Author Topic: Possessions Taken into Exile  (Read 16803 times)

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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #45 on: August 12, 2010, 03:35:15 PM »
I have  finished the  Twining chapter on the Russian Crown Jewels. He confirms the previous citations that none of the significant pieces in the collection ever left the Kremlin after 1913, when they were moved to the vaults for safety from a possible  German occupation. Agathon Faberge  did an inventory in  1921-23 and it is regularly used as a reference.
 BTW, does anyone know what 25,000  [US dollars I presume] was worth  post WW1 ? Even with the depression and glut of diamonds then,  it does seem terribly cheap for such treasures.
 I still do not believe the story. Just another Romanov  myth.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

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Offline Midushka

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Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #46 on: August 12, 2010, 03:47:25 PM »
OK, I have found an online book about the life of Harry Boland which goes into a little more detail about the Irish / Russian jewels story. The book is called "Harry Boland's Irish Revolution" by David Fitzpatrick.

It quotes the source and Boland's diary entries around the time the deal was said to have been struck. I have only looked at this briefly but page 139 includes the diary entries and page 371 (point 108) quotes the source of the rest of the information including a Department of External Affairs memo, and details of Christie's valuation of the jewels. Please see the Google Books link below.

http://books.google.ie/books?id=cp8uzdnhT4QC&pg=RA1-PA371&lpg=RA1-PA371&dq=harry+boland+russian+jewels&source=bl&ots=_4yuhmtYpT&sig=jyQvbodYlI5_PBHGTWULvIbwW5w&hl=en&ei=41RkTMHMLo_QjAej5dScCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CCUQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=harry%20boland%20russian%20jewels&f=false

When I get a chance I'll give the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs a call and see if they can verify or point me in the right direction.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #47 on: August 12, 2010, 04:01:51 PM »
Thanks for the info. Miidoushka. And keep us informed about what the Irish Foreign Office has to say.
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

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Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #48 on: August 12, 2010, 04:04:11 PM »
Ah!  It mentions only FOUR " jewels " !  If the story is true, I can see how such a small grouping could potentially be "forgotten" in a larger context. Do we have a description of them, in terms of form (pins, necklaces, rings, etc)? The individual diamond weight span of the pieces is apparently given?  Thanks for the sources.  AP.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 04:08:56 PM by aleksandr pavlovich »

Offline Midushka

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Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #49 on: August 20, 2010, 11:47:08 AM »
I haven't had a chance yet to call the Department of Foreign Affairs yet (their office hours are the same as mine!), but I will, whenever I next get a day off, but have found a little more information on the jewels which were said to have been taken to Ireland.

My source on this occasion was 'Harry Boland, A Man Divided' by Andrew Brasier & John Kelly, which I quote below;

In the meantime, in the spring of 1920, de Valera and Harry would enter into negotiations with the Russian Bolshevik Government in Washington as part of their campaign to win recognition of the Irish Republic. In these talk Harry, without consulting anyone, would be given jewels to the value of $20,000 as guarantee against a loan the Russian's were seeking from the Irish Republic.
Pg 107

Harry brought the jewels back to Ireland when he returned, leaving them in his mother's care. When Harry died his sister Kathleen looked after the jewels before finally handing them over to the de Valera Government in 1932.
Pg 107

Years later Lavelle said de Valera told her when Harry had come home he brought the jewels to Collins, then the Minister for Finance and got a receipt for them. “Shortly afterwards, I suppose when the split came, Michael Collins threw the jewels back to Harry Boland, saying; ‘Take you d..n jewels’, forgetting that Harry still, had his receipts for accepting safe custody of the jewels. The jewels were lovely, diamonds and topaz mounted on platinum. When de Valera was returned to power  in 1932 the jewels were handed to him and a receipt for them was signed by him” (Note 11, Page 198, James O’Meara). In 1950 the Irish Press reported that the Russian Government paid $20,000 to reclaim the jewels.
Pg 108


I believe that the source quoted above (Note 11, Page 198, James O'Meara) refers to a book listed in the bibliography called 'A Staunch Sinn Feiner' by Patricia Lavelle & James O'Meara

Some of the information in this book conflicts with that in 'Harry Boland's Irish Revolution', like the loan amount and the location of the exchange, but it does provide a little more information about the jewels themselves.

aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: Possessions Taken into Exile
« Reply #50 on: August 20, 2010, 12:03:48 PM »
Re Reply # 49:  Thank you, "Midoushka," for the additional information on some description of the jewels!  I also see, as well, that the amount is now understood to be USD 20,000 rather than the earlier-stated USD 25,000?  Regards,  AP.