese heiress, born in 1881 and dying in 1957.  She would contribute much of her drive for glamour and extravagance to the stories of Europe’s courts, which her mother would relay to her, filling her head with icons such as ‘Sissi and ‘Eugenie of France’.

Here is a summery from wikipedia (I know…but I had a big night last night!)

International Italian society figure, beauty, and eccentric, she was born in Milan, Lombardy, the younger daughter of Conte Alberto Amman, and his Austrian wife Lucia Bressi. She was married (1900) to the Marchese Camillo Casati Stampa di Soncino (1877 - 1946).
A famous celebrity and femme fatale, the marchesa's famous eccentricities dominated and delighted European society for nearly three decades. She captivated artists and literati figures such as Gabriele D'Annunzio, Augustus John, Erté, Jean Cocteau, Cecil Beaton, and Jack Kerouac. The character of Isabella Inghirami from d'Annunzio's Forse che si forse che no (1910) was said to have been inspired by her, as well as the character of La Casinelle, who appeared in two novels by Michel Georges-Michel, Dans la fete de Venise (1922) and Nouvelle Riviera (1924).
Casati collected a menagerie of exotic animals, and fashion designers vied for her patronage. Later, when she had lost her immense wealth, the marchesa retired to England, spending her last years in London, where she died at the age of seventy-six. She was portrayed on the stage by Vivien Leigh in La Contessa (1965) and by Ingrid Bergman in the movie A Matter of Time (1976).
The beautiful and extravagant hostess to the Ballets Russes was something of a legend among her contemporaries. She astonished Venetian society by parading with a pair of leashed cheetahs and wearing live snakes as jewellery. Her numerous portraits were painted and sculpted by artists as various as Giovanni Boldini, Paolo Troubetzkoy, Romaine Brooks, Kees van Dongen, Man Ray and Augustus John; many of them she paid for, as a wish to "commission her own immortality".
She lived in the unfinished pink marble palace, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Venice, (now the home of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection) around 1910 and 1924.
She was muse to F. T. Marinetti, Fortunato Depero, Umberto Boccioni and, more recently, to Dita Von Teese. John Galliano based the 1998 Spring/Summer Christian Dior collection on her. Gowns from this collection have been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Fashion Institute.
As the concept of dandy was expanded in the twentieth century to include women, the marchesa Casati fitted the utmost female example by saying: "I want to be a living work of art".
[edit] Debt and flight
By 1930, Casati had amassed a personal debt of twenty-five million dollars. Unable to satisfy her creditors, her personal possessions were auctioned off. Rumour has it that among the bidders was Coco Chanel.
Luisa fled to London, where she lived in comparative poverty. She was rumoured to be seen rummaging in bins searching for feathers to decorate her hair. She died on 1 June 1957, and was interred in Brompton Cemetery. The quote "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety" from Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra was inscribed on her tombstone.

The Habsburgs / The Spanish Riding School
« on: January 03, 2007, 11:43:03 PM »
The Spanish Riding School was established by the Austrian Empire in the late 1500’s.  Since this time it has evolved (although there has been barely any change within the actual riding school) to become a world famous Viennese tourist attraction, and the epitome of equestrianism as a form of art.  They use specially bred, white ‘Lipizzan’ horses, which were not only officially used by the Austrian crown, but were an object of patronage and obsession by many of Austria’s Emperors.  Their arena (once located in the imperial palace) is the Winter Riding School commissioned by Charles VI and completed in 1735.  It is a magnificent stage, lighted by chandeliers in which the horses preform in gold and red saddle cloths.

If anyone could contribute pre WWI photos or information regarding the Hapsburgs and the Lipizzan horses, that would be great. . . . I’m sure Sisi would have had an opinion on the school.

- James

Tsarskoe Selo Town / Basic facts of Tsarskoe Selo
« on: March 10, 2006, 07:45:30 AM »
I know very little about the basic facts of Tsarskoe Selo, and was hoping people could help me…

The geographical size of T.S?

How many private residences, public buildings, Palaces and other infrastructure was present by 1918?

Etc etc

Thank you


Nicholas II / The shooting of Stolypin....
« on: March 10, 2006, 07:27:36 AM »
As always, I will apologise if this has already been discussed, but I searched and couldn’t find anything, I know how frustrating it is when threads are repeated.

I was wanting to know about the evening at the Kiev theatre in 1911, when Nicholas, Olga and Tatiana witnessed the shooting of Prime Minister Stolypin.  Obviously it was traumatic for O&T, did they record much of the event?  Did they witness the crime clearly from their box? Did it increase Alexandra’s aim in sheltering her children? Following the shooting were they quickly whisked away from the theatre, or did they take to a private room and wait out the commotion?  Was the theatre hysterical, or did the assassination initially go un-noticed by attendees?  Had the show began?  What show was it?

