Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Yussupovs => Topic started by: JD on July 18, 2004, 04:49:31 PM

Title: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: JD on July 18, 2004, 04:49:31 PM
It is well known that the Yussupov's were the wealthiest and most influential family in Russia next to the Romanov's.  It's also known that the wealthiest men of the day were American tycoon's such as John Rockefeller and JP Morgan. But aside from these Americans, did the Yussopov's possess the largest fortune in Europe, including that of the Romanov's (richest royal family in Europe)?
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on July 23, 2004, 04:33:15 AM
 I believe the wealthiest American of the day was worth approximately $900 Million. By Contrast (All in US $).....


1.Romanov         $9000 Million *
2. Sheremetev   $? **
3.Stroganoff      $?***
4. Golitsyn         $?****
5. Youssoupoff  $ 500 Million *****


* Source "Lost fortune of the Tsars" Time magazine estimate.
** Their approx. position in 1859
*** Their approx. position in 1859
**** Total combined family fortune in 1859
*****Source "Lost fortune of the Tsars"

I see no reason for major change between these families between 1859 and the revolution.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: JD on July 23, 2004, 01:38:36 PM
Interesting stuff, thanks.

I have recently read that the New York Times estimated Felix's wealth at 300M at the time of his wedding.  I assume that is the total Yussupov fortune as I find it difficult to believe they could be worth much more than that.

But I also find it difficult to believe the Romanov's could be worth 9 billion, which would be over 9 times the fortune of Rockefeller.  I definitely question that estimate but perhaps someone can confirm or disprove it.  But how does this compare to other Royal families or European magnates of the day? Obviously it is known that the Romanov's were easily the wealthiest of royal families.

What is your source for the Sheremetev, Stroganoff, and Golitsyn families? I think of the Sheremetev's as the main competition for the Yussupov's, but I think of them as mostly an old-russia family, their peak was in the 1700s-1800s.  But I could be wrong.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: JD on July 23, 2004, 01:48:01 PM
BTW, I have recently read that the Sheremetev family went into debt around the mid-1800s so that might confirm what I said earlier. Hopefully someone has some information on that.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: DOMOVOII on July 23, 2004, 02:10:47 PM
Can someone answer what Nicholas's fortune was included, the gross domestic product  of the entire country, his estates, his personal inherited finances.Art, Property?

He had a billion in gold bullion didn't he?

I'd always assumed that the Youssupov's fortune was greater than that of the Romanov's having had close ties to the throne, longer.

Heartening to see that although the richest heiress in Europe,Princess Zenaide Youssupov wasn't affected by her situation and chose her own path, married her own choice, held her own strong opinions and managed to hold on to her family through disastrous times.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on July 23, 2004, 09:57:06 PM
JD...

I think it important to remember that Rockefeller was one man, a business man, his fortune was large certainly, but his business did not cover one sixth of the earths surface. His business did not have the largest gold reserves in the world. His business did not have citizen population of 180 million.

It is also pertinent to remember that with the exception of the Stroganoff fortune the arisocratic fortunes of russia were granted by the Romanov's. Surely it stands to reason that a family who has the power to grant and confiscate such vast fortunes as the russian nobles they must indeed be unimaginably wealthy.

I believe that the Yussupov's fortune is over estimated. They lost half of it before 1859 (confiscated by the romanovs) and made some from the conquest of siberia.
A conquest I might point out that was entirely driven by the stroganoff family so it is unlikely any family made more out of the conquest of siberia  than the Stroganoffs.

Also an interesting note about Russian families they normally divided wealth equally to all children. Noteable exceptions to this wide spread practice were
Romanov
Sheremetev
Stroganoff
Yusupov

When I added the Golitsyns before the Yusupovs it was not because any one Golitsyn was wealthier. Rather is was a combined estimate for all the large fortunes of individual Golitsyns. Which when combined made it larger than  yusupov.

"The Aristocracy of Europe" by Dominic Lieven List the 63 Greatest serf owners of Russia in 1859.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on July 23, 2004, 10:04:21 PM
BTW

Felix Yusupov was never in control of the family fotune. He would have inherited it on the death of his father but the revolution ensured that never occured. Everyone knows the money came from his mothers family but upon her marriage to Count Elston, the count gained control of all her property- a patriarchal society :'(
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: JD on July 23, 2004, 10:45:48 PM
Yeah and he seemed like a real bastard from accounts I've read, probably married for money.

That book sounds interesting, I'll have to check it out.  I still would guess that most of those families are "Old Russia", at their height around the time of Catherine the Great, while the Yussupov's give them impression of being at the height of the wealth (or at least, not having fallen any) around Nicholas II's reign.  However that view might just be influenced by all the attention given to them because of the Rasputin connection.

I'm interested in your report that the Romanov's confiscated Yussupov property.  Doesn't seem like confiscating large amounts of property from other noble families would be a very wise thing for a ruling family to do.

Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: Annie on July 24, 2004, 08:47:04 AM
Quote
Yeah and he seemed like a real bastard from accounts I've read, probably married for money.[/B]


Yes he did seem that way. He was also not interested in the arts, which Zenaida and her sons were, and most of her ancestors had been. In some palaces, he had the private theatres locked up and never used. In one line from his book, Felix said he thought his mother would have been happier with "a different sort of man." He also said his father was cold and distant to him and his brother. They were also forced to travel everywhere with 'an entourage of people my father could not live without' but that no one else liked.

Quote
That book sounds interesting, I'll have to check it out.  I still would guess that most of those families are "Old Russia", at their height around the time of Catherine the Great, while the Yussupov's give them impression of being at the height of the wealth (or at least, not having fallen any) around Nicholas II's reign.  However that view might just be influenced by all the attention given to them because of the Rasputin connection. [/B]


Most reports I've seen said the fortune was at its height at the time Felix was born in 1887. The Tsar's sister Olga used to say she thought they were richer than the Romanovs.

Quote
I'm interested in your report that the Romanov's confiscated Yussupov property.  Doesn't seem like confiscating large amounts of property from other noble families would be a very wise thing for a ruling family to do.


No, it doesn't. I wonder what was confiscated then, before Felix or even Zenaida were born, because they were still left with so much. Felix gave details of hidden rooms and storage areas of piles of dusty, forgotten jewels and paintings. He said in 1912 when he was touring the estates, one of them had not been visited in so long it had caved in, but the elaborate designs and paintings could still be seen on the walls. That was a lot of stuff, how much more did they have?

