Author Topic: Possessions Taken into Exile  (Read 16804 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline PAVLOV

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 427
    • View Profile
Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #30 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.

Offline Robert_Hall

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6648
  • a site.
    • View Profile
Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #31 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"
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 09:55:26 AM by Robert_Hall »
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline PAVLOV

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 427
    • View Profile
Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #32 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.



     

Offline Robert_Hall

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6648
  • a site.
    • View Profile
Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #33 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.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Midushka

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #34 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.  :(

Offline Robert_Hall

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6648
  • a site.
    • View Profile
Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #35 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.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Midushka

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #36 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.

Offline Robert_Hall

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6648
  • a site.
    • View Profile
Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #37 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.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 05:38:33 PM by Robert_Hall »
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

aleksandr pavlovich

  • Guest
Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #38 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
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 07:24:25 PM by aleksandr pavlovich »

Offline Robert_Hall

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6648
  • a site.
    • View Profile
Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #39 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.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

aleksandr pavlovich

  • Guest
Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #40 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.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 09:18:23 PM by aleksandr pavlovich »

aleksandr pavlovich

  • Guest
Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #41 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.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 06:48:12 AM by aleksandr pavlovich »

Offline PAVLOV

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 427
    • View Profile
Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #42 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 !

Offline Robert_Hall

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6648
  • a site.
    • View Profile
Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #43 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.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Forum Admin

  • Administrator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 4665
  • www.alexanderpalace.org
    • View Profile
    • Alexander Palace Time Machine
Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #44 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...