Author Topic: Russian Imperial Furniture  (Read 9593 times)

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Offline PAVLOV

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Russian Imperial Furniture
« on: March 17, 2009, 10:00:30 AM »
I very often see beautiful antique Russian items of furniture for sale in catalogues all over the world, and wonder how a beautiful 18th century Russian desk manages to end up  in someones entrance hall in Santa Monica or somewhere. One also sees a lot of stuff in magazines like Architectural Digest etc. At least, they say its Russian ! I once saw a Voronhikin dining room chair, supposedly from a Russian Country house, in a barn in Westchester. At least I was assured it was. 
Besides people like Marjorie Merriweather Post who brought back enough stuff to fill a museum, did Russians fleeing the revolution manage to take furniture with them ? Or were these items originally from houses on the Riviera or elsewhere ? As far as I know it has always been difficult to bring items out of Russia ? Except of course when Stalin ( who clearly had no respect for anything or anyone) sold off items to rich westerners for next to nothing, when he threw open the store rooms to the world to finance his 5 year plan. Things, which now, I am sure most Russians would love to have back. ( Like the Faberge Eggs, which of course are mostly back.)
I once saw an article on a horrific monstrosity of a house, originally owned by Mrs Post in Palm Beach, and which I think is now owned by "The Donald" ( suits him) which had a small breakfast nook off the kitchen. There, of all places, hanging above the table, in its Imperial splendour, was a crystal chandelier from Pavlovsk. One can only cringe in horror. I wonder if its still there ? Perhaps Donald has his corn flakes  beneath it every morning !
Jokes aside............ I am very interested in how all these Russian things ended up in the west. Does anyone else have the same fascination, and how do you think they managed to get here ?   

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Re: Russian Imperial Furniture
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2009, 10:15:30 AM »
Much of it was sold during the 1930s to the West by the state run store "Anikvariat".  Mrs Post was the wife of the US ambassador to the Soviet Union and they allowed her to buy whatever she wanted and send it out.

Offline Douglas

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Re: Russian Imperial Furniture
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2009, 12:34:58 AM »
Why are the ancient original marble statues that adorned the Parthenon in Athens, Greece in the British Museum?  They should be returned immediately.

It's an international outrage IMO.

Offline Joanna

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Re: Russian Imperial Furniture
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2009, 07:19:00 PM »
I once saw an article on a horrific monstrosity of a house, originally owned by Mrs Post in Palm Beach, and which I think is now owned by "The Donald" ( suits him) which had a small breakfast nook off the kitchen. There, of all places, hanging above the table, in its Imperial splendour, was a crystal chandelier from Pavlovsk. One can only cringe in horror. I wonder if its still there ?

"crystal chandelier from Pavlovsk" - Pavlov, do you remember the date of the article? The estate is Mar-A-Lago and Donald Trump sold it last year. The new owner has said he will tear down the mansion. Would Donald Trump have left the chandelier as part of the sale? Why if it was from Pavlovsk it was not transferred to Hillwood? It should be followed up on the whereabouts and Pavlovsk museum alerted.

Joanna

Offline PAVLOV

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Re: Russian Imperial Furniture
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2009, 07:54:56 AM »
Joanna,
It was probably an item bought by Mrs Post in the thirties when her husband was ambassador to Russia. I remember that it had green crystals.
However, I doubt if one can do anything, as all her purchases were " legal" at the time, and the collection at Hillwood is based on her shopping sprees in Stalin's warehouses. The museum even owns the crown worn by Empress Alexander at the coronation ( or wedding). I am not sure which.
But it is a shame. One should perhaps make enquiries at Hillwood about the chandelier. They should perhaps donate it back, but then what about all the other items ?
Sacrilegious.........from Pavlovsk to Mar a Lago !