Author Topic: THE WORKING STUDY  (Read 6735 times)

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Offline londo954

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THE WORKING STUDY
« on: July 24, 2005, 10:20:16 PM »
I have a question concerning the things on teh Tsars desk. On the pic of the desk posted on teh site, at teh far left corner there is a Faberge piece that looks remarkable like a barometer.
Is it the same peice that Appeared in the Book and exhibit Faberge in America.
Said iece is #74 a Barometer by Victor Arne made between 1896 and 1908.
These pieces look very similar.

Offline Bolin

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Re: THE WORKING STUDY
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2005, 09:48:49 PM »
Yes, I agree with you. I have always thought that the barometer by Aarne from the India Early Minshall Collection now in the Cleveland Museum of Art was formerly in the Tsar's study at the Alexander palace. It appears to be the same piece though it has lost some of its ornamentation that hung between the swags.
The Minshall collection contains a number of Faberge pieces that were described as being from the Alexander Palace by the Hammers from whom she purchased these items. The most noteworthy are the pair of bowenite and gold frames (catalog #83 from Faberge in America) that I once saw in a photo taken of the Mauve Room. Another proof that they belonged to Alexandra can be found in the photos taken of the Faberge exhibit at the von Devrise mansion in St. Petersburg in March 1902 of Faberge items belonging to Alexandra and Maria Feodorovna and other members of the Imperial family. Many Faberge and other Russian items sold by the Hammers and the Schaffers came with documents explaining or certifying their Imperial Provenance and even noting the palace and rooms from which they came. Until recently Faberge scholars scoffed at these attributions but they now appear quite correct after seeing evidence in old photos and inventory lists.
I cannot tell for sure but I think I spot on Nicholas' desk a silver photo frame by Faberge workmaster Nevalainen depicting a photo of Alexandra seated in a tall "gothic" style chair signed and dated 1901. If you have the Faberge exhibition catalog entitled Faberge-Imperial Jeweler by von Habsburg and Lopanto you will see a better picture of it (catalog #40). It is described as being from the Alexander Palace and now is stored at Pavlovsk. I think there is more to uncover regarding these objects. I wish someone would do more research and write it up.  

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: THE WORKING STUDY
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2005, 10:15:18 PM »
I am very interested is this discussion. However, Imperial Provenance does not mean Imperial commission does it ? So many of these items were gifts TO the Imperial Family, from other members, friends, foreign relations any number of sources. The current  "Spring Flower Egg"  situation is a good example of false provenance, do you not think? It would be too wonderful to discover the original gift cards !

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Offline Bolin

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Re: THE WORKING STUDY
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2005, 10:44:46 PM »
It works the other way as well. There are a number of items that we know were purchased by the Imperial family but did not stay with them in their palaces, instead being given as gifts to family, friends, courtiers, servants and heads of state.
Yes, it is difficult to say what has Imperial provenance unless there is supporting documentation.
The items on the Tsar's desk or on the tables of the Mauve Boudoir could have been purchased by the couple themselves or been gifts from family or friends. We will never be sure unless the item turns up in the lists of invoices kept by the Imperial Cabinet.
Did you see the red enamelled frame on the Wartski web site that is documented as being purchased by Nicholas and Alexandra? yes, they have discovered that piece of information but was this frame kept by them or given away as a gift?

Offline Bolin

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Re: THE WORKING STUDY
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2005, 11:07:11 PM »
I now ntoice that some of this discussion was posted under Imperial Russian Antiques - Romanov Items in Musems. However, there was mistaken mention that these items discussed above were in the Richmond Museum. The frames above and the barometer are in the Cleveland Museum. There are items in the Richmond Museum that originally came from the Alexander Palace as well. Both Lillian Thomas Pratt and Mrs. Minshall purchased Faberge items from the Hammers at about the same time.  