Sorry about the questions, but I’ve found little information on the events that evening.


It only occurred to me to post this for discussion recently..

My parents have a large book covering 100 years of ‘front page news’ from The Age, a reputable newspaper in Melbourne, Australia.  When I found the book I immediately searched it for any reports of the Russian Revolution.  Oddly I found hardly any reports, but did find a small article reporting on a foiled kidnap plan by rebels regarding the Empress.  Has anyone else read about this?  If anyone is interested I can find the page and post it for you..


Dear Friends

I'm not sure if people are aware of a amazing program on google called 'Google Earth'.  I only just discovered it, but if you download the free program you are easily able to navigate yourself on a virtual globe and zoom in anywhere in the world.  It is truely remarkable.
I am currently somewhere over St Peteresburg, the picture is you are ina focused area is quite clear, you can se ethe streets, and the cars on the roads and the buildings..(Im trying to find the Hermitage without luck).
Its a great little program for all you history buffs out there because you can be reading about a place, say teh Riechstag, and can literally jump on this program and zoom there to get a greater idea of the whole area.

If this program is allready well-known, sorry


Research Russian Roots / Hermit noble in Australia...
« on: October 02, 2005, 05:56:30 AM »
I recall seeing on a current affairs programe in Australia (Today Tonight i think) a few years ago a report about a hermit man living in Queensland .

He was a bush-man who lived in the rain forests of Queensland and only went into town every couple of months to buy supplies.  He was a complete hermit living in a tree trunk, speaking his own tounge and everything.

They breifly went into his history, which is what caught my attention and led me to remember it.  Evidently the program claimed, he was born to a Russian Princess, he and his mother fleeing to Sydney after the Revolution.  He attended one of Sydney's top private boys schools (i think it might have been Kings) and didn't pay tuition due to his pedigree.

He is very old and remains living in the forest, and is quite the local celebrity.


To anyone who can assist...

A while ago I was channel surfing one Sunday and found a documentry on the troubled history of the Caucus region.  It was largely covering the life of a famous turn of the century Islamic rebel leader who led a number of attacks against Russian cossak forces.  Anyway, the documentry noted, quite disturbingly, the story of a Princess Anne or Anna, who was apparently a 'Lady in waiting' to a Russian Empress.  Evidently she was abducted from her Georgian palace, by either the leader, or a rebel, and either heavily pregnant, or with a young child in her arms, suffered its loss as the kidnapper rode with the princess on his saddle through Georgias mountainous regions.  

This story sounded so upsetting, and since then i have been at an end to find anything on the subject.
They did include of photograph of the princess in the documentry, and the period could have been anywhere from Alexander II to Nicholas II.

They also noted the dramatic story became popular with English readers, a best selling account titled 'The kidnapping of the Princess or something'

anyone with any info, I'd realli appreciate it!

James  :)  

Their World and Culture / Crowns and Tiaras of Russia and Europe
« on: March 23, 2005, 02:07:24 AM »
I was unsure where to place this, as it’s a very broad question, but here goes… Do any photos exist of Nicholas II wearing his crown?  Naturally I’v seen the distant photo of him underneath the ceremonial canopy, and understand the issue of photographs being taken during orthodox ceremonies, but I thought, Nicholas, who so often utilized photography as a P.R tool during his reign, would have had a portrait with him wearing the crown, whether it be a photo or a painting...  

Secondly (this was a part I was unsure of where to post as it’s pretty broad) but I’m really interested in the “crowns” of the different monarchy’s .  I was wondering if someone could post images of Europe’s different royal crowns.  The English, Austrian, Russian and Danish crowns are quiet easy to find, but I’m constantly trying to find quality pictures of the different crowns of Italy, Germany Belgium, Greece, the Scandinavian kingdoms, etc etc etc.  

If anyone has any images of the crowns (especially on the heads of their monarchs) I’d love to see them!


Imperial Transportation / Standat  Bedrooms
« on: January 22, 2005, 11:04:35 PM »
I’m sorry if this has already been covered, I searched the site and couldn’t come up with anything…

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the bedrooms on the Standart were like.  Were they small? Simple? …I presume OTMA just had rooms in which they set up camp beds, but what abody N&A&A??


