Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Imperial Family => Topic started by: dp5486 on February 20, 2006, 03:56:27 PM

Title: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: dp5486 on February 20, 2006, 03:56:27 PM
Besides the Imperial Family, does anyone know what possessions were taken by the different members of the Romanov family as they fled Russia? An example of this would be the Faberge St. George Egg taken on the Marlborough by the Dowager Empress.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: David_Pritchard on February 20, 2006, 07:56:24 PM
I gather that Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich took at least a few trunks of accessories with him to exile including all of his decorations in gold, most importantly his collar of the Order of Saint Andrew. Those in Crimea of course had the most time to send their remaining personal property abroad while Grand Duke Kyril and family could hardly take anything with them to Finland at all. Princess Paley and her daughters left with very little and I believe that Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna and her husband Prince Putatin barely left with more than a change of clothing and some lose stones.

David
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: dp5486 on February 21, 2006, 08:27:04 AM
That is what I find so interesting. Most of the Romanovs did not have time to take everything that they obviously wanted to but it lets you see what was really important to them.

Does anyone know which portrait of Alexander III was rescued by Felix Yusupov and taken with the Dowager Empress as she escaped? I am also curious to know which two Rembrandts were rescued by Felix Yusupov and taken with him on the Marlborough.

Thanks again!

P.S. I did read an article on the net about how Princess Paley sued to try and retrieve her property after it had been sold by the Soviet government.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Forum Admin on February 21, 2006, 08:42:32 AM
The two Rembrandt paintings were acquired by the Yussupov family in about 1800. Felix took them out of their frames and carried them out of Russia during the Revolution.  He later sold them in 1921. They are both now in the National Gallery in Washington DC.

"Portrait of a Gentleman in a Tall Hat with Gloves"
http://www.nga.gov/cgi-bin/pimage?1209+0+0

"Portrait of a Lady with an Ostrich Feather Fan"
http://www.nga.gov/cgi-bin/pimage?1210+0+0
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: David_Pritchard on February 21, 2006, 01:32:22 PM
Quote
The two Rembrandt paintings were acquired by the Yussupov family in about 1800. Felix took them out of their frames and carried them out of Russia during the Revolution.  He later sold them in 1921. They are both now in the National Gallery in Washington DC.

"Portrait of a Gentleman in a Tall Hat with Gloves"
http://www.nga.gov/cgi-bin/pimage?1209+0+0

"Portrait of a Lady with an Ostrich Feather Fan"
http://www.nga.gov/cgi-bin/pimage?1210+0+0


Do you know if Prince Yussopov cut them out of their frames, thus loosing the selvage of the canvas or if he had the time to properly remove the paintings from their strechers?

David

Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Forum Admin on February 21, 2006, 01:41:27 PM
They were cut from their frames.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: AkshayChavan on February 21, 2006, 04:24:09 PM
From "lost fortune of the tsars" i know that the romanov who escaped with most posessions was nikolsha. Due to his fine organising capabilities, he was able to take all his gold, silver and jewels with him including the diamond studded sword of Field Marshal. I read that he had more than 200 boxes on board the ship.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: dp5486 on February 21, 2006, 07:14:05 PM
Wow! So he was the one that crowded up the Marlborough and I guess later on the Lord Nelson. Did Stana have amazing jewelry like many of the other Romanov women?

Does anyone have a picture of the Field Marshal's sword? Is it the sword, I think, with the uniform that Nikolosha wore on the deck of the Marlborough?
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Forum Admin on February 21, 2006, 10:44:20 PM
Not quite. PLEASE go read the first hand account again here:
http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/marlborough.html
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: dp5486 on February 22, 2006, 09:44:48 AM
I will. Thanks for the tip.

AkshayChavan, do you recommend "Lost Fortunes of the Tsars"? I was thinking of buing a copy. How much does it discuss about the Marlborough?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: lancashireladandre on February 22, 2006, 12:12:38 PM
Quote
From "lost fortune of the tsars" i know that the romanov who escaped with most posessions was nikolsha. Due to his fine organising capabilities, he was able to take all his gold, silver and jewels with him including the diamond studded sword of Field Marshal. I read that he had more than 200 boxes on board the ship.