[/quote]
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: LisaDavidson on July 25, 2004, 01:08:17 AM
While walking through the Nob Hill area of San Francisco one night, my husband and I spoke with Prince Andrei Andrievich Romanov about the wealth of the tsars. It was not a modern way of reckoning wealth, he told us. In terms of cash, there was not always a great deal, but theoretically, the tsar owned everything in Russia. There was no private property except to the exent he allowed it.

I related a family story that a collateral ancestor of mine had actually invented what would be called the Morse code but was prohibited from copywriting or patenting it because the tsar would not allow this - as he owned everything.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: JD on July 25, 2004, 02:28:55 AM
Weird, I wonder why he wouldn't allow it if that's true.

I know that, in theory, the Tsar owned everything, but in practice this wasn't the case.  Their income was derived from the private possessions of the House of Romanov (which surely rivalled those of any other family?), and whatever the Imperial Treasury provided the Tsar with (am I correct that there were essentially two funds, one personal and one public?).  I believe he was given a yearly salary or budget, but I'm sure it was flexible. Perhaps part of what Prince Andrei (I'd be interested in hearing how you met him) meant was that the Tsar's wealth couldn't really be calculated because he got whatever he wanted, from the Treasury or whom- or whatever else (anyone know how strict his budget was?).  I can't remember where but I know I've read that, by the time he was done providing for his family, all the upkeep for his palaces and other possessions, and food, shelter and clothing for his staff and servants, there wasn't much left.

Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: Forum Admin on July 25, 2004, 10:48:57 AM
First the Tsar owned everything at his whim.  Private property was held at the Tsar's discretion.  That said, there were two separate "funds" or more appropriately in English "Chancelleries". One private to the Tsar, the other funded and supported all Govermental/Imperial agencies, but it all came from the same fundemental source, Imperial power.

You see things backwards due to the nature of modern governmental funding.  The Tsar did not request funds, he decided how they should be allocated. His Ministers requested funds from the Tsar for their Ministeries, not the other way around.  The Government was run completely out of the Tsar's funds, not to mention all of the pensions, entitlements, grants, and other expenses.  We have a rather amusing request from 1910, which essentially complains that the Tsar was spending too much money on buying cars, and the Ministry of the Court needed more money to manage the Garage, and was politely asking for increased funds.


What you read is that the "Privy" purse or private funds/properties the Tsar kept for his personal use was less than the Yussupov fortune by most accounts. So, theoretically, the Yussupovs had more "available capital", but in reality the Tsar could allocate funds as he wished. Nicholas, however, was extremely scrupulous about paying for certain things, like Livadia and many charities, out of his own pocket so as not to be seen as using "Government" money for private projects.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: LisaDavidson on July 25, 2004, 11:36:41 AM
As to Paul Schilling von Canstatt's development of telegraphic code, the Tsar wanted it to remain a secret and did not allow anyone in Russia to hold a patent. Thus, it is possible that many things were invented in Russia and patented elsewhere. In my relative's case, someone apart from our family benefited financially from his work.

As to the Prince, a very dear friend of mine was kind enough to arrange an introduction for my husband and me. I have tried to not violate his privacy by writing too much about him, but if I can relate a story that will better explain Imperial Russia, I pray he doesn't have a problem with that.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: JD on July 25, 2004, 01:22:57 PM
Quote
You see things backwards due to the nature of modern governmental funding.  The Tsar did not request funds, he decided how they should be allocated. His Ministers requested funds from the Tsar for their Ministeries, not the other way around.  The Government was run completely out of the Tsar's funds, not to mention all of the pensions, entitlements, grants, and other expenses.  We have a rather amusing request from 1910, which essentially complains that the Tsar was spending too much money on buying cars, and the Ministry of the Court needed more money to manage the Garage, and was politely asking for increased funds.


Interesting.  I had assumed this was another case of theory vs. practice, in that, sure the Tsar was supposed to be able to be in complete control of public funds, but in actuality the bureacracy more or less controlled the distribution.  But now I'm sure you're right.

Do you have any idea of what his yearly personal fund was (roughly), in current (or past) American dollars?  And how that compared to other royals or nobility of the day?
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: Forum Admin on July 25, 2004, 02:34:52 PM
According to Clarke in "The Lost Fortune of the Tsars" the 1913 values for  for Nicholas personal income:   2.5 million rubles a year (approx $100million today) income from personal land with a capital value of 100 million rubles (4 Billion dollars). 6.5 million ($300million) interest  from foreign bank deposits (perhaps another 100 million rubles in captial), 11 million rubles ($450million) from the State Budget, adding up to about 20 million rubles ($800million to a billion) annually.

The upkeep of the Grand Dukes alone, out of his pocket, was about 5million rubles ($200 million) alone, or about 25% of his income. Plus the funding for the Ministry of the Imperial Household, the cost of the Imperial Theatres (three in St. P and 2 in Moscow), the ballet schools, the Imperial Academy of Arts, the Archaelological Commission and the Museum of Alexander III.

The Winter Palace alone employed 1200 servants, all with wages and pensions, and the AP another 600. Also, all expenses to run his own personal administration office and the hundreds of individual petitions a year to him for money, either a Church needing repairs or someone with a particular need or cause.

The full extent of Nicholas' private wealth is almost impossible to estimate with any accuracy beyond this.  He very shrewedly kept many different people working on specific sections, so that no one would really know exactly how much he had.  Clarke estimates that perhaps only 2 or 3 people other than the Tsar, including Benkendorff , knew the real figures, and those people never repeated nor recorded the amount.

All sources seem to agree that the Tsar of Russia was by far the wealthiest monarch at the time.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: AkshayChavan on July 26, 2004, 02:23:19 AM
But I think we are moving away from the picture. Tzar may have been the richest but what was the size of yussoupoff fortune? It must have been huge since I have heard about estate on caspian with lots of oil ---- "The Black Gold"
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: AkshayChavan on July 28, 2004, 11:51:34 AM
How much would 300 million  be in today's equivalent?
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: Forum Admin on July 28, 2004, 12:39:21 PM
12 billion US$
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: JD on July 28, 2004, 12:49:29 PM
really?? i thought the calculation was roughly  $1 pre=war = ~$15 currently, maybe more like 16 or 17.  that would put it at "only" 4.5-5 billion.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: Forum Admin on July 28, 2004, 01:07:02 PM
300million $ or rubles? Clarke writes that 1 1913 ruble = $40.
for $, your calculation is more or less correct
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: JD on July 28, 2004, 01:54:31 PM
I believe the (supposed, I've only seen it from one source) Times estimate was in dollars.  

