Author Topic: Grand Duchesses uniforms  (Read 8059 times)

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Offline Daniel Briere

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Re: Grand Duchesses uniforms
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2004, 12:26:49 AM »
Hi Lanie!

Great art work! Regimental braid was gold though: the diagonal pouch belt was all gold but the “cuirassiers” lace on the collar and tunic was supposed to have a complicated pattern of gold, red and black lines (I think…), although it doesn’t look like it on the photo (looks like gold with 2 red lines to me).  I’ll find a better description. Meanwhile you can check this plate:  http://www.xenophongi.org/rusarmy/shenk/shenk16as.htm
Green of tunic was somewhat darker and more blue than on your photo and on the Xenophon Group’s plate (almost forest green). I have an original plate form Shenk. I can send you a scan if you need it.

BTW, the regiment’s insignia (on the left breast) was a gold St. George’s Cross with the Kazan coat of arms in the center. As it was granted to the regiment on December 1st, 1910, the photo was taken after this time.




Daniel Briere

Offline Mike

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Re: Grand Duchesses uniforms
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2004, 05:16:18 AM »
Daniel, you did well to clarify that a Russian regiment's "geographic" name usually had nothing to do with the place where that regiment was actually stationed. However there were exceptions: e.g. the 15th Tiflisskiy Grenadier regiment was indeed stationed in Tiflis. Some other units with Caucasian names were allotted to the Caucasus region.

Offline Coldstream

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Re: Grand Duchesses uniforms
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2004, 11:33:44 AM »
The coloring of the photo was nicely done, but as pointed out, the green was a bit darker (for officers a somewhat bluish green - OR's had what amounted to black tunics (collets) even though the official designation was dark green).  The green shown would have been perfect if the subject had been a German Jager zu Pferd (mounted rifles)!  The front patch of the white collar was crimson (according to a Russian uniformologist - Zweguintzov).  The 9th Kazanski Dragoon Regiment of Her Imperial Higness Grand Princess (Duchess) Maria Nikolaevna was raised in 1701 and celebrated its regimental holiday on 22 October.  As stated earlier, dragoon regiments which had formerly been cuirassiers had white crests while all others had black ones.  The lace down the front of the collet was peculiar to the ex-cuirassier regiments and not to other dragoon units which had no lace down the front.

Coldstream
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Coldstream »

Offline Daniel Briere

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Re: Grand Duchesses uniforms
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2004, 09:07:18 PM »
Coldstream is right in adding that the collar patches were red as it was this regiment distinctive colour. But it would be almost invisble on the photo: only a thin red line between the gold “petlitsa” (honor lace on the lower part of the collar) and the gold and red lace on the collar, which had white piping BTW.

As for the “Cuirassiers” lace, I’ve concluded that color plates are deceiving (it looked like a red, gold, red braid of equal width) but official descriptions say it was a 2.8 cm (1 in. 1/16) wide gold braid with a 0.6 cm wide (3/16 in.) red silk lace woven into it on each side. So Lanie, I guess you have all the necessary information to finish your wonderful work!

I thank Coldstream for the historical information regarding this old regiment. I’m not sure about the regimental holiday though: in his 1909 book on Cavalry regiments, Shenk wrote that it was on July 8. October 22 could have been its religious holiday. Both days are Feasts of the Kazan Mother of God.

Daniel Briere

elisa_1872

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Re: Grand Duchesses uniforms
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2004, 04:08:58 AM »
Does anyone know who designed and made the Grand Duchess' uniforms? Were they to a previous design for colonel in chiefs, or made new for them especially?

Offline Daniel Briere

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Re: Grand Duchesses uniforms
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2004, 11:12:42 PM »
Hi Elisa!

Female uniform patterns weren’t designed especially for the grand duchesses as empresses, queens and princesses from other European families wore basically the same kind of uniform with a form fitting tunic and long skirt (see for example the many royals from the German Empire). In Russia, female sovereigns had been wearing some kind of female uniforms for a long while – Elizabeth Petrovna and Catherine II wore some modified men’s uniforms (wearing pants when they were young women and riding astride as men did). Later, Catherine II had uniforms made with long skirts and coats. After Catherine though I’ve never seen paintings of female consorts wearing uniforms until late XIXth-century when Maria Feodorovna wore a feminine version of uniforms of the Chevaliers-Gardes and her Own Guards’ Cuirassiers (white form fitting tunic and long skirt) which she probably had made for these regiments’ jubilees (1899 & 1904). Alexandra Feodorovna too had uniforms made. I know of at least two : her tunic from Her Own 5th Alexandriysky Hussars can be seen in the Nicholas and Alexandra 1999 exhibition catalogue. I have never seen any photographs of her wearing it though (she was named colonel-in-chief in 1904) but there are photos of her wearing her Own Guards’ Lancers uniform at this regiment’s 1903 Jubilee : it seems it was the only occasion when she actually rode on horseback wearing a uniform, on a side-saddle of course.