Nikolosha and his brother did not save all their treasures. Much jewelry was left in the Credit Lyonnais bank in Petrograd. The plate salvaged was the "Crimean house" set. Nikolosha did however save some gems.Two large diamonds at least were sold in the USA with the help of  a Chicago based politican friend.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: lancashireladandre on February 22, 2006, 12:28:50 PM
The Youssoupoff jewelry is much discussed on the threads of that name.Grand Duchess Xenia's jewelry and possessions saved (or indeed the boxes left on the shore) are mentioned on various threads.The fate of her gold service is not known except that Clarke mentioned it was still hers in 1948.The Dowager Empresses gems too are well documented.In her old age in Canada her daughter GD Olga Alexandrovna owned a large portrait of her father AND a carpet which originally a gift from an Emir (of Bokhara?)  had been salvaged by her mother. In May 1993 while in New York city I saw a  picnic basket with silver fittings in Asprey on Fifth Avenue.It had the Dowagers provenance and an equally dazzling price......
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: AkshayChavan on February 22, 2006, 02:29:06 PM
Quote
I will. Thanks for the tip.

AkshayChavan, do you recommend "Lost Fortunes of the Tsars"? I was thinking of buing a copy. How much does it discuss about the Marlborough?

Thanks!



Yes , I do recommend the book if you are obsessed with tsarist wealth and treasure like me. It answers a lot of questions as to what happened with tsar's wealth. and that "actually" romanovs were not as wealthy as we think.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: grandduchessella on February 22, 2006, 06:34:24 PM
LFOTT is a great book. It's been referrenced on many threads--including Windsor Jewels--to help clarify the fate of much of the jewelry, including dispelling the common rumors which constantly pop up.

As for non-jewelry items, I do wonder what all was taken. Miechen made out pretty well due to Bertie Stoppard (sp?) who smuggled out, at great personal risk to himself to say the least, some very nice pieces which she split up later between her 4 children--rubies, pearls, diamonds and emeralds or sapphires.

Xenia left with some really fabulous pearls which she was defrauded on in France and later sued over.

I don't think Mavra left with very much at all, much like Maria Pavlovna Jr. I think she (MP) referrences some small items in her biographies but certainly nothing much--more sentimental than anything.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Jackswife on February 22, 2006, 07:48:51 PM
 Miechen's tiara is now one of QE II's, and judging from the number of photos i've seen of her wearing it, it seems to be one of HM's favorites. Some of Minnie's (Marie Feodorovna) jewels were sold after her death so I'm assuming she was able to take several items with her back to Denmark after the Revolution.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: dp5486 on February 23, 2006, 09:23:59 AM
Very interesting. Thank you for the recommendation

Miechen's tiara seems to be her most famous piece. I constantly see it mentioned.

I will have to check Grand Duchess Olga's biography. I think I remember seeing a picture of her in her old age standing next to a portrait of her father. Perhaps it was the portrait rescued by Yusupov. I remember reading about Olga's escape from Kiev when she realized her nurse's uniform and her little traveling case was all she possessed in the world (not counted the things Mimka later rescued from Petrograd).

I guess you really have to think of what is important to you when you find yourself in the position that various members of the Romanov family found themselves in.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: lancashireladandre on February 23, 2006, 11:39:05 AM
Quote
LFOTT is a great book. It's been referrenced on many threads--including Windsor Jewels--to help clarify the fate of much of the jewelry, including dispelling the common rumors which constantly pop up.

As for non-jewelry items, I do wonder what all was taken. Miechen made out pretty well due to Bertie Stoppard (sp?) who smuggled out, at great personal risk to himself to say the least, some very nice pieces which she split up later between her 4 children--rubies, pearls, diamonds and emeralds or sapphires.

Xenia left with some really fabulous pearls which she was defrauded on in France and later sued over.

I don't think Mavra left with very much at all, much like Maria Pavlovna Jr. I think she (MP) referrences some small items in her biographies but certainly nothing much--more sentimental than anything.

