Author Topic: Military Jubilee Ceremonies  (Read 6237 times)

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Offline Kiwi

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Military Jubilee Ceremonies
« on: July 23, 2010, 03:24:07 PM »
This is a crossover topic for Imperial militaria and antiques, and my first post on this site.

Has anyone information concerning imperial military jubilee ceremonies; AND/OR seen or possess regimental centennial ceremonial items, such as chargers, kovshii, punch bowls, badges, etc.?   These would celebrate, mostly, centennials or other jubilees of regiments, and after 1905, would usually contain references to a few of the regiment’s battles during that century.   
 
Prof. K. Tsimbaev (holds posts in both Russia and Switzerland) wrote in 2008 an enlightening article detailing the cultural and political purposes and effects (intended and otherwise) of Nicholas II ‘s lavish Jubilee celebrations.  Tsimbaev’s article: “Jubilee Mania in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century Russian Society,” Russian Studies in History, vol. 47, no. 2, Fall 2008,  helped explain a curious set of silver items that have been in my family for almost a century.  Unfortunately, some pieces were sold during the Great Depression of the 1930s, but those pieces that remain celebrate the centennial of the ninety-first Dvinsk Regiment (1805-1905), and commemorate decisive battles (Austerlitz in 1805; and Battle of Warsaw, 1831), and honor a Commander who served from 1890-1899.

Dr. Tsimbaev’s explains that little has been researched (or written) about these Russian jubilee ceremonies, and collectors/dealers of militaria and antiques I’ve spoken with cannot direct me to any other such regimental jubilee items appearing on the market.  They tend to cluster these in with all “presentation” pieces, of which many pieces sell at auction. 

I cannot find any other regimental jubilee items used at these (quasi) Orthodox religious ceremonies described by Tsimbaev, outside of a few pieces in European museums and badges (one for the Dvinsk Regiment, for the same 1905 jubilee ceremony, asking price $25,000; and one for the 171 Kobrin infantry centennial in 1911, which realized $21,600 this year in May).   At the time of the Dvinsk Regiment’s ceremony, negotiations for surrender to Japan were taking place, and esprit de corps of troops was described by eye-witnesses as waning.  Recalling great battles was meant to bolster spirits.  (Never mind that Russia lost at Austerlitz, and the Warsaw Battle was actually the crushing of a revolt.) 

It makes sense, given my family’s history, that my great-grandfather and his son would leave Russia in 1917-18 with the Dvinsk Regiment’s ceremonial items.  This regiment sided with the Anarcho-Syndicalists (close in political view to Black Russians) during the Civil War following the events of 1917, and all were jailed by Kerensky, and many were executed by the Bolsheviks.     

Any reactions, information much appreciated.  I will figure out how to post pictures.

Kiwi



Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Military Jubilee Ceremonies
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2010, 10:24:44 AM »
Kiwi

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?

Ann

Offline Mike

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Re: Military Jubilee Ceremonies
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2010, 06:02:04 AM »

Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna with the officers of 91st Dvinsky Regiment on the day of its jubilee, in Reval. At emperor's right side - colonel I. Wahlberg, regiment's CO.

Offline Kiwi

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Re: Military Jubilee Ceremonies
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2010, 09:03:11 PM »
Mike,

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.

Cheers,

Kiwi

Offline Kiwi

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Re: Military Jubilee Ceremonies
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2011, 09:53:46 AM »
Kiwi

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?

Ann

Anne,

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!   




Offline Mike

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Re: Military Jubilee Ceremonies
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2011, 10:19:56 AM »
Kiwi, now it's all history. We cannot judge people's behavior back 90 years by our today's values and standards. They couldn't have known then what is known to us, and their most important and quite legitimate aim was to survive and to save their families in turbulent times.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Military Jubilee Ceremonies
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2011, 10:37:32 AM »
Kiwi

At least the material survived.

Ann