Wednesday, 16 August 2017
A Mysterious Object in Alexandra’s Bedroom
Hau’s 1870 watercolor (below) of Empress Alexandra’s bedroom in the Winter Palace
Throughout the 1800’s lung diseases affected all classes of the population including the imperial family. Tuberculosis, known as consumption, claimed many lives. A devastating loss was the death of Nicholas I’s daughter Alexandra in 1844 a few hours after the birth of her premature baby.
A spittoon, as the name implies, was a metal pot used for spitting into. It became an indispensable object in aristocratic and palace rooms. There were various designs of spittoons.
The spittoon in Alexandra’s bedroom matched Gambs furniture. Another spittoon was Bosse’s in Empress Marie Alexandrovna’s boudoir (below).