Marie Pavlovna Jr was able to send out  ALL  her jewels via the Swedish embassy. In her memoirs she mentions them a great deal. The diamond fringe diadem that had come from her mother, the Cartier sapphire tiara her father gave her as a wedding gift,the sale of her rubies then her mothers turqouises and finally to the fabled emeralds which were from Grand Duchess Serge (these have been discussed at length on the Balkan section)which were bought by Alexander & Marie of Yugoslavia.The last important item to go and the thing she cherished most was her mother's rope of pearls....
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: AkshayChavan on February 23, 2006, 11:58:20 AM
I would like to know why could ALL the Romanovs not send their jewellery to Finland. Finland is quiet near St Petersburg. It would have been easy to send large posessions including silver, paintings and objects d art to Helsinki or other finnish estates. From there it could have been taken to Stockholm or London. It "looks" very easy to me. Was there a ban imposed by Kerensky government on transfering assets or Romanovs simply did not realise the danger they were in untill it was too late? Finland looked far safer than Crimea.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: dp5486 on February 24, 2006, 12:28:09 PM
It does seem an interesting point about the jewelry. Unfortunately, it seems that if it was safely out of the country, it would only be sold off by its owners to help support them. From the other threads I have looked through, it seems that jewelry from the Romanovs ended up in the collections of many of the other Royal European houses.

I looked through Peter Kurth's book and found that this portrait was the one Olga was standing in front of in her old age. I am assuming this is the one that her mother rescued with the help of Felix. It is only in black and white on the site I found it on. http://artsci.shu.edu/reesp/documents/alexIII--april%20manifesto.htm.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Reco on February 24, 2006, 02:57:25 PM
(http://img370.imageshack.us/img370/3007/olgarussiap321c6wi.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)(http://)
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: dp5486 on February 24, 2006, 03:44:32 PM
Thank you! That must have been taken at the same time as the one in Peter Kurth's book was taken. Her certainly looks like an Emporer in that portrait! I just wish I could see it in color.

I was wondering if anyone knew of or had pictures of the three alleged surprises from Faberge eggs that the Dowager Empress later passed on to Grand Duchess Xenia. They are supposed to be from the Alexander III, Mauve Enamel, and Empire Nephrite eggs. All of these eggs were never found after the revolution. Their surprised however are rumored to have survived, perhaps with the Dowager Empress on the Marlborough.

Thanks again!
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: grandduchessella on February 24, 2006, 04:01:49 PM
Quote
I would like to know why could ALL the Romanovs not send their jewellery to Finland. Finland is quiet near St Petersburg. It would have been easy to send large posessions including silver, paintings and objects d art to Helsinki or other finnish estates. From there it could have been taken to Stockholm or London. It "looks" very easy to me. Was there a ban imposed by Kerensky government on transfering assets or Romanovs simply did not realise the danger they were in untill it was too late? Finland looked far safer than Crimea.


Could it be that they were separated from their jewelry at the time of the Revolution and then it was too late? For instance, Xenia wouldn't have brought all her jewlry to the Crimea. Once they were trapped there, she wouldn't have had a way to communicate to anyone back in St Petersburg (?) of how to take care of her possessions. It seems that, except for Miechen due to Bertie Stoppard, they didn't have access to items left behind and they wouldn't have sent them out beforehand.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: nichka on February 27, 2006, 02:42:19 PM
Keep in mind, too, that many of the Imperial family and nobility thought the Bolsheviks wouldn't last and that their exile would be only temporary.  Given the urgency, they took with them what they could and just assumed the rest would be safe under the care of trusted agents or servants until their return.  Sadly, that return never came.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: AkshayChavan on February 27, 2006, 05:42:47 PM
Quote
Keep in mind, too, that many of the Imperial family and nobility thought the Bolsheviks wouldn't last and that their exile would be only temporary.  Given the urgency, they took with them what they could and just assumed the rest would be safe under the care of trusted agents or servants until their return.  Sadly, that return never came.



