Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Alexander Palace => The Alexander Palace => Topic started by: halen on August 02, 2008, 01:05:47 PM

Title: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: halen on August 02, 2008, 01:05:47 PM
I have been reading, Nicholas and Alexandra: At Home with the Last Tsar and his Family. When talking about the Maple Room, the book states...

"a mezzanine decorated with maple wood ornamental carvings, led through a hallway to the mezzanine in Nichola's formal, official study. This construction enabled the empress to be present, unobserved, during Nicholas's talks with officials and advisers. There was a nook ...where Alexandra Feodorovna would sit at her needlework or drawing. Unfortunately, the decorations of this unusual and elegant room were destroyed during the war, and our only idea of how it looked comes from photographs of that time."

I know I have read that she sat there unobserved, but for the life of me, I can't remember where I read it. Can someone validate the statement from the book? If it is true, does anyone have any pictures of what this nook looked like.

Thanks in advance for any information

Louise

Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 02, 2008, 08:18:50 PM
I have a picture of it somewhere, but can't find it at the moment. You might ask Helen A. I will keep looking though.  Although I rather doubt that Alexandra spent much time  listening in on Nichaolas' meetings. Sounds more like the Dowager Empreess of China- Tsu Chi
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 02, 2008, 08:33:44 PM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/Markhall/RussiaEdenProject122.jpg)
 This is not very good, but you can see the stairway going up to the mezzanine "nook". It really does not lead anywhere now, as the door connecting it to the private apartments is sealed off and  visitors are not allowed to go up.
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Sarushka on August 02, 2008, 09:07:15 PM
A similar view of Alexandra's mezzanine in the Maple room:
(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_Mapleroom.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/Mapleroom.jpg)


I thought I had some photos of the mezzanine itself, but on closer inspection I'm almost certain they're actually of the nooks *under* the mezzanine:
(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_Alixonsofabalcony.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/Alixonsofabalcony.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_301.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/301.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_Sofa.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/Sofa.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_map12.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/map12.jpg)

Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 02, 2008, 10:41:56 PM
Much better, Sarushka.   Those are archival,  mine was just a current  picture from a vist last year.
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Sarushka on August 02, 2008, 11:01:51 PM
You're welcome, Robert. The only photo I'm aware of that actually shows the balcony itself in the New Study is also a contemporary shot:
(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_Balconycontemp.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/Balconycontemp.jpg)


A couple more modern shots, from below:
(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_5tour_pic8.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/5tour_pic8.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_alex_palace_28.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/alex_palace_28.jpg)


I don't know why I didn't think before to look for vintage photos of the balcony as seen from the New Study:
(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_0816441.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/0816441.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_Stairsbalcony.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/Stairsbalcony.jpg)

Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 02, 2008, 11:16:16 PM
Interesting photos of another one of Alexandra's "Cozy Corners". That woman was nuts for clutter.
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: halen on August 02, 2008, 11:34:02 PM
Thanks for the photos. It is great to be able to wonder about something you read and then have the facts appear before your eyes. I appreciate your work in tracking down the mezzanine.

Louise
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 02, 2008, 11:44:59 PM
Well, Louise, you asked, so why not?
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: halen on August 03, 2008, 09:30:27 AM
...-)

Louise
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 03, 2008, 10:03:30 AM
Curious, though.  Those marble pillars are only in the  contemporary pictures are they not?  Am I correct in understanding that the current room is a re-creation for the film?
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: halen on August 03, 2008, 10:43:19 AM
Is there any documentation in Nicholas' or Alexandra's diaries that indicated when Alexandra began to listen in on meetings. Did any of the advisers/ministers know that their conversations were over heard?

Louise

Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Reco on August 03, 2008, 12:00:07 PM
old photo

(http://img371.imageshack.us/img371/610/6812ad811gz7.th.jpg) (http://img371.imageshack.us/my.php?image=6812ad811gz7.jpg)(http://)
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 03, 2008, 12:30:53 PM
How interseting, Reco, that shows the pillars, while the earlier ones did not. I wonder when they actually came in then? Or, maybe my eyesight is catching up with my dyslexia...
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Sarushka on August 03, 2008, 02:46:13 PM
Curious, though.  Those marble pillars are only in the  contemporary pictures are they not?

I guess I don't see the difference you do...which means one of us is (or isn't) seeing things...


Quote
Am I correct in understanding that the current room is a re-creation for the film?

