Author Topic: How did Romanovs and aristocracy managed to get out of Russia their jewelry?  (Read 2473 times)

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Offline Alejandro Spain

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Hello everyone,

I am doing a little research about how the the members of the Imperial Family and the aristocracy managed to leave Russia with her jewelry and then, how they sold these jewels in order to start a new life during the exiles. I am looking for books -specially auto-biographies, memoirs...- written by members of the Imperial Family and the nobility and with any chapter -even a paragraph would be enough- dealing this topic. I read English and French, so titles in both languages would be very useful! For the instance, I have found a few ones: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duchess Maria -later Princess of Princess of Sweeden- memoirs, John Van der Kiste's biographies about Grand Duchesses Victoria Melita and Xenia (where he transcribed excepts from letters and documents about the sale of their jewelry collections). 

Do you know more please? I am specially interested in the ones written by members of the Russian aristocracy, as I am not very familiar with them (excerpt for Felix Yusupov of Sergei Obolensky).

Thank you so much in advance for your help!

Best wishes and stay safe,


Offline katmaxoz

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you could try the following books:

* the last grand duchess by Ian Vorres
* 25 Chapters of My Life : The Memoirs of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (still in print)
* The jewels of the romanovs by Stefano papi (still in print)
* Hidden Treasures of the Romanovs : Saving the Royal Jewels by William Clarke (still in print)
* An expert in the service of the soviet by M.J. Larsons

Not all these books are first hand memoirs by the Romanovs but they do cover this subject and will provide references for other books you can use.  "An expert in the service" is a first hand memoir of what happened to the jewels left behind in soviet Russia after the romanovs fled.  For this part of the story "Selling Russia's Treasures: The Soviet Trade in Nationalized Art, 1917-1938 by  Natalya Semyonova " is probably the best book on the subject. 

Bits of the story of these jewels can be found all over the place. Don't overlook auction catalogues as well. Good luck!

PS - the internet archive website also offers quite a few free Romanov and royalty related memoirs and titles you can download which might prove useful.

« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 03:18:53 AM by katmaxoz »