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Topics - BobAtchison

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I am starting a new section and database on Imperial Claimants in the Alexander Palace site - you can see the design at  There's nothing in here yet.  The purpose of the site is to give an written overview of each claimant with a picrture or two.  Each file would have information on the person claiming to be a survivor, who they say they are, their story, basic pros and cons, links to places to learn more about that claimant and any books written about them.

There would be a place for new claims to be submitted.

The purpose of this new part of the site is not to argue about Anna Anderson.  It's meant to be introduction for people who don't know anything about them and a place for new claims to be put forward.

We need an editor and a person who can write the bios on the claimants we know.  You need to know how to write, some basic HTML and be of a patient and kind nature.  We all know how intensely people can feel about this subject.  Email me at if you are interested.


Forum Announcements / New Design and ZOOM views for Yelagin Palace
« on: August 08, 2006, 10:39:09 AM »
The Yelagin Palace website at has been completely redesigned and ZOOM views have been created for all views.  Click on ZOOM or VIEW on either side of a big picture to see them.  This feature is really amazing.  We are trying to use zoom where ever possible now.  Have you seen it on the Tsarskoe Selo site at  Rob is retyping the original French into the pages... do we have any volunteers for German and Spanish?


The Alexander Palace / New Movie of Alexandra's bedroom
« on: May 10, 2006, 09:02:28 PM »
The film October was commissioned to commemerate the 10th anniversary of the Bolshevik coup.  Sergei Eisenstein, the famed filmmaker, was commissioned to direct and produce it.  I have always been very interested in this film because he has a scene called "The Tsaritsa's Bedroom" which is supposed to be Alexandra's private bedroom in the Winter Palace.  I have never seen any images of this room anywhere but in this movie.  I have seen pictures of other rooms called Alexandra's beroom in the Winter Palace and they look nothing like this.  Those rooms are much more formal and the beds are completely different.

This room does look very like the Empress's bedroom in the Alexander Palace.  There are big differences.  The pattern in the curtains isn't right and the furniture is very similar - but not the same.  However I can't believe this is a set, it has too many personal things and it is so overdecorated that could only be a real room.  There are also shown a marble statue of that was in the Maple Room and a painting that was in the AP.  Later a man is shown with an Faberge item from the Mauve Room in his hand (not shown in my clip).  Also, it looks like the beds are the real beds from the AP bedroom.

It seems to me this is either the Empress's bedroom with fabrics and furniture brought in temporarily for the movie or else it's a virtual duplicate in the Winter Palace.  Now that explanation  \is entirely possible because this clip shows lots of eggs in it and the Empress sent her eggs like this to the Winter Palace.  We also know the rooms of the Empress were destroyed at the Winter Palace around this time.  But the fact that this room has the Empress's oratory on the right of the bed and the toilet on the right is exactly what we know was true at the AP.  If this is the AP it's the only film or image of both the oratory and the toilet I have ever seen.

But this is still a mystery - please go look at the clip at and post here what you think.  Perhaps somewhere there's an account of the filming of October that could clear this up...

This clip comes from Evergreen Video.


Forum Announcements / More letters and ZOOM-able Eggs on the site
« on: April 25, 2006, 10:05:29 PM »
We just added some ZOOM-able Faberge Eggs in the Resources Section and the various letters of the Imperial family in exile.  The letters were contributed by our own Sarah Miller (aka: Sarushka!).  Thank you, Sarah!

Forum Announcements / Something special for July 16-17 we are doing
« on: July 13, 2005, 05:51:10 PM »
We are sponsoring something special for the anniversary of the murder of the Imperial family in Russia this year.  We are not going to publish our plans in the forum because it's something very private and moving.  If you would like to participate please message me here in the forum or email me at and I will send you the details.


The Alexander Palace / Re: Alexander Palace c1917
« on: January 10, 2005, 09:47:26 AM »
Here's a fast go at it.  I notice Tudelberg and Zanotti are missing.

1. Emperor
2. Empress Alexandra Feodorovna
3. Heir-Tsarevich
4. Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna
5. Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna
6. Grand Duchess Mariya Nikolaevna
7. Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna
8. Stats-Dama Naryshkina
9. Frelina Buxhoeveden
10. Frelina Hendrikova
11. Vyrubova
12. Schneider
13. Dehn
14. Obor Hofmeister Count Beckendorf
15. Hofmeister Count Apraksin
16. Doctor Botkin
17. Doctor Derevenko
18. Gilliard
19. Hofmarshal Kiril Dolgoroukov
20. General Major Narshkin (crossed out)
21. (don't know) Mordvinov (crossed out)

Signed by Shtabs-Rotminstr something

second page
Rooms of Her Majesty

22. Garderobshik Ivan Martshkin
23. Worker Stephan Makarov

24. Pribiinvinio(sp) Nikita Teteryatinkov
25. Reitkinecht Alexander Naddachin
26. Bilovnoi (sp) Ivan Klimov
           Ordinapich(sp) Nleksni Tvinnenko (written in) can't read it well