Yes, maybe this explains why the Yussupovs hid their treasures in secret rooms instead of taking it with them to Crimea. Sadly the fact that they had transferred all their foreign assets during the war back to Russia also played against them.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: dp5486 on February 28, 2006, 01:18:50 PM
I would have to agree. Marie's jewelry was smuggled out to Sweden disguised as several different items. To go through all that work just to have wait a little bit, supposedly until the upheavel was over, to return musn't have had a great appeal at the time.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: dp5486 on March 05, 2006, 06:25:46 PM
It seems to me that the Dowager Empress never went anywhere without her black hat and umbrella. These seem to be fixtures that she seems to have in almost every picture I have seen. I know it is a long shot but does anyone know anything about accessoriesthat seemed to be her favorites?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: dp5486 on March 22, 2006, 05:20:11 PM
I resently read an article on the Yusupov family's large pearl the Pelegrina. The article states that this pearl along with the "Polar Star" and the "Sultan of Morocco" diamonds, the black pearls of Catherine the Great, and the earrings of Marie Antoinette were smuggled out of Russia. Was it Felix who smuggled them out on the Marlborough?

I have read about these treasures on various threads but I have not found a conclusive answer on how they left Russia.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Forum Admin on March 22, 2006, 06:13:32 PM
I would not exactly use the term "smuggled".That implies something illegal. The Yussopovs, and frankly all the emigres who left thru the Crimea then were simply taking their own possessions with them at the time.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: dp5486 on March 22, 2006, 07:18:08 PM
I was just using the word used by the website to emphasize the question. I know that they were just taking their possessions with them when the time came to leave.

I usually get very angry when I have to hear about the Bolsheviks refering to the Romanovs property as there's. I think I read that they had to be very careful about selling Minnie's jewelry so the Soviet government would not get involved. Was the brooch given to Minnie for her wedding from Bertie and Alix belong to the soviets? No! Just a small example from a very big injustice.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Alixz on March 25, 2006, 04:38:41 PM
I believe that the passengers on Titanic and the Romanovs had a lot in common.  Neither thought that the "ship" or "ship of state" would sink.

As to their possesions, the Soviets believed that the common man provided the work which in turn provided the wealth of the Romanovs.  The Soviets thought of themselves more as Robin Hoods rather than robbers.  They believed that the wealth truly belonged to the people and to the people's state.

The Romanovs seemed very concerned with material things such as bibles, jewelry, bric a brac and pets.  I don't know what I would have done in the same situation, but I don't think I would have been so worried about the "small" stuff.  Family members would come first.

Also by taking a lot of boxes full of stuff, they were putting their rescuers in danger as well as themselves.  That seems a little foolish and self-centered.

I have no doubt that by selling their possessions they could support themselves, but many, including Minnie, refused to sell and expected someone else to support her.  Another self-centered Romanov trait.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: PAVLOV on August 10, 2010, 09:27:41 AM
The same can be said for both sides. Lenin rose from poverty and exile to great wealth after 1917. He, together with Stalin must surely have been the biggest hippocrates in history. Lenin drove around in a Rolls Royce and lived in splendour in a country mansion, while ordinary Russians starved.

DowagerEmpress Marie always had a thing about hanging on to her jewellery ( remember the drama with Alexandra re the crown jewels ? ).

So one can understand her attitude. Also her jewels were a reminder of  her past life, and probably had great sentimental value.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 10, 2010, 09:53:46 AM
Pavlov, the difference between the Romanovs and the Bolsheviks was that  the property technically "belonged to the people"  Lenin & Stalin [amongst others] had the perks of their power, but  they were not rich, by any means.
  By contrast, several Romanovs, amongst others of the former elite class, had lavishly appointed residences in Europe that they were able to cash in on for financial support.
 BTW, as I understand it, Lenin's Rolls once belonged to the Emperor, and was requisitioned for his use because it was "assassin proof"
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: PAVLOV on August 11, 2010, 09:13:23 AM
Well, I suppose so Robert, it depends on how you look at it.  I still believe Lenin et al were hippocrates. Stalin had dachas all over the place and American cars. ( He loved Buicks and Packards).  Kerensky helped himself to the contents of the Tsars garage, and in turn had one of the vehicles stolen from him !

