Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Kiwi

Pages: [1] 2
I translated one of the kovshi I have (identical to the pair sold at Jacksons last year).  Found some Old Church Russian exemplars, and worked forward in time (is Old Church Russian the same as Slavonic, then?)  The 'E' was written as a stylized boat -- like a little kovsh, itself. 

Knowing about the centennial ceremonies, and the grand attention to historical Muscovite heroes (and some mythology) in the ceremonies for the regiment, the translation fits.  It's a synopsis (or rather the logline - in film terms) of Bishop George assisting Kind David of Georgia with recruiting the military might of the Kypchaks in the 12th century.  In fact, when I pronounce it (badly, of course) it reads like a palindrome. 

The other kovsh, I'm having more difficulty with.  Keep coming up with 'Kansas City" and nothing else.  Maybe it's a prediction:  "Kansas City wins pennant in 2005."  Guess I have to keep cracking at this Old Russian .  .  . Certainly can't count on these kovshi to help me wager on future sports events    ;-o) 

I don't think these kovshi were engraved with Proverbs, or drinking rhymes, given the ceremony where these were used was supposed to be very solemn.  I sure would like to know what the two sold at Jacksons and the other "Kansas City' kovsh have inscribed on them.  What I really would like to see is the huge punchbowl and other 20+ other kovshi from my grandfather's set! 



Dear Friends,

If you have questions about Russian Imperial Antique, I hope I can help you.

I am collecting Russian antique for many years.

Ask your questions here.


I have a pair of silver (gilt worn off) kovshi from 1905 or so marked with I.K.A (so it looks in either Cyrillic or Latin print).  The company name is Morozov, but not the famous maker (it's in script with no imperial warrant).  Two other identical kovshi were sold last year (2013) at Jackson's Auction house to someone in Moscow, one had the maker's mark of Antip Kuzmi(e)chev, and the other identical marks to mine.  Also, a silver tea set with I.K.A. marks was sold in Denmark a few years ago.  Do your books show I.K.A.?  Or something similar? 

By the way, my grandfather had the punchbowl and many, many of these kovshi before the crash of 1929.  Each kovsh had a different message around the rim written in Old Russian.  I've asked for translations, but no one I know can make out the words.  One dealer, without a translation done, indicated these were "proverbs," but I'll believe that when I can translate mine.  So . . .   

Second question, can you read old Russian?  The native speakers I know aren't familiar with it. 

Thanks,  Kiwi 

My question:  Who was I.K.A.?  I've asked you about the Morozov mark, and you gave me a lead on a Sergei Morozov.  I've been asking about this maker ever since. 

The Alexander Palace / Re: Floorplans of the Alexander Palace
« on: February 28, 2013, 03:15:15 PM »
Can we go back to the "ice machine" question for a moment. 

I was told by my mother, that my grandfather was sent by his father, representing a Chicago/Northern Illinois firm, as a lead machinist to install refrigeration equipment at the summer palace in St. Petersburg.  The installation (supposedly) began in late summer 1916, but was interrupted in 1917 ...

The family was originally Danish, but were apparently polyglots (including Russian).   The refrigeration equipment company was represented in Russia by Y. Sommersalo & Co. (Helsinki), and W. O. Lucas Co. of Chicago, Riga, Berlin, Helsinki, Oslo and St. Petersburg.  I wish I had more details, and a complete paper trail.  I only have applications to the U.S. State Department, asking for a specific visa to travel to Russia (as was needed by all travelers during WWI),. 


Interesting that your forebears managed to get the Dvinsk Regiment's ceremonial items out of Russia just at that time. How did they manage it?



Since posting my note on the Dvinsk Regiment Jubilee items, I've discovered the story of my relatives leaving Russia just after the Revolution with their Jubillee items was merely family lore.  It would have been extremely difficult to leave Russia proper with anything of value at that time. 

The truth, which my great-grandfather, along with his son and daughter, took to the grave, is they actually worked with the Soviet Trade Mission in Reval (Tallinn) and likely Copenhagen throughout the Baltic until 1922, and thus were able to transport many items back to the U.S.  I understand why they'd tell my mother they were "selling refrigeration and drafting tools at the summer palace when the Revolution broke." 

They were probably war profiteers, as they traded throughout the Baltic from 1914.  I've discovered more items and photographs in the family boxes that arrived after my mother's death (jewelry, etc.).  There were enough problems in the U.S. given the Sedition Acts during the 1920s.  They might have been deported had their actions been known.   