Rooms of Their Highnesses
27. Kammerdiner Aleksey Volkov
28. Pomoshink Garderobshink Jan Stoopel
29 Lakey of the first order Aloishi Trupp
30. Kammer-Cossack Dmitri Pishkov or Nishkov
31. Worker Vassili Navlov
32. Worker Stephan Aleksandrov
33. Kammer-furrier Anna Romanova
34. Kammer-furrier Mariya Frullina
35. Kammer-furrier Anna Demidova
36. Porter Katerina Nikolveva
37. Women - Kammer-ungfarach(sp) Elizabeth Elster

Rooms of the August Childen

38. Botsman Andrei Deverenko
39. Matros: Klim Nagorny
40. Matros: Grigori Loginov
41. Lakey of the second order rasryada Ivan Sednev
42. Nyank (does this mean nurse?): Aleksandra Tegleva
43. Nyank: Elizaveta Ersberg

Third page

44. Woman Anna Utkina
45. Worker Mikhail Karpov
46. Worker Matvei Unshkov (crossed off)
47. Worker Ivan Lanron (could be wrong here)

The Stuarts of Scotland / How accurate is the movie "Mary Queen of Scot
« on: January 07, 2005, 09:58:06 AM »
I loved that love with Vanessa Redgrave - especially the scene where she lands on the beach in her beautiful white gown.  I have always wondered how accurate that movie was - can anyone comment?


The Alexander Palace / Re: Alexander Palace Lift
« on: November 15, 2004, 03:00:06 PM »
There were two elevators in the palace - one was on Alexandra's side in the corridor and the other was in the corridor on the opposite side - this one was put in for Sonya Orbelani.

Alexandra had the interior of elevator redone once as she didn't care for the original design.  It was steam-powered and the mechanism along with the boiler was in the basement.

Whatever of the elevator survived WWII (I assume it was preserved) was ripped out by the Soviets after the war.  This whole area of Alexandra's bathroom, mezzanine dressing room and private staircase suffered greatly at the hands of the Soviets who brutally ripped everything out after the war.

It didn't actually break during the revolution, there wasn't anyone to run the boiler in the basement, that interrupted the service.

The Alexander Palace / Re: Pallisander Room
« on: November 14, 2004, 08:21:55 PM »

An old friend of mine donated the carpet - it was custom made, I think, and no they aren't offering it for sale.

The carpets used in the Mauve and Pallisander Rooms were not special patterns and you can find very close - if not identical designs today.  I was quite surprized to learn this.


Kristin has sent us the following:

FYI....The Guardian published an article and two excerpts from a
book which claim the Soviet Army inadvertantly destroyed the Amber

I got the book and was completely blown away by it - I have to say I and many others were treated the same way as the authors by the infamous Bardovskaya...


Here is a picture of Barbara (Yakoleva), who died with Elisabeth at Alapayevsk on July 18th.

The Alexander Palace / Nicholas's Reception Room in 1993
« on: May 19, 2004, 11:04:48 AM »
Here are two pictures of the room in 1993.  The center wall panels have been replaced with the wrong wood - these panels were smashed out by the Germans and Spanish troops in WWII looking for valuables.  The fabric is original and is a gold-stamped blue velvet .  The chandelier and door are original to the room.

That's me with the former curator of the palace who was killed in a mysterious car wreck a few months later.


The Alexander Palace / Current State of the Semi-Circular Hall
« on: May 18, 2004, 09:53:45 AM »
Despite claims that the walls between the Semi-circular Hall and the Portrait and Billiard Halls have been removed, it has been reported by someone who was recently in the hall that these walls are still there.

These barriers were erected when the palace was used by the Baltic Fleet.  They really ruin the perspective of these halls, which, in any case, are still closed to the public.  In the last few years I am told the only work done in the Semi-circular Hall has been to collect and cart away some scrap metal.  The fabric of these rooms remain much as they were in 1917 - you can still see the hole cut into the back of the wall for the projector system put in for the Imperial Family.  The beautiful red glass and gilt bronze chandeliers were saved.  One is in the Roman Catholic Church of Tsarskoe Selo.  These chandeliers are most likely original to the palace - but were expanded with more candles during the reign of Nicholas I.

I have pictures of these rooms from after the war - without any parquet floors, furnishings or chandeliers - they are quite impressive in their austerity.


The Alexander Palace / Re: Maple Room
« on: April 26, 2004, 09:11:25 AM »
The entire remodeling of this section of the palace was designed by Roman Meltzer, who also had done the remodeling of 1895 in the AP.  Ernst-Ludwig's involvement was in the arrangement of the furniture, discussions about the overall design, the colors, fabrics, etc.  He rearranged the furniture in Alix's Reception Room as well.

In coming up with the designs of the New Study and the Maple Room, Alix wanted something very modern, comfortable in the Darmstadt style.  You can see some of things going on in the Artist's Colony in residential interior design for some comparisons - obviously on not such a grand scale.

Meltzer's furniture in particular shows the impact of work by Darmstadt artists and Architects like Peter Behrens.  You might even call them knock-offs.


The Alexander Palace / Re: Photo in the Mauve Room
« on: April 25, 2004, 01:58:12 PM »
Here Thomas - I enlarged it for you - it looks like Alix in the year of their engagement, don't you think?  The cosy corner was full of photographs pushed into the shelves like photograph racks.  These pictures were put away in 1917 before they left from Siberia and reassembled later when the palace was opened to the public.  This framed one stayed and was never put away so it's position probably dates as early as 1895.


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