Whenever one sees photographs of Lenin's bedroom, and God knows, there appear to be thousands of them, he had a bedroom in virtually every city and town in Russia it seems, from St Petersburg to Vladivostok, there is this miserable little iron thing in the corner with a thin mattress, a rag for a carpet, and one miserable candle.  I think this is the image he wanted to give the public, and the way he wanted to be seen by history. A poor frugal person who personally lived the Communist dream.
I dont think many real people at that time saw the heated Rolls Royce, and the beautiful Neo Classic country house with its surrounding estate.

The Rolls Royce was stolen from Grand Duke Michael, and had snow tracks fitted with skis on the front. It cost a fortune to convert, and required very expensive repairs and the parts were imported from England, at great cost as well. 

I am afraid I am one of those people who still believe, that despite what the Soviets thought rightfully belonged to them, the basic principle was theft in its purest form. Nothing belonged to them. They stole everything, pure and simple. Like the Nazis believed they had the right  to " confiscate" art works and other valuables from the Jews, so the Bolsheviks thought they could just help themselves to the contents of houses, bank vaults etc.

I am just so sorry the exiles did not have the time or the foresight to take more with them.  The west would have been all the richer culturally. Lenin and his cronies never saw the cultural value in anything, because they had peasant mentalities, and were reponsible for the biggest heist of valuables in the history of the world.
I think it would have been great if Felix Yussoupov took all those jewels with him instead of boarding them up.
Imagine also, if one of the Romanovs got ALL the crown jewels out of Russia, including the Imperial crown.
That would have been a huge embarrasment for the Bolsheviks, and for Lenin ! Such a pity.



     
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 11, 2010, 04:07:17 PM
Of course, Pavlov, there were abuses. There are in every revolutionary situation. However,  the items  you mention were State property, as there was no longer a Tsar/Emperor.
 However, Lenin  ordered  the preservation of all items possible, especially art and jewelry resources preserved as museum pieces for the people to  enjoy and learn from. There  is a tremendous amount left in Russia for the purpose.
 BTW, the crown jewels did not belong to the family- they belonged to the state. If they were by any chance removed from Russia, it is doubtful they would still be intact now. They are historical provenance and belong right whee they are- the Kremlin  Armoury museum and the diamond fund, where they are available for all to see.
 And, thank you for your view on the Rolls.  The information I have  just says that  all the automobiles came from the Imperial garages. Again, they were State property.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Midushka on August 11, 2010, 04:20:55 PM
I know this is a little off topic but just picking up on what Robert Hall has just said about the crown jewels being removed from Russia, there is a story that they were in fact used as collateral by the Bolshevics for a loan from the (at the time) unofficial Irish Republic as a means of raising much needed funds. The exchange was said to have happened in New York and the jewels brought to Ireland where they were kept at the home of the mother of Harry Boland, the Irish politician who made the exchange, in North Dublin. Harry was killed shortly afterwards and the jewels were forgotten about until nearly 30 years later when they were returned to the Irish state. After some deliberation about what was to be done with them they were eventually returned to Russia for the price of the original loan. Or so the story goes... I'm afraid other than Wikipedia and tiny snippets of information I've found elsewhere on the internet I can't find much more information on this, most is annecdotal, but if I do find out more I'll let you know.

I did start a thread on this ages ago, but no-one seemed interested.  :(
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 11, 2010, 04:41:23 PM
I had never heard that story before.
 Some  minor  and private jewels were indeed sold. But as far as I know, the  state crown jewels remained in the Kremlin. And just where would the  Republic of Ireland  get  that  kind of money ? It was struggling as well.
 The book Treasures Into Tractors- the selling of Russia's cultural heritage buy Odom & Salmond might have something. I will check.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Midushka on August 11, 2010, 05:06:27 PM
That would be great if you could Robert, I'd love to know more.