I found several U.S. State Department inquiries that alerted me to dig further into the "family business."  I taught graduate level research methodology, and know better than to accept lore as fact.  Sorry to have posted a falsehood, however "true" it was since my childhood, playing with the silver platter, ladle and little matching kovshii, pretending to be a princess.  We should've been playing soldier!

Now, I must deal with my shock as to my family's role in the Civil War.  Apparently, the foreign trade and disposal of Imperial loot accounted for a significant boost to the Bolsheviks' victory (see Sean McMeekin's "History's Greatest Heist" and Georg Solomon's "Unter den Roten Machthabern").  It sure wasn't their popular appeal in the early 1920s!   

News Links / Re: Earthquake hits New Zealand,over 65 casualties
« on: February 22, 2011, 02:19:09 PM »
The devastation in Christchurch is horrific, shallower quakes that caused much more damage than the September quakes.  We weren’t affected where we live, a few hours north.  The death toll has been revised downwards, from in teh 60s to in the 30s, for now; but about 100 people are currently unaccounted for, and crews are continuing to receive cell phone calls. shouts, and pounding from people trapped in buildings since over 20 hours ago.   

This new quake compounds stress on an already hurting region, thought to have been on the mend from a mining disaster with 29 deaths, the September quakes, and floods, cyclones, and fires in Australia.  But, Kiwis share an indomitable spirit, and everyone just pitches in.


Oh I see, thank you, would there have been an award ceremony? I wonder if they where mass produced, one for every soldier! :)


Yes, there were elaborate centennial jubilee ceremonies where these pins were awarded.  Our family owned the 91st Dvinsk Regiment's silver service from their jubilee (1805-1905).

Dr. Konstantin Tsimbaev (history professor in Bern and Moscow) has written several papers about these ceremonies, and their historical significance.  His papers in German have been, I believe, translated in English.  The most useful to my search would translate roughly as: "Jubilee Fever in Czar Nicholas II's reign."  Google "Dr. Tsimbaev's" name, and "Jubilee Fever," and you should find the articles.

Also, see the reply to my query post under "91st Dvinsk Regiment Jubilee Ceremony" in the Militaria section on this site.  Another reader kindly posted a picture of the Tsar and Tsarina at the 91st Dvinsk Regiment's Jubilee Ceremony in Reval, Estonia (where my family lived on and off between 1914 and 1923). 



Other Palaces / Re: Kadriorg Palace in Tallinn, Estonia
« on: December 21, 2010, 02:26:05 PM »
Would Kadriorg (Katharinenthal, Yekaterinenthal) Castle be the site Nicholas II celebrated with the 19th Dvinsk Regiment (stationed in Reval--now Tallinn, Estonia) during the regiment's Centennial celebration in 1905?  Once I finally work out how to post pictures (evincing my age, here) I'll post pictures of the ceremonial silver items.  Elsewhere on this site, someone has been kind enough to post a picture of the ceremony in Reval.



Thank you a thousand times for posting the picture of the 91st Dvinsk Regiment in Reval during their Jubilee, and identifying the name of the commander.  We incorrectly translated the name as Westman. 

I have not been able to find a stitch about the regiment, other than in Voline's writings.   

Would you happen to know where might I find other pictures and information about the regiment during the turbulent times of the Russian Civil War, or even at the time of the Jubilee in 1905?   

My great-grand father, his son, and his daughter managed an export-import company throughout the Baltic from 1914 to about 1923.  From about 1918 to 1923 the base of operation for Soviet trade was in Reval, where the regiment was stationed, until about 1917. 

Apparently, the Dvinsk Regiment's Officers were heroes in 1917, and enemies of the state in 1918.  My relatives might have acquired the entire jubilee set while the regiment was stationed in Moscow, or while they sat in prison.  Or, my great-grand father was related to one of the officers.  That is a possibility.  All the more reason for me to find out all I can about the regiment's history.  Unfortunately, I read English, German, Italian, Spanish, and can limp along in Scandinavian languages; but I don't read Russian.



Hello Kiwi,

Well, this is a unique question you have. To get more information about this company from Finland,
I suggest you go to Russian Central Library or the state archives.