I had no idea the ruble was worth so much. Really puts the Tsar's list of expenses on this site in perspective. 400 dollars per haircut!
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on July 30, 2004, 05:02:49 AM


In "Lost fortune of the Tsars" Prince Felix was qouted as saying that the Yusupov fortune was around $500 Million US dollars

Which according to my estimates would be Around US$105 Billion today ???
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: Forum Admin on July 30, 2004, 09:05:13 AM
not sure what math you are using, but $500 million in 1913 is about equivalent to $6-7 billion today. $1 1913 = $16-17 2004
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on July 31, 2004, 01:22:35 AM
Richest Person Ever
The wealth of America's John D Rockefeller was estimated at $900 million in 1913, equivalent to $189.6 billion today. His first job, in the 1850s, earned him a wage of just $3.57 per week, but he was given a pay rise and promotion within months. The zeroes on his pay packet multiplied, and by 1913, he had earned himself an estimated $900 million. Having made his fortune in oil, Rockefeller retired in 1897. By 1922 he had given away $1 billion to charity and to his family. Rockefeller died in 1937, but still remains, without doubt, the richest person ever!

"Guinness world records"

It stands to reason That If Zenaide Yusupovas fortune was $500 Million in 1918 it would be worth US$105.4 Billion Today.


I trust the financial experts at Guinness know what they are talking about. Check It Out www.guinnessworldrecords.com  (Richest person ever)
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: JD on July 31, 2004, 06:53:33 PM
Tt's also a well known fact that one pre-war dollar equaled about 15 (maybe a dollar or two more by now) of today's dollars.

I would like to know Guiness's criteria.  It's certainly not a straight calculation.  My guess would be that they compared his wealth to the average or median or something.  In today's dollar terms, 900 million = about 15 billion.  There's no question about that.

I've always wondered, though, how these tycoons, in an age before income tax, before responsiblity to shareholders, before strong unions, before anti-trust action - wouldn't even be the richest americans today, when we have all that stuff.  

So my guess is that Guiness evaluated wealth in relative terms.

James, if you really believe that 1 pre-war dollar was worth 211 2004 dollars, I'd suggest you look up dollar prices of normal goods in the time of the Edwardian Era.  I imagine you will find them horribly inflated.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on September 08, 2004, 05:57:05 AM

If Any one is interested there is an enormously thick volume in the russian state archives that lists in it's entirety ALL the Yusupov treasures. It's grey and about 3 or 4 inches thick.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: BRITISH_BLUE on October 24, 2004, 04:14:23 AM
Russian Imperial Wealth is simply conjecture and open to exaggeration. In practical terms a man, or family cannot own, or control, a  country the size of  Russia. The point being can a man own something he has never seen, never visited, and is unaware of its existance? Can a  man own people living in remote outbacks?

In all probablity the *Tithe system* of extracting [either] State taxes and/or private treaty rents applied on most  Russian agricutural land Holdings and private land rental dealings. A 10% tithe [or 10% pvt rent] was the European norm then and one wonders is someone confusing tithe taxes and ordinary modest Land rents with a personages nett income. From this State tithe money you would have the upkeep of State Services including Defence, Navy, Army, and the running of Parliament, Govt Services and the upkeep of Public buildings including new buildings and roads. Etc.

You must then take into account that [real] negotiable money in those far off days was gold bullion and in lieu of it the serfs paid  their rents by bartering crops and produce which had to be sold [sharecropping] State agricultural land holdings may have been worth 10 cents per acre, but perhaps 35% of the Russian outlying areas, e,g Siberia, was worthless, free for the working, or at nominal pepper corn rents, a rent that was not worth collecting.  

The Tsar and the Yussopovs and Rockefeller and the Vanderbilts were certainly rich. But to put this in some sort of acceptable context a 15th century London Milkmaid called Mary Grosvenor had land - which today her  descendents own and due to accumulated interest and rising property values means her family is has rich as any of these great notables and no one passes adverse comment on  it, because its a simple fact of life.

So when you look at the Tsars or the Yusspovs wealth, what you see is the result of many many years of accumulated wealth by an industrious /  Fine Arts and Antiques minded family whose famous Palaces and grand Estates brightened up their Countrys history for 500 years. They are no worse,  or  better, than most USA robber barons. And robber barons are needed to raise standards in public taste and fashion - without them what a drab life we would all lead.  Could i say maybe we have too many serfs and  labourers in the world and we need another 10% / 15% of the super super-rich to progress?
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on October 24, 2004, 04:23:51 AM
Actually the Russian Gold reserves at the time were the "largest in the world" approx. $15 Billion.1.
Also the rubles was backed up 98% by gold.

1. Discovery Channel Documentary "Fabulous Fortunes"
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: BRITISH_BLUE on October 25, 2004, 03:32:25 AM
Historical facts.

The perilous financial state of Russia under the Tsars. > source History Orb. org.

Between 1893-1896 foreigners invested [in Russia] 144.9 million roubles compared to 103.7 million from domestic sources. In the next three years the gap reached unprecedented levels with foreigners investing 450.7 million roubles and domestic sources only 111.8 million. The large increase in investment allowed the Tsars Russia to boast one of the fastest growing economies with an annual growth rate per capita of 3.5%.

The fortune of the Tsar a  Myth >
See Lost fortune of the Tsars by W Clarke. >

William Clarke's book takes off where Harvey Pitcher's stops, with the collapse of Tsarist Russia. He had produced something like a 'financial history' of the fall of the Romanovs. Mr. Clarke's researches have been conducted over many years and in many places and his description of his own detective work lets readers share his own excitement in unravelling a combination of mysteries. He uses a vast array of sources and puts his own financial acumen - he was at one time Financial Editor of The Times and head of the British Invisible Exports Council - to good effect in disentangling the complicated financial questions involved in the collapse of one of history's greatest empires.

Mr. Clarke discusses a wide variety of questions but first re-tells the story of the collapse of 1917-1918 and of the murder of the Imperial Russian Family. (For some odd reason the Romanovs are frequently referred to as a 'royal' family.) The real value of the book lies in Part III which is labelled, 'Fortune'. William Clarke tackles the question of the alleged wealth of the Romanovs' - in gold, jewels and 'hidden' bank accounts in Europe and America. Here his research is quite amazing even if his conclusions are, to those who prefer legends to facts, disappointing.

