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This tiara was displayed in V&A ''Tiaras'' exibition a couple fo years ago. Must be included in the catalogue.

The Alexander Palace / Re: WWII damage and use of the palace
« on: March 22, 2004, 06:18:56 AM »
Antonio, I have not seen anything on Alexander Palace after the war, but pictures of what it looked like are displayed everywhere in Pavlovsk and  Peterhof. It was BAD! I can't imagine how museum staff felt about it, I would have been heart broken.
You can probably read more about it in Sussane Massie ''Life of the Palace''.
I have read that Spanish soldiers were practising their shotting in Catherine Palace. I do not think Russian soldiers behaved any better when in Europe. War is war.
Having said all that - can I add  in my family story to your's and Lisa's. My Mum, a beautiful 25 yo back then was passing by a construction site where German POW  have been working with a huge bunch of flowers. One of them asked her to give him one and  she did. I found the story so moving: it was just after the bloody war, with her friends and relatives killed, her youth ruined. When I asked why she bothered, he was an enemy after all, she replied that ''he was just a soldier, people are not to be blaimed''.

Dear Janet,
can I go back to Olga A. marriage: looked through''Romanov Album'' by Zaapvat (lots of rare photos), came across a picture of Olga and Peter at the time of their engagement. Her looking rather pretty and happy, Peter....very gay. The author quotes warm and effectionate  letter written by Peter in 1st years of marriage and suggests that , perhaps, things were not so very bad as Olga remembered in ''Last GD'' 50 years later.
Sounds pretty convincing to me. When comparing a failed half a century old relationship with years of happy marriage to a man of her own choice, she was bound to see it even worse then it was.
And when Olga asked for divorce, MF said she  ''understood'', while Alexandra wrote to N she wished Peter would not give Olga a divorce (adding something about how much she loved Olga...)

(I am desperate to defend MF :))

Talking of royal marriages: have you seen letters GD Alexei Aleksandrovich was writting to his mother MA about his first love? He was a true victim of his Family position.

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Who is the rightful heir?
« on: March 22, 2004, 04:25:31 AM »
Olga, I would not go that far regarding GD Maria (gold diggers etc). I 'd rather  see them as some sort of hostages of their position. Her father spend his life time as a pretender, it must be difficult to ''pull out'' for her. Anyway, they do not seem to have many political ambitions. I have read someone overheard her complaining  along the lines of ''What I need all that inconvinience for?'' during their grand tour of Russia (early 90s).
Bob your picture is 101% correct, this is a sort of public which is into all those things in Russia.
''Nobility'' and Romanovs  are best left to historians.

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Who is the rightful heir?
« on: March 20, 2004, 10:04:24 AM »
Arturo, thanks for asking! I loved reading how Russian throne is being allocated here.
It was a bit of enthisiam at the very beggining of reforms (around the time when GD Maria's family first visited). But even then, it was SO part of the history and nothing to do with real life today.
I have watched some political talk show on Russian TV recently and there was a group representing some monarhist party (never heard of it before or since). It was such a joke: they did not even bother to learn Romanovs names and titles correctly, remained seated when''God save the Tsar'' was played and have earned many ironic remarks from the audience.
Particularly now, when 70% are happy with the President, no vacancies in this department.
Difficult to speak for the entire nation, but I suspect the average Russian would say ''WHAT?'' if asked about the restoration. Too many other concerns.

Imperial Russian Antiques / Re: Romanov Tiaras
« on: March 20, 2004, 04:53:29 AM »
The was (and still is) an 'ordinary'  jewelry shop in Faberge building on Morskaia as long  as I can remmember myself. I used to buy my rings there just out of respect for the former glory of the place.
Lot's of miniature Easter eggs ''a la Faberge'' on sale there is the only reference to the past of the building at the moment.

Nick the latest from Russian press: Vekselberg is planning to set his own exibition center for the collection. Probably nothing is confirmed yet and there are lots of plans in the air.   You have seen the collection - it is worth a trip to St.P in summer?

Janet, just the opposite - Russian people always WANTED to know what was hidden from them and there are great historians in St.P, so it did not matter how hard authorities might have tried, people remembered. Particularly the city history. We are very serious about it!

Jane, me, too. Have never read anything critical written about Michael at all, apart from remarks about his weak character.
Just the story of be-friending Vulferts to get close to N suddenly looked very unappealing. Lisa had a point.
Nicolas was very hurt by his marriage (M has given him a word of honour NOT to marry Natalia) and explanation along the lines : your son might die any time and I do not want to be forced to part with Natalia after that' sounds insensitive to me ( as it did to Nicolas).
But then again, it was impossible to keep everyone happy. I wonder how royals managed to have some happy marriages at all, seems to difficult to fall in love with a ''right'' person!