With regard to your question about where the Irish Republic would get the funds; Michael Collins, who was the Minister for Finance at the time was renouned for his ability to fund raise. The Irish had a lot of support from abroad at the time and he knew how best to utilise this support.

 I found the following piece on it on this website, it may be of interest to you; http://www.internetstones.com/la-regente-pearl-la-pearl-napoleon-fifth-largest-pearl-christies-new-york.html

Pledging of part of the Russian Crown Jewels to secure a loan from the Irish Republic
In the immediate aftermath of the October Revolution the young Russian Republic also sought a loan of $25,000 from the Irish Republic using part of the Russian Crown Jewels as collateral. The transaction took place in New York City, between Ludwig Martens, the head of the Soviet Bureau, who was the Soviet Ambassador to America and T. D. Harry Boland, the Irish Ambassador to the United States. When Boland returned to Ireland after his diplomatic assignment, he kept the crown jewels in the house of his mother Kathleen Boland O'Donovan, in the city of Dublin, during the period of the Irish War of Independance. Boland who fought on the side of the Irish Republicns, left clear instructions with his mother that the Russian Crown Jewels should be left hidden from the Irish Free State, until the return to power of the Irish Republicans. Boland died during the Battle of Dublin, and Kathleen Boland returned the Russian Crown Jewels to the Irish Government only in 1938, when the country was under the rule of de Valera, a republican. The Russian Crown Jewels were then placed in a safe vault in the government treasury, and then forgotten for the next 10 years, until 1948.