The author's conclusion is that the 'Romanov fortune' outside Russia amounted to investments in Germany in the names of the Tsar's children and in that of the Tsarina along with some investments by the Court, also in Germany. In addition there were investments by the Tsar's government. These last investments were large and have often been confused with the Imperial Family's investments. The Tsar himself had closed his foreign accounts because of the war. There is, in short, no vast Romanov fortune waiting to be claimed. Even the Imperial Russian government's investments were set against Russian indebtedness to Allied powers. One is also grateful that he has laid to rest once and for all the story that Queen Mary 'cheated' Russian exiles out of their jewels by buying them below their true value.

Why should anyone be surprised that Nicholas II wished to invest in war loans after his abdication? He was a very patriotic Russian who wished to win the war into which he had led the Russian Empire. To say that Alfonso XIII's wishing to co-ordinate with George V about helping Russian emigres is a sign of 'male chauvinism' is peculiar to say the least. It really was a ease of common sense. Like so many modern books, English clergymen are referred to by the American use of that nomenclature. Thus we have 'The Revd Tann's ...' for 'The Rev Mr Tann's ...'.

* Sources suggest that the mining of Gold under the Tsars reign was in *world terms minimal*, and that Russia was not a major producer then. >Source>  The History of Gold Mining in Russia.

The total output of gold in the Russian Empire between 1719 and 1800 made up 22,491.1 kg.[55 000 Lb] 25 ton> One truck load.  Amazingly the famous Russian gold placers were yet to be found. Actually presence of gold in river sediments was known but nobody possessed the skills to extract it! Needless to say crushing and grinding only led to dilution of paydirt and kept making it uneconomic.

In 1813 a little girl Katerina Bogdanova found a gold nugget in the basin of the Neiva River (Mid-Urals) and brought it to a local official. Instead of an award she received a punishment (whipping) and was ordered to keep her mouth shut. Probably, the local authorities did not want any social disturbance and feared to ignite an uncontrolled gold rush in the area populated by serfs . Nearly at the same time a hunter who lived next to the Berezovsky gold diggings found a nugget when digging a trap for a deer and failed to keep silent. Somebody reported to the authorities, the hunter was then severely whipped and died shortly after that having taken the mystery of the locality of his find to grave.

But a talented local mining foreman Lev Brusnitsyn got interested in this story and convinced the director of the local mine to send a party to explore the probable gold occurrence. The party had been stubbornly test pitting the toe of a slope of a river valley for several months until Brusnitsyn chanced to place several pits in the river bottom. Then he tested the dirt in different portions of a hard rock metallurgical circuit and found that sluicing was good enough to extract payable gold! Thus the first Russian alluvial gold deposit was found.

Brusnitsyn discovered several placers in the vicinity of the Berezovsky hard rock diggings and in 1823 there were already about 200 alluvial operations in the Urals. Privately owned operations produced twice more than the state owned ones. 11500 workers were employed by them and the annual output totaled at about 1600kg (2000kg with hard rock operations).

Due to the alluvial gold the output of this metal in the Urals grew up to 8.2t in 1870, 9.8t in 1880 and reached its peak in 1892 - 12.8t. Later with depletion of the richest placers it began to decline and in 1913 made up 8.2t.

Many famous nuggets were found in the alluvial deposits of the Urals in the XIX century. The biggest one (36.02kg) nowadays may be seen in the Russian Diamond Fund in Moscow, Kremlin.

The newly grown Russian gold mining business began to look at the vast Siberian territories already in the mid-twenties of the XIX century. In 1826 the Crown granted the first permissions to search for gold to several entrepreneurs and in early 30-s a wave of gold rush inundated mountainous areas of the Southern Siberia. The main method of prospecting was digging of test pits. Private companies did not bother about employment of educated professionals and many placers were discovered by simple prospectors who had never read a book on geology or mining in their lives. Those were prospectors (staratels) Masharov (nicknamed for his bush craft and luck The Napoleon of Taiga (Siberian bush), Ivanov, Shipalin, Zhmayev, Familtsev and many others who could recognize quartz, greenstones, ironstone and were able to see mineralized lineaments and knew basics of geomorphology.

Hundreds of alluvial deposits were found in late 20-s and 30-s of the XIX century in the mountains of Altay, Sayan, Eniseysky Kriazh. The discoveries and newly opened diggings attracted dozens if not hundreds of thousands of people many of which were former serfs who had run away from their landlords and factory owners. Most of them were the first free people out of many generations of those who belonged to the ìhostsî. The quest for freedom and gold went together! It was a gold rush not smaller than any of those glorious ones which would occur a bit later in Australia, California, Alaska or South Africa.

The gold output in the south of Western and Central Siberia grew up from 4.8t in 1842 up to 17.4 in 1855 (absolute record) and then began to decline (9.2t in 1875 and 6.3t in 1913). It put Russia to the first place amongst the gold mining nations for more than a decade before discoveries of gold in Victoria (Australia) and California.

Up until 1860 the alluvial gold mining was conducted very unprofessionally by numerous open cuts targeted at the riches pods and paystreaks. Human muscles and horses predominantly did earthmoving and the paydirt was washed on primitive sluices. After 1861 with the abolition of serfdom and rapid industrial development the gold mining became more and more advanced and mechanized. It was in the 60-s when disintegration and screening bowls and trommels were introduced. But horsepower remained the main earthmoving force till the end of the XIX century when dredging was successfully introduced with assistance of the Western professionals.

This confirms all my suspicions - that the people were breaking free of thier own accord and were enterprising  individuals. These people might well have built the new Russia if the situation was different.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: AkshayChavan on November 05, 2005, 05:22:18 PM
I would like to start a discussion on this topic. Were Yussupovs richer than Romanovs. Much has been said about the imperial wealth. However i feel Yussupovs as well as other families were wealthier. To support this argument i would like to put forward the theory of "Potential" and "Actual" which we are taught in Business Management.
        The Romanovs may have had vast estates and jewels but all of this was "Potential" wealth. The Czar could not sell the Winter palace or Catherine palace on will. Similarly the art and jewel collection could not be touched. In contrast the Yusupovs could sell their palaces and art collection (not that they needed to!) on free will. If there is something that you cannot sell then it is not exactly "wealth".
      Tha other factor is that i believe due to heavy expenses like allowances to grand dukes and staff salaries , the privy purse would run out in october itself. In contrast , i believe Yussupovs did not have such heavy expenditure. In addition they had more cash generating assets like businesses and stud farms.
     Thus while Romanovs had more "Potential" wealth , the Yusupovs had more "Actual" Wealth.
     I would like to know opinion of other members on this.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: lancashireladandre on November 06, 2005, 03:31:15 AM
I agree with your arguement. The last Tsar's sister certainly thought they were far richer.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on November 06, 2005, 11:51:00 PM

What would the Tsars sister know? Only Three people knew the true extent of the Tsar's wealth, Olga was not one of them!