Offline londo954

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Re: THE WORKING STUDY
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2005, 10:57:00 PM »
From the few photos I have seen of the Working study Nicholas appears to have made good use of photo frames undoubtably a lot by Faberge since he was a regular family. Photos would have been given as gifts to him as well. On the desk their also appears to be a portfolio that looks remarkably like one that Malcolm Forbes used on his desk????
I really think by Imperial Provenance refers to items that Nicholas and Alexandra kept for themselves. Items havign been handled by teh Royal family on a semi regular basis would be worth more than items made for them to give away as gifts. An example being teh two lillies of the valey baskets that exists. The one from the Mauve boudoir is worth more I believe but I could be wrong?

Offline hikaru

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Re: THE WORKING STUDY
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2005, 11:14:50 PM »
I think that portfolio of Nicholas had to have his logo on the cover.

Offline Bolin

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Re: THE WORKING STUDY
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2005, 06:48:04 AM »
I would agree with Londo954 that Imperial Provenance should refer to items that the family used themselves or lived with in their various residences.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: THE WORKING STUDY
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2005, 09:11:33 AM »
I would tend to agree as well. I wonder what criteria the valuers at the auction houses use ? Obviously inventory and invoices would be ideal. But would this then include items given to them  that may not be of the same quality as "commissioned" items ?
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Offline londo954

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Re: THE WORKING STUDY
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2005, 11:02:33 AM »
I could be wrong but I remember reading somewhere that Hammer used to value items used by Nicholas and Alexandra higher than just commissions besides gifts to them that they did not used were they not stored at teh Witner Palace????

Offline londo954

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Re: THE WORKING STUDY
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2005, 11:07:55 AM »
Often too we tend to forget that Nicholas and Alexandra were also pepople not much different than you and I. How often do we recieve gifts that we do not care for simply to store them and haul them out when that person comes to visit. I would guess items of a family nature were kpet at teh Alexander Palace while more state gifts to them they did not fit their style or creatre sentimental value went to the Witner Palace storerooms.
I remember seeign an interview with teh Duke of Windsor giving a tour of hsi home. He shows a large silver centerpiece that was a christening gift from his great grandmother (Queen Victoria) a large bulky piece that the duke only commented that he wished the old girl had given him something more useful. By this time Windsor was well out of public eye but still retained a priceless and historic gift for his own posession.

Offline Bolin

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Re: THE WORKING STUDY
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2005, 07:29:21 AM »
Yes, I think you are correct concerning the storage of official gifts at the Winter Palace. Alexandra even kept most of her Faberge eggs made prior to 1905 at the Winter Palace. Of course, the family never really lived there again except staying perhaps a night or so. From what I have read I suspect that they never stayed there again. I recall that at the time of the declaration of war against Germany Nicholas and the family came to the Winter Palace from Peterhof and returned the same day.

Speaking of the auction houses, it appears that they do place higher valuations on items with an Imperial provenance that are by famous or more noteworthy makers so that Faberge items have a higher evaluation than items by Britzin or Imperial Porcelain is more significant than Kornilov even if the latter were also owned by the Imperial family.
However, auction houses do not always estimate the prices higher when they know there is an imperial provenance. They just expect that the realized price will be much higher - usually 5-10 times higher than the estimate.

Offline Dominic_Albanese

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Re: THE WORKING STUDY
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2005, 07:08:21 AM »
I've always been interested in the working spaces of powerful people.  Nicholas's study has intrigued me from the start.  I know he had a number of studies - but his 'regular' study - is his desk still there?  I don't remember much about the selling of imperial furniture by the Soviets.  Although I suspect a number of people would have loved to said that they had the last Tsar of Russia's desk.

Do you know if his working desk is still at AP?

dca

Offline dp5486

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Re: THE WORKING STUDY
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2006, 02:01:03 PM »
Does anyone have any more images of this room, other than what is on the AP site?

Thanks!

Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: THE WORKING STUDY
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2006, 02:10:53 PM »
Just a useless bit of trivia! but i read that Liberace owned a desk that once belonged to Tsar Nicholas.  

Scroll down to the bottom and theirs a picture of him with it.

http://www.liberace.com/museumBrochure.cfm

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