Probably all the grand-duchesses who were colonel-in-chief had similar uniforms made (with the possible exception of Ella). For instance, I have seen photos of Olga Alexandrovna in her Own 12th Akhtyrsky Hussars’ uniform and Maria Pavlovna in her Guards’ Dragoons Regiment’s uniform. I don’t know if Olga Alexandrovna rode on horseback at regimental parades but I doubt very much Maria Pavlovna ever did, as by the time she « inherited » her regiment from her late husband (in 1909), she had become quite a stout lady!

Olga and Tatiana  probably wore their uniforms for the first time at a joint parade of their own regiments (3rd Elizavetgradsky Hussars and 8th Voznessensky Lancers) which was held in August 1913 in Peterhof. There’s even a film of this parade where they can be seen reviewing their regiments on horseback, riding along side their father. Although at times they seem anxious as what to do, they rode with great elegance and, no doubt, with great pride! I think Maria wasn’t yet a colonel-in-chief so she must have gotten her uniform later.

I don’t know if these uniforms were made by the same military tailors who made uniforms for Nicholas II and Alexis but I would guess so. In the Nicholas and Alexandra 1999 exhibition catalogue, Grand Duchess Tatiana’s blue and yellow lancer uniform (which I have seen) is described as having been made at the St. Petersburg workshop of A. I. Kitaev (who was Purveyor to the Imperial Family). He also made Alexandra Feodorovna’s 5th Alexandriysky Hussars Regiment uniform.

The tradition of female military uniforms was kept in some 20th century monarchies. For instance, until 1986 at her Official Birthday parade, Queen Elizabeth II rode on a side saddle and her specially trained Canadian horse « Burmese » wearing a Guards’ uniform with a long skirt. It seems this tradition is dying though, as I recently saw Princess Anne in a parade riding astride with « men’s » uniform pants. What a shame!
Daniel Briere

Offline Daniel Briere

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Re: Grand Duchesses uniforms
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2004, 10:24:42 PM »
Thanks to my fellow Russian uniformologist and friend Michael Doubrovin’s amazing memory - he recalled having read about Grand Duchess Olga  receiving a uniform from her regiment earlier than 1913 - I stand to be corrected about when she first wore her uniform: in his 1999 book about “Ol’giny gusary” (Olga’s Hussars), A. V. Voronov describes when she was named colonel-in-chief and received a delegation from her new regiment at Peterhof on July 11, 1909. She was then presented with a full uniform kit on behalf of the regiment. The uniform had been made by a “Court tailor” said a book published for the regiment. According to Empress Maria Feodorovna, Olga was extremely happy to receive this uniform.

On November 2, 1911 in Yalta, Olga received another delegation from her regiment: to commemorate her 16th birthday, her father awarded her regiment the rare honour of wearing a pelisse (white with gold or yellow braid). Pelisses for the regiment were paid with Olga’s own money. During Winter 1912, the regiment’s Commanding Officer went to Tsarskoe Selo to present a pelisse to Olga. Afterwards she gave him 40 signed photos for the officers of her regiment. In the book there is a photo of her in uniform (but without the pelisse) signed and dated 1912: I guess it’s one of these photos. So she did wear her uniform before the 1913 regimental parade.

But she didn’t meet her regiment until the joint regimental parade in August 1913 in Peterhof because her regiment was stationed far from St. Petersburg (in the Vilna Military District). Until then, she had only met small delegations from her regiment.

I unfortunalely don’t yet have similar information regarding when Tatiana and Maria got their uniforms.
Daniel Briere

Offline nerdycool

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Re: Grand Duchesses uniforms
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2005, 04:43:43 PM »
I have just come across a picture of Olga's uniform. It's so different seeing them in color.
http://www.williams.edu:803/history/courses/pages/140/classpictures/commander%27suniform.html

Offline TMAU

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Re: Grand Duchesses uniforms
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2005, 11:51:06 PM »
Lanie I love how you colorised this picture... brings it to life! Thanks also everyone for your input into this... it's been fascinating for me too!