Had the revolution not occured I would agree with you stance completely. But remember the  Tsar was the state. He could have sold the Winter Palace if he chose to but it would be self damaging...it was needed ( as a visual manifestation) to inhance his power.

Plus please remember that the Tsar could have confiscated the entire wealth of the Yusupov's at whim, he did not even need to give a reason. Had he done so, would have caused an immence scandle and possibly procurred a revolution in as much of Tsar vs Aristocracy.

I belive that the Stroganoff were wealthier than the Yusupov, at one time in Russian History the Stroganoff's were paying a quater of all tax in the empire. That was a financial position the Yusupov's never attained.

Ultimately to gauge the wealth you would have to estimate the Liquidated value of all assets of both families. I do mean all.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: lancashireladandre on November 07, 2005, 02:27:51 AM
Quote
What would the Tsars sister know? Only Three people knew the true extent of the Tsar's wealth, Olga was not one of them!

Had the revolution not occured I would agree with you stance completely. But remember the  Tsar was the state. He could have sold the Winter Palace if he chose to but it would be self damaging...it was needed ( as a visual manifestation) to inhance his power.

Plus please remember that the Tsar could have confiscated the entire wealth of the Yusupov's at whim, he did not even need to give a reason. Had he done so, would have caused an immence scandle and possibly procurred a revolution in as much of Tsar vs Aristocracy.

I belive that the Stroganoff were wealthier than the Yusupov, at one time in Russian History the Stroganoff's were paying a quater of all tax in the empire. That was a financial position the Yusupov's never attained.

Ultimately to gauge the wealth you would have to estimate the Liquidated value of all assets of both families. I do mean all.

By the turn of the 20th century, the great Stroganov fortune had been divided amongst the heirs of the last Count (principally his grandaughters :- Princess Scherbatova & Madame Rodzianko -nee Princess Galitzine). This left the Youssoupoff fortune with few if any rivals.I read somewhere that in 1914 the income was equivilant to  ONE TON of gold.....That in a year interrupted in mid stream by the upheaval of war .The comparisons will always be there just as today they are between various magnates but the fact is that the Tsars personal fortune in 1917 was barely double the amount what his neice Irina had been promised as a annuity in her marriage contract of 1914 !!!!!
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: TampaBay on November 07, 2005, 07:03:37 PM
Quote
What would the Tsars sister know? Only Three people knew the true extent of the Tsar's wealth, Olga was not one of them!

I do mean all.


Who are the three people?

TampaBay
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: TampaBay on November 07, 2005, 07:08:22 PM
Quote
The comparisons will always be there just as today they are between various magnates but the fact is that the Tsars personal fortune in 1917 was barely double the amount what his neice Irina had been promised as a annuity in her marriage contract of 1914 !!!!!


What was her annuity amount in rubles and USD at the time of her marriage.

I read somewhere that Grand Duchess Marie who married Alfred of England, Duke of Edinburgh had the largest marriage contract/dowry EVER!  I also read her father Tsar Alexander II continued to give her substanial monies and gifts on top of this contract up until the time of his death!

TampaBay
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: lancashireladandre on November 08, 2005, 07:42:50 AM
I think the details of the marriage contract came from Radzinsky's Rasputin ;the final word. Will have to check



;
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on November 08, 2005, 11:35:11 AM


Sorry, I lied. It appears "knowledge of the tsars finances were deliberately confined to about two of three poeple at the court of tsarskoe selo, One or Two people  at the state bank and and whom so ever was the current finance minister." = 6 people.


1917 New York Times estimate of tsars wealth.....

"At the peak of Tsarist power, and lumping together everything that he controlled, even including church property, the paper said he could be estimated to be worth between $10,000 million and $30,000 million."

That's 1917USD$


Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on November 08, 2005, 11:38:43 AM
Quote

Sorry, I lied. It appears "knowledge of the tsars finances were deliberately confined to about two of three poeple at the court of tsarskoe selo, One or Two people  at the state bank and and whom so ever was the current finance minister." = 6 people.


Perhaps only 2 of these aformentioned people knew the full extent, then of course you would add the tsar himself = 3
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on November 08, 2005, 11:57:01 AM
[
Quote
1917 New York Times estimate of tsars wealth.....

"At the peak of Tsarist power, and lumping together everything that he controlled, even including church property, the paper said he could be estimated to be worth between $10,000 million and $30,000 million."

That's 1917USD$




Peak estimate of the Yusupov fortune at the same time was USD$500 million
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on November 08, 2005, 12:05:22 PM
Quote
the fact is that the Tsars personal fortune in 1917 was barely double the amount what his neice Irina had been promised as a annuity in her marriage contract of 1914 !!!!!


I cannot express adequately my extreme skepticism of this statement.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: lancashireladandre on November 08, 2005, 12:41:33 PM
The sums re Nicholas & his families personal capital,are taken from the balance sheet,mentioned in Clarke's "Lost Fortune of the Tsars".I think they  were originally drawn up by Count Paul Benckendorff.I have neither the time at the moment or inclination to check further...
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on November 08, 2005, 05:42:45 PM



That's interesting, because all the figures I've quoted were also from Clarkes "Lost Fortune of the Tsars".
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: AkshayChavan on November 08, 2005, 06:54:03 PM
"30,00" million is a ridiculous amount. Back to my point ,it was all "Potential" wealth. In Robert K Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra , he writes that Nicholas received 26 million roubles annually which would finish by october due to heavy expenses. "Potentially" tzar was owner of russia and entire russian treasury was his personal property but "actually" it was not so. So the theory that Tzar had billions is not quiet right.
        I can definitely say that romanovs were not the richest family, but i cannot say who were the richest. Sheremetevs, Stroganovs and Demidovs were definitely richer than Yussupovs. But this was in 1700s and 1800s. In 1900s the stroganovs and demidovs had their property divided. I read that Sheremetes were badly in debt. So what i think is that due to the single-heir factor Yussupovs became the richest family "by default". this was on the eve of the revolution. But this is just my opinion.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on November 09, 2005, 08:22:27 PM
Quote
By the turn of the 20th century, the great Stroganov fortune had been divided amongst the heirs of the last Count (principally his grandaughters :- Princess Scherbatova & Madame Rodzianko -nee Princess Galitzine). This left the Youssoupoff fortune with few if any rivals.