Imperial Russian Antiques / Re: Romanov Items in Museums
« on: March 18, 2004, 10:03:14 AM »
Robert, what do you mean by ''certain cultures'' I wonder? There is culture and 'no culture' in every country.
This is an old rumour about the Palace service,  strongly denied by the Hermitage. I suspect if it was true, young  ''democrats'' would have been only too happy to make it public in early years of perestroika.

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Who is the rightful heir?
« on: March 18, 2004, 09:49:20 AM »
Thanks, Antonio.
Ye, they do not inspire me to become a monarchist, either.

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Who is the rightful heir?
« on: March 18, 2004, 07:16:33 AM »
could you tell us more about George and his family. They live in Madrid for a while, don't they? So I assume there might have been something in Spanish press. I have not heard about them for ages.
MP had her list of complains about Alexandra, btw.

MF was more selective(?) when it came to picking up a husband for Irina, Xenia's daughter - Felix mentions her inqueries into his morals...........
So perhaps she has learned a lesson after all. She did not object to Olga's later divorce and remarriage as much as Alexandra did.
It was not the 1st  royal mismatch.

What seems very unfair: why GDs could marry pretty much who ever they liked almost on the spot and get away with it eventually, while Olga had to wait 7 long years? Sex discrimination?

Imperial Russian Antiques / Re: Romanov Tiaras
« on: March 18, 2004, 04:05:26 AM »
Nick, how very interesting - I heard Piotrovskii  speaking about Faberge Museum recently at  a press conference regarding Forbs (Vakselberg now!)collection. I will keep an eye on that.
It is such a long standing problem in St.P - too may art treasures, not enough exibition space :)
From another point  - how to persuade other Museums to ''part'' with their bits of Faberge? Temporary loans, perhaps? Shame Valselberg has his own plans regarding the location of his F. Would have been an exciting battle between St.P and Moscow.
Lots of Russian jewelry was at ''Tiaras'' exibiton in V&A several years ago. ''Russian splendour'' display was very popular. There were several memorable things there.
I would have thought that pieces like that are seldom sold nowadays (unless owners are dying of starvation).Why would anyone wish to part with such a beauty?

Dear Lisa and Jane
you made me to have a different look at M. I realised that I only ever read things about him written by his immediate family, who loved him very much. But looking from a side he does not appear to be  such a nice person at all. (Though Romanovs deny any wrong doings as far as Baby Bee is concerned, but, yes, her family saw it very differently). It seems that he put himself, his own happiness first al the time (and this insensitive mentioning of Alexei's illness in his letter to N as a reason why he had to marry N urgently.....) Hm-m-m-m-m.
He asways seemed to be very much like his brother - good, but weak person (blessed with a strong woman on his side).
Re-read ''M and Natasha'' God, she was more paranoic then Alexandra, accusing MF of wanting her dead etc.!Her  hatered of his relatives does not look very appealing, though. Princess Paley was wiser in that respect.

Imperial Russian Antiques / Re: Romanov Tiaras
« on: March 17, 2004, 09:10:17 AM »
Thank's Nick,
Can't agree more about buying Faberge instead. Piotrovskii has a great idea of creating  the Faberge Museum in the company's former building on Morskaya street.  Hope he would be able to go ahead with it. There are so many little pieces by Faberge in most unusual places, like Gornyi (Mine?) University in St.P just to mention one, would be great to have them all together and in St.Petersburg, not in Moscow!
Just in case anyone wants to have a look at this GD Michael tiara:
PS Nick, Could you write  more about Romanov's Faberge available for sale now? Not that I am in the position to buy :'(, just interesting to know.....

Imperial Russian Antiques / Re: Romanov Tiaras
« on: March 17, 2004, 05:55:48 AM »
Dear Nick
can I ask you if you have any strong ideas on the tiara which allergedly was made for GD Mikhail Mikhailovich's morgantic wife, countess Torby. It is now temporarily on the display in the Hermitage in an effort to raise money for it's purchase and there were publications that it is not Bolin  (might be wrong spelling) to start with  and perhaps has nothing to do with Romanovs altogether. Funnily is was called nothing less then a ''small crown'' in several publications (to boost the value so that some ''oligarkh'' will feel like splashing out?). You opinion will be much appriciated.

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