Author Topic: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg  (Read 99506 times)

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Cart Blackwell

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Re: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2004, 10:14:03 AM »
A portion of the Youssoupov Colllection was sold abroad. Greg King mentions in his book a law suit  Prince Felix lodged against the Soviet government  for an auction they planned to stage in Berlin in the 1920s.  A number of pieces from the family's collection were included, among them furnishings from Princess's Zeniade's private boudoir in St. Petersburg. Some of the family's finest paintings including works by Nicolas Poussin, Claude Lorraine, Boillly, Jean-Honore Fragonard, and Grueze can be found in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Art in Moscow. Other works by Poussin, Corot, Winterhalter, Lampi, Serov, and Fleming (latter three portraitists) can be found in the Hermitage and the Russian Museum respectively. A Boucher, a Wouwerman, and several Tiepolo's remained at Arkangeleskoie after it was converted to a museum. They are in storage the last time I heard. The Jewels and the furnishings were dispersed. Considering the famous longtime amour with France, their collection French furniture no doubt included works by the finest of the French ebenistes. Several pieces in Princess Zeniade's previously mentioned boudoir in the Moika Palace bore the monogram of Marie Antoinette. A rock crystal chandelier from the same room once graced the apartments of one of Mme. de Pompadour's chambres. The family also possessed a Service by Sevres made for one of the Dauphins that had a distinctive chocolate coloured ground.  I can harldly imagine the extent of their possessiions. I shall stop rambling

Cart Blackwell

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Re: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2004, 10:21:11 AM »
For a picture of Irina wearing the Chaumet sunburst tiara after the revolution see the Book BEAUTY IN EXILE. The tiara had to be, as Nick said, in Paris during the first World War. The photograph of Princess Irina wearing the tiara in the chapter on Irfe supports this for the Princess is dressed in one of her own designs which is clearly dates to the 1920s.

Offline pushkina

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Re: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2004, 06:37:23 AM »
i remember reading somewhere that their palace (no idea which one) was being redecorated or prepared for them to move in, so for the interim, they lived with his parents.
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Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2004, 09:52:28 AM »
Felix and Irina decided to live in some rooms(even with their own ballroom) of the ground at the Moika palace. Those were the rooms that were being redecorated. They chose the neoclassical style but the work wasn´t finished at the time of the revolution. After that the artists tried to complete the work following their original pre revolutionary designs.

I too wonder why they did not choose another residence. Perhaps they considered Nevsky´s excesive traffic unconvenient. Moika canal was i think a more comfortable place for living. Liteiny mansion was really beautiful but a little gloomy, with most of the rooms looking to the inner courtyard.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Antonio_P.Caballer »

Offline Martyn

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Re: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2004, 09:57:47 AM »
Well this is an interesting situation.  I have looked at the photo that is reproduced in Geoffrey Munn's book and it very much like looks like the tiara in question is amongst the jewellery.
I wonder how we can find out for sure?
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Offline Lisa

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Re: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2004, 11:03:49 AM »


Irina in 1924( From Beauty in exile)


Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2004, 12:45:31 PM »
Thanks for posting those wonderful views!

Now, i must confess that i´ve never been a great admirer of this palace. I mean, it´s so famous and yet i find other Petersburg palaces much more elegant and charming. IMHO the only really impressive or especially beautiful rooms are the Formal dinning room, the theater, ground floor music room, moorish room and a couple of Zenaide´s rooms(certainly not her bedroom). The library, for example is quite poor in its decoration.

Also, they are constantly adding poor quality new tapestries and little carpets that do not fit at all with the size of the rooms(not to tell about the curtains, just see those in Irina´s silver boudoir...). Anyway, it´s a private building and they can do as they like...

Offline brnbg aka: liljones1968

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Re: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2004, 02:17:01 PM »
Quote
Also, they are constantly adding poor quality new tapestries and little carpets that do not fit at all with the size of the rooms(not to tell about the curtains, just see those in Irina´s silver boudoir...). Anyway, it´s a private building and they can do as they like...

i tend to agree with you about the present state of décor.    but i think it was done in much better taste "back in the day";  besides, think about the resources they had to draw from.   i think the old b&w photos sort of show the elegantly traditional hand that had originally decorated it.    

but i must admit, part of the reason i'm so fascinated with this building, in particular, are it's associations with the family that lived there.   i've never seen it in person, and i'm afraid i would probably be disappointed if i did, but until then, it'll likely remain my favorite.



« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 05:26:04 AM by Svetabel »
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Offline Annie

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Re: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2004, 03:42:09 PM »
Quote


but i must admit, part of the reason i'm so fascinated with this building, in particular, are it's associations with the family that lived there.   i've never seen it in person, and i'm afraid i would probably be disappointed if i did, but until then, it'll likely remain my favorite.