Thanks for your reply.  I found my answer about the company in Finland.  Unfortunately, I found more than I bargained for concerning my family's dealings with it, and many other less-than-noble business ventures, not from the Russian Central Library, but from several historians in Turkey, Russia, Estonia, Britain, and the U.S.  I will need to create a new (perhaps too controversial) thread for the discussion.  I've searched the Alexanderpalace site, and no mention is made about the characters and sinister "firms" at work during the Russian Civil War (1917-22/23), so this will be news for folks. 

I will submit the thread to you in advance, in order to clear its contents.   


A very surprised and chocked Kiwi (with three VERY LARGE skeletons in her closet)

I do have a question about imperial antiques, namely those that were confiscated and used for trade with western nations. 

Have you any information concerning the firm of Y. Somersalo and Company in Hellsingsfors, Finland, that traded goods (valuables, probably gold, silver, etc.) from Russia for goods from the U.S. and Scandinavia (i.e., tractors, clothes, foodstuffs, etc.) from 1914 to about 1922?

I agree this is a strange question, but you might have access, and linguistic knowledge, I don't have to trace this company's dealings during those turbulent years in Russia.  You might also help to clear up a family mystery! 




Imperial Russian Antiques / Re: Others than Fabergé?
« on: August 06, 2010, 10:35:08 PM »
Dear "Imperial Russia"

Thank you for the picture of the Morozov Hallmark after 1884.  I've seen examples of what you've posted, hence my question about other forms of hallmarking for that company.  The MOROZOV engraved on my family's pieces is in a cursive script, not the printed type of lettering shown in your post.  The articles were commissioned for a military centennial jubilee in 1905.  Might the Morozov company have ever used a cursive style of the family name as a hallmark for any special (or maybe, not so special) occasions?  The engraving is very clear.  I've been attempting to post a picture here, but not having luck.  Any quick advice? 


Forum Announcements / Re: New Users say Hello Here and ONLY HERE!
« on: August 06, 2010, 10:02:50 PM »
Nelson ... smack dab in the center of New Zealand.

Forum Announcements / Re: New Users say Hello Here and ONLY HERE!
« on: August 06, 2010, 09:27:36 PM »
I  suppose it high time I come out from hiding in the shadows and offer a humble "greetings to all," given so many of you have already provided me invaluable sources for my research.  Apologies for posting three new topics (questions) recently sans a proper hello.

My nickname is "Kiwi" given I live between New Zealand and New Mexico (USA), dodging bad bits of the cold seasons.  Perhaps my NM name should be "Chili." 

This site has proven to be the BEST source for my investigating family relics (militaria/antiques) from the early 1900s, and my family's connection with Russia, especially between 1914 and 1922 -- strange that a family of Danes on business visas would make their way numerous times through Russia, Scandinavia, and the U.S. DURING the Revolution and through the entire Civil War. 

Thanks folks.  Those of you who know political history (i.e. Anarcho-Syndicalists, and other non-Bolshevik revolutionaries), and those of you who know antiques and militaria have provided the best leads for books, experts, etc.   

As for myself, after a fun academic career, I've turned to writing historical dramas.  Have completed two thus far (marketing stage), and am now collecting all the info I can on the 91st Dvinsk Regiment and the Anarcho-Syndicalist movement (the "dreamers"). 

Just this week, almost a year into my search, I found the documents that explain why my family was running TOWARD Russia during those turbulent times.  It'll be a fun story to tell. 



The Russian Revolution / Re: DVinsk Regiment before and after 1917?
« on: July 29, 2010, 08:52:42 AM »
Thank you for the link, but this article you suggest is the very one that created my confusion, in that it suggests the Dvinsk Regiment formed from soldier prisoners held in Dvinsk at the same time as Makhno (after they refused to return to battle in 1917). 

Voline and other writers of the time do not refer to the Dvinsk by the number of their regiment, but suggest the entire Dvinsk Regiment was imprisoned by Kerensky for not returning to the war.  This suggests that the regiment was "intact" before and after Feb-Oct 1917.  I'll probably assume Voline knew more than the newer source.


The Russian Revolution / DVinsk Regiment before and after 1917?
« on: July 28, 2010, 04:49:07 PM »
Does anyone know whether the Dvinsk Regiment referred to by Voline, Makno, and Avrich was a newly formed regiment under anarcho-syndicalist General Grachov, or was it the same pre-1917 91st Dvinsk Infantry Regiment (which was based, of course, not in Dvinsk)?  Confusion exists in this, given many of the post-1917 regiment were supposedly imprisoned by Kerensky in Dvinsk.


Pages: [1] 2