I'm afraid your quite wrong. The Stroganoff, along with Yusupovs, Sheremetev, and Romanov defied Russian tradition of dividing wealth equally amongst all heirs.
The last Count  Sergei Alexandrovich Stroganoff born 1818 died 1864, left his entire wealth to his youngest  sister Princess Olga Scherbatova-Stroganova, who inturn left it to no one because the revolution interupted, Princess Olga Scherbatova-Stroganova was the last steward of the Stroganoff Fortune. Your assertion that the Stroganoffs would break with approximately 300 years of family tradition by dispersing wealth equally  is suspicious to say the least.

"the fact is that the Tsars personal fortune in 1917 was barely double the amount what his neice Irina had been promised as a annuity in her marriage contract of 1914 !!!!! "

This statement also seems boderline daft. Irina was not an important member of the Romanov Dynasty. If she were, there would have been no marriage to a Yusupov.


""30,00" million is a ridiculous amount. Back to my point ,it was all "Potential" wealth."
I hate to tell you but potential wealth counts. For example, you presumably own a house worth, for arguments sake lets say  your house is worth $900,000 (the price you paid for it). You put it on the market and after 4 years no one makes an offer....is your house worthless?

The reality of the Tsars wealth is.....far from simple. You appear to assess his wealth as though he were a private individual, he wasn't. In his example you cannot separate his wealth from state wealth.
I'm also well aware Peter the Great tried tried to start to make such a distiction, so we are left with two choices...

1. There is a distiction between state and personal wealth. Which means the Tsar was not an autocrat.
2 There is infact no such distinction. State wealth is Tsars wealth. Tsar was infact an autocrat.

Futher more, the resources we have to even make a somewhat educated estimation of the wealth of pre revolutionary Russians is futile as we haven't enough unbiased, unchallengeable sources.

"The lost Fortune of the Tsars"  by Clarke = Challengeable

"The Aristocracy in Europe 1851-1911"  Dominic Lieven  =Challengeable

Former Aristocrats memories = Challengeable (They tend to inflate fortunes value)

Most = Challengeable

The Statement and account balances of The State Archives of The State Bank of The Russian Empire during the governance of I.P. Shipov = unchallengeable, but would only be a starting point. Then assets ( Art, Property, Jewels etc...)  with pre revolutionary  evaluations. Then add them together....anything short of this is pure speculation based on very little.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: lancashireladandre on November 10, 2005, 11:16:16 AM
Quote


I'm afraid your quite wrong. The Stroganoff, along with Yusupovs, Sheremetev, and Romanov defied Russian tradition of dividing wealth equally amongst all heirs.
The last Count  Sergei Alexandrovich Stroganoff born 1818 died 1864, left his entire wealth to his youngest  sister Princess Olga Scherbatova-Stroganova, who inturn left it to no one because the revolution interupted, Princess Olga Scherbatova-Stroganova was the last steward of the Stroganoff Fortune. Your assertion that the Stroganoffs would break with approximately 300 years of family tradition by dispersing wealth equally  is suspicious to say the least.

"the fact is that the Tsars personal fortune in 1917 was barely double the amount what his neice Irina had been promised as a annuity in her marriage contract of 1914 !!!!! "

This statement also seems boderline daft. Irina was not an important member of the Romanov Dynasty. If she were, there would have been no marriage to a Yusupov.


""30,00" million is a ridiculous amount. Back to my point ,it was all "Potential" wealth."
I hate to tell you but potential wealth counts. For example, you presumably own a house worth, for arguments sake lets say  your house is worth $900,000 (the price you paid for it). You put it on the market and after 4 years no one makes an offer....is your house worthless?

The reality of the Tsars wealth is.....far from simple. You appear to assess his wealth as though he were a private individual, he wasn't. In his example you cannot separate his wealth from state wealth.
I'm also well aware Peter the Great tried tried to start to make such a distiction, so we are left with two choices...

1. There is a distiction between state and personal wealth. Which means the Tsar was not an autocrat.
2 There is infact no such distinction. State wealth is Tsars wealth. Tsar was infact an autocrat.

Futher more, the resources we have to even make a somewhat educated estimation of the wealth of pre revolutionary Russians is futile as we haven't enough unbiased, unchallengeable sources.

"The lost Fortune of the Tsars"  by Clarke = Challengeable

"The Aristocracy in Europe 1851-1911"  Dominic Lieven  =Challengeable

Former Aristocrats memories = Challengeable (They tend to inflate fortunes value)

Most = Challengeable

The Statement and account balances of The State Archives of The State Bank of The Russian Empire during the governance of I.P. Shipov = unchallengeable, but would only be a starting point. Then assets ( Art, Property, Jewels etc...)  with pre revolutionary  evaluations. Then add them together....anything short of this is pure speculation based on very little.

 I may be "borderline daft",In fact I think I'm becoming imbecilic  in bothering to reply, but I will say that the Half million annuity was FROM THE YOUSSOUPOFF family not the Romanov's.It was in her marriage contract,NOT part of her dowry.While both Marie Rodzianko's son Colonel Paul and her great grandson speak in their memoir's of the division of the great Stroganov fortune and how Marie's share was the slightly smaller half ( I think seven,fifteenths).As far is matters all these fortunes are " gone with the wind"and it dosen't matter who had the extra million roubles.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on November 10, 2005, 12:43:19 PM


I've clearly offended you, for that I appologise.

I must make a distiction however, I did not call you personally,  "Borderline Daft" merely your opinion. I've not once insulted you personally.

In any forum there is rarely consensus of opinion, yet you seem angry. I'll not contribute further to this discussion it's making me really uncomfortable.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: Forum Admin on November 12, 2005, 09:38:10 AM
I pulled this over from another thread on this very subject:

According to Jacques Ferrand, Felix made a list in 1962 (re printed in his book) of just the real estate propeties they held before the Revolution and their values at the time. The total just for these properties is just over 50,000,000 gold rubles. This does not include factories, income, the theatre, art, silver, jewels etc etc. A rough modern figure would be perhaps $750 million to 1 billion. Ferrand states the family fortune before 1900 was the equivalent of $500,000,000 in gold in 1900 dollars. That would again be the equivalent of perhaps 7.5-10 BILLION US$ today. Not a trifling sum in any event.