In the year 1948, the jewels were rediscovered at the time of the government led by John A. Costello. A proposal was put forward for the sale of the crown jewels by public auction in London. While the government of Ireland was considering the merits of this proposal, legal opinion was sort on status of the crown jewels. In the meantime negotiations were also conducted with the Ambassador of the Soviet Union to the Irish Republic, and the Government of Ireland finally decided that the Russian Crown Jewels rightfully belonged to the Soviet Union being an integral part of its great cultural heritage, and made preparations for their return to the rightful owners. As part of the deal that was negotiated, the Soviet Union paid back the sum of $25,000 that was obtained as loan from the Irish Government in 1920, in respect of which the crown jewels were left as collateral. Finally in the year 1950, after a period of 30 years, the pledged crown jewels of Russia returned to Moscow and became part of the State Diamond Fund created after the revolution.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 11, 2010, 05:35:00 PM
I am still skeptical of the story, I am afraid. Yes, I am aware of Collins fundraising efforts,  but those were used for other reasons than loans to foreign  governments, I believe.
 [BTW, I am very interested in  Ireland, as some good friends are Irish] And there was indeed a lot of that funding coming from the US.
 I have pulled the book down from it's shelf, and I forgot what such a heavy tome it is ! It will take a bit of searching to find reference to the jewels but I will do it, I promise.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on August 11, 2010, 07:09:55 PM
Re your reply # 37:  Hello, Robert!  I HAVE heard the "Russian Crown Jewels" story, and it was always told with "a straight face." Like yourself, to me it appears to strain at credulity.  I have never done any particular background on it.  Just how does one "forget" Imperial Crown Jewels for a period of "30 years"?   It MIGHT happen, IF.....IF.... we could know exactly WHAT were the items.  IMO, when in "popular" semantics such words are used as in this context, one instantly thinks of the principal crown/s, scepter, orb, etc., etc.  I truly doubt that any of these exceptionally prominent items left Russia, for such (even then) a relatively paltry sum.  There were/are many, many misc. jewelled items that were/are undoubtedly "Property of the Crown," thus technically "Crown Jewels." (If I remember correctly, for an important costume ball, the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich "borrowed" an ornament (a diamond aigrette for his hat) that was considered part of the "Crown Jewels", and LOST it!  The Empress Marie F. was TERRIBLY upset! It was never found. I think my information on this incident comes from the early biography of the GD Olga A., but I am not fully certain, and gladly stand to be corrected.)   In summary, perhaps "lesser" "Crown Jewels" such as these were the collateral for a loan, IF such ever occured. Thus once again, can anyone produce a listing of the items backing the loan?   Regards,  AP
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 11, 2010, 08:08:27 PM
Yes, AP, I have read about the  Grand Duke's loss of the aigrette. Who knows what happened to it?
 I have been  busy  fixing dinner, so have not  had the time to  get into the book yet,  but  just a skimming of the index turned up nothing- YET, I stress, as this thing is almost 500 pages long.  I also took a look into Twinning's Crown Jewels of Europe. Nothing there  yet either.
 Can you tell me where you read the story, I may have the book here. I do not take Wikipedia as verbatim truth. E reliable printed source is much better.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on August 11, 2010, 09:16:26 PM
Robert, I appreciate your response!  It has been some time back since I last knew of the story, possibly intially from perhaps even a Wikipedia article (unreliable- agreed!), or a similiar source, such as the one the poster (in Reply # 36) relates related to "gems," etc. .  Perhaps it was even in conjunction of reading articles of other famous "missing" jewels/jewelry/decorations, such as the missing regalia of the Irish "Order of the Thistle," etc.  At this point, I cannot put my finger on one, single, published source, but if I am able to do so in the near future, I'll post it here.  As I have stated, I REALLY have my doubts on the loan, UNLESS it involved "minor" pieces of the Russian Crown Jewels, thus that is why I would like to see if a list of items used as collateral is extant/publically available.  Regards,  AP.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on August 12, 2010, 06:37:31 AM
CORRECTION to my Reply # 40: In my haste to post a response, I made an obvious error in describing the theft of the diamond-studded regalia  from Ireland as "The Order of the Thistle" (which is correctly Scottish !), rather it should have read "The Order of Saint Patrick."  This was in 1907, and the Irish Regalia ("star and badge") is sometimes referred to as "The Irish Crown Jewels."   My apologies!    AP.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: PAVLOV on August 12, 2010, 07:02:51 AM
I was under the impression that because Nicholas was an autocrat, he virtually owned everything, from the Hermitage collections to the Crown Jewels. Surely he owned his own motor cars !
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 12, 2010, 07:35:46 AM
I would not worry about it, AP. I did not even notice until you mentioned it!
 I have gone through the jewels section of Treasures Into Tractors. There is no mention whatsoever of any Irish "loan" or whatever it was.  Although there is great detail of the jewels themselves, especially the sales which occurred in 1927 [pgs 13-14] and the fate of the jewels when they were put on display  in the Kremlin in 1925. There they stayed until removal for safekeeping during WW2.  The only significant piece  actually to leave the country was the notorious  nuptial crown, last worn  by Alexandra. [pgs 278-279].
 Next, I will wrestle the Twinng work, another massive volume.
 BTW, I  became distracted more than once going into Treasures Into Tractors, there is a lot of  information about other disposals like  art works and the famous Faberge eggs.
 I use it for reference but it is a good read in any case.
 Most of the  items that left the country was actually private property of the elite and the Church. The curators were instrumental in saving, for the Russian patrimony, the Imperial Treasures.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Forum Admin on August 12, 2010, 10:38:16 AM
I was under the impression that because Nicholas was an autocrat, he virtually owned everything, from the Hermitage collections to the Crown Jewels. Surely he owned his own motor cars !

In the most "technical" sense, Nicholas II did own "everything", however, he himself, as did all the previous rulers, kept a distinction between "State property" and "Personal property" called "Privy Purse" in the UK.  For example, the Hermitage Palace Museum was "State property" but Livadia Palace was paid for entirely out of Privy Purse funds so was "Personal".

The fleet of Ford trucks bought for the Russian Army was "State property" but the Rolls Royce Silver Ghosts Nicholas ordered were Private.  It is my understanding that the Rolls converted to Winter use and driven around by Lenin was one of the Livadia Rolls Royce cars belonging to Nicholas II, at least that's what they told me when I saw the car on display in Moscow...
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 12, 2010, 03:35:15 PM
I have  finished the  Twining chapter on the Russian Crown Jewels. He confirms the previous citations that none of the significant pieces in the collection ever left the Kremlin after 1913, when they were moved to the vaults for safety from a possible  German occupation. Agathon Faberge  did an inventory in  1921-23 and it is regularly used as a reference.
 BTW, does anyone know what 25,000  [US dollars I presume] was worth  post WW1 ? Even with the depression and glut of diamonds then,  it does seem terribly cheap for such treasures.
 I still do not believe the story. Just another Romanov  myth.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Midushka on August 12, 2010, 03:47:25 PM
OK, I have found an online book about the life of Harry Boland which goes into a little more detail about the Irish / Russian jewels story. The book is called "Harry Boland's Irish Revolution" by David Fitzpatrick.