Me too. I bet the family would be ghastly appalled at the decortating of today ;)

Thank you for posting all the Yussoupov pics!

Did anyone ever hear of the ball reinactment at the Moika? It costs $3000. They loan you the period costume (1913) and you get the ball and dinner. It's supposed to be authentic as it would have been in those last days before it all fell apart. The chef is said to talk about Felix and his antics as a kid. I saw this once in a travel/tour guide at the library but can't find it now.


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

Offline brnbg aka: liljones1968

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Re: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2004, 10:55:27 AM »
first-off, both photos were taken at the same sitting (notice the wrap, it's obviously the same).   that having been said, i tend to think the photos were taken during the 1920's, given the style of her clothes.    the style of the dress & the way she's wearing her wrap are definitively 'flapper' in style.     it's very possible that the tiara she's wearing was borrowed from one of the many jewellers that Feliks & Zenaida had done so much business with over the years....it may have been part of one of the "deals" Feliks made with Cartier when he would occasionally deposit/pawn some their extremely valuable jewellery with them.   or it may have been borrowed from friends...


secondly, a case can be made for 2 different tiaras.   in the photo of the Yusupov treasures spread-out on the table, it appears that the central stone in that one is clear or, at least, very light or pale.....
whereas, the one Irina is wearing in the photos appears to contain a dark stone in the center.

what do y'all think?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by brnbg »
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Offline Martyn

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Re: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2004, 10:28:47 AM »
Well, good points Brian and thanks for displaying the photos so that the tiara in the Moika cache can be seen more clearly.
You are absolutely right about the photos of Irina; her dress and coat are very much after 1920 and therefore could not have been taken say, during their honeymoon, which is when they are presumed to have collected Irina's reset jewels.
Having said that, it is documented that the Chaumet tiara was comprised entirely of diamonds and contained no central dark stone; I think that you have to agree that the jewel in both photos is virtually identical in style.  Perhaps a case may be made for Chaumet having made a copy, either at the same time as the original or perhaps a little later.  
This seems to have been common practise for jewellers; after all Cartier took the opportunity to make copies of Miechen's diamond and pearl circle tiara (now owned by QE 2) when she left it with them to be cleaned.
According to Diana Scarisbrick's "Timeless Tiaras" Chaumet have a huge archive that contains "37,000 glass negatives, 80,000 drawings and as many photographs, and replicas in nickel silver of the 1,500 tiaras made over the last two hundred years."  Thus a copy of the mount of Irina's tiara would have been in the archive and it would have been easy enough for Chaumet to make another identical tiara if required.  Equally, a copy could have been made using paste substitutes; there are therefore arguments to support the existence of two tiaras that fit the description.
Interestingly, this particular jewel was not unique; Geoffrey Munn's book "Tiaras Past and Present" illustrates a very similar platinum sunburst tiara made by Cartier in 1927 for Countess Tysckiewicz, comprising alternating bands of brilliant and rose cut diamonds, with a central element en tremblant set with a star sapphire.  Apparently several other versions of this jewel were made by other Parisian jewellers at this time.
Interestingly, Chaumet also remade for Irina a ruby and diamond garland-style tiara, a bandeau centred on a huge emerald and an aigrette set with the Polar Star diamond, all from existing Yusupov parures and at the same time as the sunburst tiara.  I wonder if these can be found in the photo of the Moika cache?
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline brnbg aka: liljones1968

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Re: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2004, 09:03:47 PM »
you're probably right, martyn.    

given the time-frame for each set of photos (the treasure-trove spread out on the table & the "studio shots" of Irina used in Irfé adverts, it HAS to be 2 different tiaras, doesn't it?    

even when one factors in the sale of the vartious properties (the chateau de Kériolet, the London apartment & the villa Tatiana on Lake Geneva), & the MGM award, Feliks was still continuously selling and/or pawning jewelry.....   he & Irina still lived on a relatively grand scale & they continued to support many people & a great many charities.

i guess what i'm getting at is, would they have had the means to actually buy new jewelry?    
i think martyn's suggestion about a copy made of paste seems realistic....
but so does the idea of having borrowed one from someone else --- the only problem i can think of with that idea is this:
would Irina actually have borrowed & worn a piece like the sunburst tiara, knowing that it would probably be recognised by many as being the property of someone else?    would Feliks have allowed that?   they were, after all, trying to promote a business.    btw, wasn't most, or all, of their money tied-up in that?  

but they were successful for a while, so they may have actually had the money for new jewelry -- maybe they considered it a "business expense"?
"when i die, i hope i go like my grandfather --
peacefully in my sleep; not screaming & in terror,
like the passengers in his car."