Yes. On another thread someone -- ChristineM, perhaps -- specifically said this was a "reconstruction" as opposed to a restoration.
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Sarushka on August 03, 2008, 02:49:03 PM
This is the New Study in 1944, presumably following the German occupation. It looks to me like the marble pillars were also there at that time:

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_alex_palace_30a1944.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/alex_palace_30a1944.jpg)

Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Reco on August 03, 2008, 03:05:59 PM
New photo

(http://img356.imageshack.us/img356/5870/685f842db611ku6.th.jpg) (http://img356.imageshack.us/my.php?image=685f842db611ku6.jpg)(http://)
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Michael HR on August 03, 2008, 03:12:40 PM
The desk looks a lot like the one that was also used in the working study. I assume the tsar have two of a kind? Or have they moved the desk from one study to another?
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Douglas on August 03, 2008, 04:24:31 PM
I agree with Robert.  I seriously doubt that the Empress would have spent much time lurking upstairs evesdropping on her husbands' conversations with officials.  She was far more likely to spend time with her beloved children and close friends.

Also, both original and reconstructed short upper marble pillars are faux.  They may be either scaglioa or a painted faux finish.  Hard to tell from a photo.




I have a picture of it somewhere, but can't find it at the moment. You might ask Helen A. I will keep looking though.  Although I rather doubt that Alexandra spent much time  listening in on Nichaolas' meetings. Sounds more like the Dowager Empreess of China- Tsu Chi
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Joanna on August 14, 2008, 06:03:12 PM
A similar view of Alexandra's mezzanine in the Maple room:
(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_Mapleroom.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/Mapleroom.jpg)

The upper part of the mezzanine in the Maple room had "many toys and a table with an elaborate jig-saw puzzle...There was also a glazed pottery pig from a shop in North Audley Street which occupied an empty fireplace".

Joanna
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: halen on August 15, 2008, 11:48:52 AM
I agree with Robert.  I seriously doubt that the Empress would have spent much time lurking upstairs evesdropping on her husbands' conversations with officials.  She was far more likely to spend time with her beloved children and close friends.

Also, both original and reconstructed short upper marble pillars are faux.  They may be either scaglioa or a painted faux finish.  Hard to tell from a photo.




I have a picture of it somewhere, but can't find it at the moment. You might ask Helen A. I will keep looking though.  Although I rather doubt that Alexandra spent much time  listening in on Nichaolas' meetings. Sounds more like the Dowager Empreess of China- Tsu Chi

I was reading old posts last night (I need a life) and on the Alexandra threads, the FA pointed out that the Empress listening in on conferences and meetings is a myth.

I never thought to look in the Alexandra threads for that information, so I thank everyone who took the time to respond to my post. I quite enjoy the photos and the explanations of how the mezzanine is laid out.

Louise
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: EmmyLee on August 28, 2008, 06:36:24 PM
Here's another one:

(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/th_upper.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/upper.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: BobAtchison on September 04, 2008, 03:00:29 PM
The marble columns are real.  They came from Austria and cost a fortune to move from there via the Baltic and St. Petersburg Harbor.  I have 60 pages of receipts for the work and everything bought for the entire remodeling project.  These columns went way over budget once they arrived 4,000 rubles had to be spent over budget to modify them and install them.  I have spent a lot of times up close with these columns, they are wonderful to feel.  Everybody thinks they are plaster until you touch them. They are very cold to the touch.  They are original and in excellent shape. Some if the bronze fittings are still in place around the bases.  I have close-up pictures.  Nicholas kept all his photo albums on the ledge up here, neatly lines up and stacked, all in order.  Metzler used a lot of Tiffany - yes real Tiffany - in Nicholas's and Alexandra's two formal rooms.  These were two incredible spaces.  Now that new management will be coming in we won't have to worry about Nicholas's New Study being ripped out.  That was one of Sautov's objectives in his proposal for the palace to be restored to the time of Nicholas I, hopefully now that he is gone the danger is gone as well.
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: BobAtchison on September 04, 2008, 03:12:13 PM
Sarusha:  I have a huge 8 x 10 of that german picture of the fireplace.  I have 7 or so huge pictures of this room after the war.  You have all seen my Maple Room picture from after the war.  These refute the stories that the Imperial Rooms were destroyed during the war.  Wrecked yes, but certainly not destroyed.  Stalin and his henchmen destroyed the personal rooms of Nicholas and Alexandra after the war. 
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: BobAtchison on September 05, 2008, 12:10:04 AM
Nicholas had 3 big Tiffany lamps 665 rubles each on the mezzaine level of the New Study.  There were 3 smaller ones that cost 475 rubles each and 5 big Tiffany sconces with 25 tulip-shaped lampshades in the New Study - these cost 485 rubles each.  You can see these in pictures.  The transoms were also Tiffany glass.
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 05, 2008, 12:16:03 AM
Yummy. Are these still in place?  When I was there, access to the mexx. was denied,  so I could not go up to see what was still there.
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Sarushka on September 05, 2008, 08:34:12 AM
Sarusha:  I have a huge 8 x 10 of that german picture of the fireplace.  I have 7 or so huge pictures of this room after the war.  You have all seen my Maple Room picture from after the war.  These refute the stories that the Imperial Rooms were destroyed during the war.  Wrecked yes, but certainly not destroyed.  Stalin and his henchmen destroyed the personal rooms of Nicholas and Alexandra after the war. 