News Links / Tutor John Epps & his collection...
« on: January 17, 2005, 06:22:40 AM »
Finally I have put the photos I took of the brief exhibition of the John Epps collection online, I apologize to those of you who were waiting, especially Lanie, who offered to put them up for me (unfortunately their size meant it wasn’t easy to send them :()

Here is the link to my online album…       The photos I took can be seen quite clearly.  Below is an article on the collection, it features an interview with John Epps descendent and some background info, hope everything works


The World Today - Thursday, 14 October , 2004  12:48:00
Reporter: Karen Barlow
HAMISH ROBERTSON: An extraordinary discovery in England has shed some new light on the last Russian royal family - the Romanovs - who were executed almost nine decades ago.

The Russian monarchy ended early last century when the Tsar, Nicholas the Second, the Tsarina Alexandra, their five children, and several servants were shot by Bolsheviks in 1918.

In the communist rush to erase their influence - little evidence of their lives survived. But now a batch of the Romanov children's poems, drawings, telegrams and photographs has been discovered sitting in a tin trunk in London.

An Australian man had sent them to London for an appraisal in the 1930's, but he never saw them again.

As Karen Barlow reports, his descendents are getting them back during a handover ceremony in Melbourne.

KAREN BARLOW: Between 1905 and 1908 an Englishman John Epps tutored Maria, Olga, Tatiana, Anastasia and Alexis Romanov.

He helped the imperial children draw and rewrite poems to please their parents.

A nine-year-old Grand Duchess, Tatiana Romanov, wrote out Tom Hood's poem "Past and Present" read here by John Epps's Sydney descendent, Janet Epps.

JANET EPPS READING TOM HOOD'S POEM: I remember I remember the house where I was born, the little window where the sun came peeping in at morn.

KAREN BARLOW: History well notes that the Romanov family was blamed by the Bolsheviks for all that was wrong in Russia and arrested by a provisional government in 1917. They were held in house arrest for a year and then - along with their servants and doctor - were shot by firing squad, bathed in acid, burned, and buried.

John Epps had held onto Romanov momentos, including 30 drawings and booklets.

After he died in Australia in 1935 his nephew, William Epps, sought to get them appraised by booksellers Maggs in London.

He never saw them again - and his great grand daughter, Janet Epps takes up the tale.

JANET EPPS: It is quite an extraordinary story, really, how the whole situation came to light, because they were sent by my great grandfather to Maggs in 1935, and when they tried to get back to him (he was an old man at the time) and I imagine he had moved into a retirement home or something like that, just at that time … so they were unable to catch him. All their mail was returned, so after a number of attempts, they were just put in the bottom of this tin trunk, and only just recently rediscovered.

KAREN BARLOW: Have you long known of your family's royal connections?

JANET EPPS: Yes I have, actually, cause it was one of the more fascinating stories in the collection of family lore, was the employment of the cousin of my great grandfather, John Epps, in the household of the Tsars as the English tutor, so we had always known about that.

KAREN BARLOW: And has it been a family scandal that these documents have been denied to your family?

JANET EPPS: Oh not at all, not at all, and I'd like to say I am really like to commend Maggs for their graciousness once I came forward last year having discovered of the existence of these documents.

KAREN BARLOW: A representative of Maggs is going to hand the documents back to Janet Epps tomorrow at the International Antiquarian Book Fair in Melbourne.

She's planning put them in book and make them available to the entire Epps family. Janet Epps is not surprised that people still very interested in the Romanov's

JANET EPPS: Well it was a very poignant story, a very tragic one, and I think the turmoil of the world at that time compared with the innocence of these four girls and the young son, along with their parents, being shot in such a ruthless manner, was a very shocking event, and I think even to this day, has a sense of the same horror and shock.

KAREN BARLOW: The Romanovs had so many twists and turns. These documents that are involved with them have had so many twists and turns, it seems though.

JANET EPPS: Oh indeed. Well, it's interesting to think that this collection of documents has travelled from Russia to England, and back and forward between England and Australia three times now, so, they're much travelled documents.

HAMISH ROBERTSON: Janet Epps speaking there to Karen Barlow.

Forum Announcements / Recognition of Tsunami......
« on: January 02, 2005, 05:57:26 AM »
I just thought that someone should note the current disaster in the Asian region, it being devastated by the Tsunami…  I know it’s not particularly relevant to the Romanov’s, however, considering how many people frequent this website, and the massive amount of people affected, not just locals to the region, but also tourists (particularly Swedes) something should be noted.

As a group intrigued by the past we shouldn't forget the present... We should all pray for the souls affected, and hope that some relief can be brought to those still suffering.

Russian Noble Families / Photos of noble families!
« on: November 09, 2004, 12:49:18 AM »

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