Just found this for some comparison: The Imperial Court's expenses (The Minister of the Court's entire expenses)for the Coronation year of 1896 was only 13 million rubles. Construction of the Trans-Siberian railway, the whole thing, cost 86 million rubles. So, put that in perspective...
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: AkshayChavan on November 12, 2005, 03:30:11 PM
Could you please tell me where can i find this list which felix made in 1962? In which book is this in?
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: james_h on November 12, 2005, 08:28:08 PM
Try to put the Yusupov fortune into historical perspective by comparing Princess Zinaida Yusupova's net worth at the time of the revolution with the Russian Empires GNP at that same time.

I suspect it is worth more, much much more, than USD$7.5 Billion - USD$10 Billion today.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: Forum Admin on November 13, 2005, 11:40:44 AM
"Les Princes YOUSSOUPOFF & les comtes SOUMARKOFF ELSTON" by Jacques Ferrand, Paris 1991.

Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: TampaBay on November 25, 2005, 07:05:44 AM
Does anyone know how much GD Marie received annually as a "dowry/allowance" from "Russia" upon her marriage to Alfred of Edinburgh.  I would really like to know hom much $$$ the "Richest Princess" in the world really had.

TampaBay
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: Marc on December 20, 2005, 06:56:32 PM
Sorry,this might be off topic,but I read that the ''heir'' of Stroganov wealth or better some parts that could be colected after the wars is a german Baroness Helene von Ludinghausen who borrowed some works of art to some museum in Netherlands(I think) for exibition...
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: AkshayChavan on December 21, 2005, 01:32:14 PM
I found interesting sentences in Zenaida's letters to Felix. At end of one of the letters she writes

"I have been all over Yalta in search of presents to put on to the Christmas Tree. One can really get everything, but the prices are so outrageous that we have decided to ask you to bring the presents with you. For instance, a cigar-holder which used to cost fifteen roubles at Morozov, costs here forty-three roubles. "

                                   Can someone please explain this? Why would the richest woman in russia have problem buying christmas gifts? I find this very strange

Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: TampaBay on December 22, 2005, 12:56:39 PM
Quote
I found interesting sentences in Zenaida's letters to Felix. At end of one of the letters she writes

"I have been all over Yalta in search of presents to put on to the Christmas Tree. One can really get everything, but the prices are so outrageous that we have decided to ask you to bring the presents with you. For instance, a cigar-holder which used to cost fifteen roubles at Morozov, costs here forty-three roubles. "

                                    Can someone please explain this? Why would the richest woman in russia have problem buying christmas gifts? I find this very strange



Zenaida was not a spendthrift by any stretch of the imagination.  Though she aquired many highly valuable  fine "things and stuff", she new the value of a rouble.  

Unlike most of the Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses, Zenaida understood money.

TampaBay
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: lancashireladandre on December 23, 2005, 11:19:39 AM
Quote
I found interesting sentences in Zenaida's letters to Felix. At end of one of the letters she writes

"I have been all over Yalta in search of presents to put on to the Christmas Tree. One can really get everything, but the prices are so outrageous that we have decided to ask you to bring the presents with you. For instance, a cigar-holder which used to cost fifteen roubles at Morozov, costs here forty-three roubles. "

                                    Can someone please explain this? Why would the richest woman in russia have problem buying christmas gifts? I find this very strange


Zenaida like many rich people didn't like to be overcharged just because she was rich....Although this is not exactly on this thread, the Princesses' Christmas gifts were lavish, Cartier was one source and Prince Serge Obolensky would remember going to the Moika palace - and indeed other aristocratic homes-with suitcases to carry the booty home  !!!
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: AkshayChavan on December 27, 2005, 02:49:35 PM
We have heard a lot about the Yussupov business empire. But little is known about who created it and how large was it. While reading the book “THE BEGINNINGS OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRALIATION” by William J Blackwell of Princeton University, I came across interesting info on Yussupovs. In the chapter “NOBLES AS ENTREPRENUER AND INVESTOR” , he writes about the Yussupov and Sheremetev families. I wish to share this info with other members of this forum. It will help us understand the Yussupov and Sheremetev finances.

On page 202, He writes:

“ The Sheremetevs with over 2,00,000 serfs were the greatest landlords of old Russia. Nikolai Petrovich Sheremetev and his son Dimitri Petrovich Sheremetev , had no interest in either state or military service or in increasing their wealth . They were grands seignuers of the old school whose primary occupation , economically speaking was to spend their family fortune. The father concentrated in building palaces wile the son found religious solace in extravagant philanthropy. Apart from their eccentricities and obsessions, both spend largest amount of their annual income on maintenance of the household. These were constant and increasing costs , which absorbed most of the Sheremetev money unproductively , since little attempt was made to amortize the debts or cut back on foreign teachers and their expensive salaries. Bulk of the Sheremetev income came from the obrok of their empire of peasants. In 1859, this amounted to 589,000 roubles out of a total annual income of 702,000 roubles. The pittance gained from sale of produce testifies to lack of commercialization of Sheremetev agriculture in pre-reform period.”

On page 203, he writes about the Yussupovs :

“The Iusupov budgets during the early 19th century present interesting contrasts and resemblances to those of Prince Kurakin and Count Sheremetev. Unlike his contemporaries, Boris Nikolaevich Iusupov, who ruled the family domains during the reign of Nicholas I  was the most entrepreneurial of the great Russian magnates. More than any other wealthy Russian landlord, the Iusupovs attempted to industrialise their estates and derived a major part of their income from their factories. On the other hand they consumed with an extravagance that can only be called magnificent. They borrowed with equal flourish.By the beginning of nineteenth century , the Iusupov holdings constituted a kind of agrarian empire. In 1806, 198 villages , in 9039 sq miles of property (222,143 desiatinas ) where 17,239 serfs served the family interest. A central and local hub was created to rule this empire. At the hub were Moscow and St Petersburg chancelleries , which sent out inspectors to regional administrations. The center for Iusupov administration in Ukraine was a major economic center in itself, a town of 2,320 inhabitants with shops, warehouses, factories, mills, barracks, administrative buildings,a tavern and a hospital.The cost of this administration was great but it did not even begin to match the personal expenses of Nikolai Borisovich Iusupov, a retired dignitary of Catherinean era. To finance his kingly scale of living , Iusupov bought estates , borrowed money, mortgaged serfs but above all he built factories. From first third of nineteenth century , from 25 to 50 % of Iusupov income came from these estate factories. These factories produced wool for the government , but also silk for consumer market. Attempts were made to increase production by introducing modern machinery. Boris Nikolaevich Iusupov succeeded to family estates in 1830’s. His soviet historian has classified him as “Landlord Entrepreneur” who quit the state service in 1837 to devout himself entirely to his properties , who was interested in making money and who introduced many reforms in Iusupov administration.”