Actually, aside from that photo of the fireplace and one of a parade hall, all my post-war pictures of the palace are exteriors. Have you posted yours anywhere on the main APTM site?
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: BobAtchison on September 05, 2008, 05:33:18 PM
I am not sure were the Tiffany lamps went.  I'll have to check and see if Kuchumov marked where are today.  Things from the Maple Room and the New Study went to various places after the war.  Kuchumov tried to keep everything at Pavlovsk without success.  After the war they would not have had much interest in Tiffany or Art Nouveau art glass. I think the Art glass light fixtures from under the balcony in the Maple Room are at the Hermitage.
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Michael HR on September 06, 2008, 04:35:16 AM
I assume when the time comes things can make their way back to the AP so they are were they belong. The winter Palace has loads of it own stuff at Pavlosk is now restored.

Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 06, 2008, 08:23:07 AM
That would be a long way off, Michael HR. The Winter Palace-Hermitage is a museum,  the repository of the Russian national heritage of art. No Imperial apartments have been restored at all.  No one knows what direction the AP  will take, when it comes to refurbishment. Right now, the priority is to make the place stable and waterproof.
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: BobAtchison on September 06, 2008, 10:17:09 AM
More on the marble colums of the New Study... There were 5 in one set and 3 in another.  They were ordered from Nassauische Marmorwerke , a marble working firm located in Nassau Villmar on der Lahn in Germany.  The pillars were ordered through the Anton Ohlert, a company with operations in germany and Russia.

There were quarries at Villmar, but I was told the marble was from quarries in Austria.  The factory began work in the 1800's and I believe it is still in business.  in 1900 the company was famous for its production of speciality shapes and a huge variety of stones.  Through their equipment and the skill of their workers they produced many marble pieces in Art Nouveau style.  Meltzer ordered from them because they had a fast turn-around time and guaranteed safe delivery.  The columns cost over 3,000 marks, but I am not sure of the exact cost because the receipts here are hard to understand.

Anton Ohlert was a Russian merchant who was born in Russia in 1840 to a family of German origin. he arranged for the sale of Russian commodities like fur and timber for transport to Germany.  His Berlin ofice was opened in 1871. Ohlert was the exclusive representive of Singer in Russia and he built and operated the first Singer factory in Russia in the city of Podolsk.  He sold the firm in 1900 to the Ulrich family, who still run the company today in Germany.  The company halted its operations in Russia during WWI and ended them altogetehr during the revolution.  Later in the 1920's the company entered into deals with the young Soviet Government.

Bob
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 06, 2008, 10:34:02 AM
Very interesting, BobA.  Did he also build & own the famous Singer building on Nevski Prospeskt?
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: BobAtchison on September 07, 2008, 11:56:46 AM
I don't know.... good question...
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Douglas on September 07, 2008, 12:27:06 PM
Singer Company
was first represented in Russia by Max Fiedler, and since 1877 - by the Trading House of G. Neidlinger (Germany). In 1897 a Russian affiliate Singer Manufacturing Company was established (since 1901 it was called Singer Stock Company). Originally the company office was located at 40 Kazanskaya Street. In 1902-04 the building of the company headquarters was constructed according to the project of architect P.Y. Suzor at 28 Nevsky Prospect (today Dom Knigi (The House of Books).

Today this building is known as the House of Books and is the largest book store in the city.  The address is 28 Nevsky Prospect.
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: Petrushka on September 09, 2008, 04:55:35 AM
Sorry if I'm being very stupid - I'm confused!!! The photo of the mezzanine from the Maple Room clearly shows a large window underneath the 'mezz' at left.  I cannot understand how there could have been a window there?  there is a room on either side and the corridor behind?  This is really bugging me - can anyone explain what it is or am I just looking at it wrongly????
Title: Re: Alexandra's mezzanine nook...
Post by: David_Newell on September 09, 2008, 06:04:15 AM
Yes that is correct the window is o0n the left, the mezzanine backed onto the Empress' corner drawing room. So this is correct. On the right is the corridor and then the new study.