-- anonymous
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Offline Martyn

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Re: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2004, 12:21:00 PM »
I don't imagine that this issue of the Chaumet tiara will ever be resolved.  However I took the liberty of contacting Geoffrey Munn, author of 'Tiaras A History Of Splendour', and possibly the leading expert on this particular item of jewellery.  He very kindly replied by both letter and telephone to my enquiry and has permitted me to quote from this letter.  He writes:
'This debate has rumbled on for a while and the truth is that I do not know the answer.  I might well be wrong in identifying that on plate 290 as the Chaumet tiara, however there is circumstantial evidence to suggest that they are one and the same.  Just below it and to the right is the emerald and diamond stomacher made by Chaumet for Princess Youssoupova which was set with dramatically valuable emeralds and diamonds.  being flexible it would be easy to transport and it is difficult to imagine that the Youssoupovs would have chosen to carry away the more rigid three dimensional Chaumet tiara when they were evidently obliged to leave the (more valuable?) stomacher behind.  I don't suppose that we will ever know the answer but your suggestion that the Youssoupovs had a replica made is the most credible so far.'
I think that Geoffrey has made a valid point.  However I think that the Chaumet tiara was also a fairly flexible object; Irina is photographed wearing it low on her brow in the 1920's when many fashionable women were struggling with ancestral tiaras that would not easily adapt to this change in fashion (I'm thinking of the photo of Nada Milford Haven and her Bolin tiara at the State Opening of Parliament in the twenties).  So why leave two fairly felxible items that in theory could have been taken away with them?
We do know that Felix took some jewellery with him; it is not beyond the bounds of belief that the Chaumet tiara could have been remade in Paris, either with, or in exchange for jewellery that Felix had brought out of Russia.  I don't suppose we will ever know how or what he chose to take. However I think that it is fairly certain that virtually nothing remains of Irina's amazing jewels.
I would like to thank Geoffrey Munn for helping us with this discussion;it was most gratifying that he took the trouble to answer my enquiry and offer his most learned opinion.
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline kenneth_elliott

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Re: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg
« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2004, 08:30:03 PM »
Does anyone have an image of the "Youssoupov Egg"', the clock in the Sandoz collection? It seems to be a bit of a recluse when it comes to having it picture take.

Offline Luke

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Re: The Yusupov Palace on Moika, St.Petersbourg
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2004, 10:58:45 PM »
It appears that sunburst tiaras (aka sun tiaras) were made by Cartier, Chaumet, and Vever in several versions.  There is actually a silent movie of Cleopatra filmed in the 20's where the lead character is wearing a sunburst tiara as well.  In his book, Cartier: Jeweller's Extraordinaire, author Hans Nadelhoffer devotes a section to sunburst tiaras.  He states: "A Russian photograph taken in 1914 of the wedding presents of Princess Youssoupov clearly shows the family's sun tiara."  He identifies owners of the sunburst tiaras to include J.P Morgan, and the Countess Suffolk.  He states that "the last sun tiara was ordered in 1926 by the daughter of Mrs. Cavendish-Bentwick."  This may or may not be the case -- Munn states that the sun tiara made by Cartier for Count Tysckiewicz is dated 1921,  others put the date at 1927 (V&A Exhibit).  Nadelhoffer notes that the sunburst tiaras were first created in the 19th century and even exhibited at an 1889 World Fair by Vever.  

The photograph of the Bolsheviks cataloging the Youssoupov treasures was published in July of 1925, although that does not necessarily reflect when it was actually taken.  Indeed it appears that discovery of the jewels occurred in 1919 by Usunov and his  comrades.  The photo of Princess Irene wearing a sun tiara is clearly from the 20's and has been identified as being taken in 1924.

Against that background, and seeing as the design of the sun tiara was not unique, it is possible:

1.  That Zenaide Yussoupov already owned a sun tiara and Irene wanted one like her mother in laws.  She ordered it from Chaumet and it stayed there until after the Revolution.  Thus the Bolshevik photo documents Zenaide's tiara and not Irene's;
2.  That Irene's tiara was seized by the Bolvsheviks as the 1924 photo strongly suggests and that she had obtained a duplicate, either by purchasing a new one, being gifted one, or borrowing one.  The fact that there was a 1914 photo of the wedding jewels suggests that the tiara was taken back to St. Petersburg from Chaumet Paris.
3.  That, somehow, Irene purchased her tiara from the Bolsheviks either through back channels or through the guise of a third party. (Highly unlikely)
 

« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 04:30:49 AM by Svetabel »