This answers a lot of questions about where the Yussupov finances came from. It is sad so little is known about Prince Boris Nikolaevich Yussupov. I believe he must have been a great man.

Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: Annie on December 27, 2005, 09:55:58 PM
Felix's daughter Bebe married into the Sheremetev family.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: lancashireladandre on December 28, 2005, 03:33:52 AM
Boris of course inherited a substantial fortune from his mother,the Potemkin heiress Tatiana as well as the vast fortune of his father.According to Felix he left his entire estate to his wife Zenaida Ivanovna.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: hikaru on December 28, 2005, 03:42:58 AM
Boris Nikolaevich Yusupov is very famouse, indeed.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: AkshayChavan on December 29, 2005, 05:43:09 PM
The above passage talks about a major industrial town in Ukraine owned by the Yussupovs. Does anyone have an idea which town is he talking about?
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: pookiepie on April 19, 2006, 12:33:41 PM
what about their fashion line Irfe? i far did that go?
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: Elizaveta on October 29, 2006, 08:51:56 AM
The theory on the Yussupovs being far richer than the Romanovs is quite pausible!

It got me remembering something I've read in "Once a Grand Duchess: Xenia, Sister of Nicholas II"
by John Van Der Kiste. The Romanovs were accustomed to receive many items from stores since they did not do the shopping (ya know, because of their celebrity status and all that jazz...). The Empress was usually the one who went through most items and selected which item she would like to purchase. The author mentioned that since the Romanovs could not afford everything, the Empress had to return more items than she would keep. In this book, there was a story about how Grand Duchess Xenia discovered a beautiful, jewerly-decorated perfume, and she insisted to have it so she could present it to her mother for her birthday. When the Empress received it from Xenia, she instantly remembered how expensive it was and although she kept it for her daughter's sake, she told Xenia's nurse (or lady-in-waiting?) to never allow Xenia to take a peek on all items sent by stores because the family couldn't afford to keep all items Xenia wanted.

So, if Alexander III couldn't afford everything, then neither did his son. The theory sounds pretty good to me.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: JD on November 09, 2006, 01:53:10 AM
It doesn't seem a real conclusion has been reached here. I don't know that there can be one. The Romanov's had theoretically limitless wealth, but when it comes to actually spending it, the Yussupov's (who were filthy stinking rich in their own right) had a much easier time - i.e. they would have been in an enviable position from the Romanov's point of view.

I have no idea how the Romanov's actual personal holdings (I'm mostly talking personally owned land here) stack up to the Yussupov's, but the Tsar (again theoretically) had all of Russia's treasury at his disposal. So I wouldn't be comfortable saying anyone on earth was wealthier than the Romanov's - but the Yussupov's probably did live better.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: perfecciona on March 24, 2008, 03:44:07 PM
I know there hasn't been a post in here for awhile but I recently became interested in the Yusuopvs (The Romanovs have been my main interest) anyway, I was curious about Felix's wealth and I did an internet search and this article in Wikipedia came up, it shows a chart listing the richest historical figures based on the Forbes annual list:

It list Tsar Nicholas II as the 3rd richest with 253.5 billion (in today's money) and Felix is way down on the list at number 140 with 14.6 billion.

heres the link to the article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealthy_historical_figures_2008

Not sure if anyone is still interested but I posted anyway. I thought that Felix's fortune would have been much more, and closer to the Tsar's fortune.



Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: Constantinople on March 30, 2008, 03:25:30 AM
A very interesting article.
I think that the Tsar's wealth was undercalculated as it was probably not possible to value accurately all of his land.
On the other hand, Rockefeller's wealth and the other Americans on the list would have been very easy to calculate.
The rate of exchange between the Rouble and the USD in 1913 was 51.5.  This had appreciated from about  2 roubles to the dollar in the 1890s.  In terms of revenue, the Tsar would have had trouble realizing a revenue from most of his property.  For example his plan for Korea was to harvest its forests but that may not have been the case for his Russian properties, as most of the land was either in remote regions or  inhabited and the amount of rent that could be charged would have been less than the market may have allowed.  The source of income that provided the highest revenue was the sale of vodka.  For a long time, this was a state monopoly but was divested to private interests and taxed later.
   By the way, one of the reasons why there was such a high level of foreign investment in Russia at this time was that the Tsar did not trust Russians and did not want to create a wealthy entrepreneurial middle class.  In the period around 1900 the middle class was about 10% of the population.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: perfecciona on March 30, 2008, 10:04:08 AM
thanks for replying. Your post was interesting Constantinople...I don't know anything about the Korea part of the interest. Do you know about the Yusupov wealth? I would have thought Prince Felix's fortune would have been greater, not greater than the tsar of course, but greater than the above article that I posted has him listed with.

Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: Constantinople on March 30, 2008, 11:20:55 AM
Just after Russian involvement in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in China, Russia began to be interested in expanding into Asia.  They had German backing at this time and annexed the Korean peninsular and part of China.  In the first Russian Japanese confrontation, Russia also gained the Kurile Islands from Japan.  This expansion into Korea was the main impetus for the Russo Japanese war of 1905.

I am pretty sure that the Yussoupov fortune probably would have been closer to 100 billion in today's terms and the Tsar's probably well over 250 but those are guesses.  My hunch was that they were certainly wealthier than Bill Gates is today.  If not they at least had better taste.
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: Terence on March 30, 2008, 03:37:01 PM
I'm wondering why Felix Yusupov is on the list.  They list Felix as 29 at the height of his fortune, which would be 1916.  His parents were both still living, wouldn't the family fortune be theirs?  I'm sure he had access to plenty, but it seems to me that it should be his mother who was listed.  Yes or no? 
Title: Re: The Yusupov fortune before 1917 - richer than Romanovs?
Post by: Constantinople on March 30, 2008, 03:50:32 PM
or his father
or you can ask how the hell they managed to calculate Crassus' wealth when there is probably no record of all his assets now or values valued at contemporary values. I think the 1916 figure is a good one as the first revolution was in Feb 1917 and values at that time must have gone through the floor.