It quotes the source and Boland's diary entries around the time the deal was said to have been struck. I have only looked at this briefly but page 139 includes the diary entries and page 371 (point 108) quotes the source of the rest of the information including a Department of External Affairs memo, and details of Christie's valuation of the jewels. Please see the Google Books link below.

http://books.google.ie/books?id=cp8uzdnhT4QC&pg=RA1-PA371&lpg=RA1-PA371&dq=harry+boland+russian+jewels&source=bl&ots=_4yuhmtYpT&sig=jyQvbodYlI5_PBHGTWULvIbwW5w&hl=en&ei=41RkTMHMLo_QjAej5dScCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CCUQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=harry%20boland%20russian%20jewels&f=false

When I get a chance I'll give the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs a call and see if they can verify or point me in the right direction.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 12, 2010, 04:01:51 PM
Thanks for the info. Miidoushka. And keep us informed about what the Irish Foreign Office has to say.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on August 12, 2010, 04:04:11 PM
Ah!  It mentions only FOUR " jewels " !  If the story is true, I can see how such a small grouping could potentially be "forgotten" in a larger context. Do we have a description of them, in terms of form (pins, necklaces, rings, etc)? The individual diamond weight span of the pieces is apparently given?  Thanks for the sources.  AP.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: Midushka on August 20, 2010, 11:47:08 AM
I haven't had a chance yet to call the Department of Foreign Affairs yet (their office hours are the same as mine!), but I will, whenever I next get a day off, but have found a little more information on the jewels which were said to have been taken to Ireland.

My source on this occasion was 'Harry Boland, A Man Divided' by Andrew Brasier & John Kelly, which I quote below;

In the meantime, in the spring of 1920, de Valera and Harry would enter into negotiations with the Russian Bolshevik Government in Washington as part of their campaign to win recognition of the Irish Republic. In these talk Harry, without consulting anyone, would be given jewels to the value of $20,000 as guarantee against a loan the Russian's were seeking from the Irish Republic.
Pg 107

Harry brought the jewels back to Ireland when he returned, leaving them in his mother's care. When Harry died his sister Kathleen looked after the jewels before finally handing them over to the de Valera Government in 1932.
Pg 107

Years later Lavelle said de Valera told her when Harry had come home he brought the jewels to Collins, then the Minister for Finance and got a receipt for them. “Shortly afterwards, I suppose when the split came, Michael Collins threw the jewels back to Harry Boland, saying; ‘Take you d..n jewels’, forgetting that Harry still, had his receipts for accepting safe custody of the jewels. The jewels were lovely, diamonds and topaz mounted on platinum. When de Valera was returned to power  in 1932 the jewels were handed to him and a receipt for them was signed by him” (Note 11, Page 198, James O’Meara). In 1950 the Irish Press reported that the Russian Government paid $20,000 to reclaim the jewels.
Pg 108


I believe that the source quoted above (Note 11, Page 198, James O'Meara) refers to a book listed in the bibliography called 'A Staunch Sinn Feiner' by Patricia Lavelle & James O'Meara

Some of the information in this book conflicts with that in 'Harry Boland's Irish Revolution', like the loan amount and the location of the exchange, but it does provide a little more information about the jewels themselves.
Title: Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on August 20, 2010, 12:03:48 PM
Re Reply # 49:  Thank you, "Midoushka," for the additional information on some description of the jewels!  I also see, as well, that the amount is now understood to be USD 20,000 rather than the earlier-stated USD 25,000?  Regards,  AP.