Monday, 19 July 2021

Victoria & Albert’s Visits to Coburg in Duchess Alexandrine’s ‘Haus-Chronik 1842-1867’

Prince Albert’s sister-in-law Duchess Alexandrine created an illustrated album as a gift to her husband Duke Ernst of Saxe-Coburg: ‘In joy and sorrow, the faithful love of our life is light; I dedicate to you, my dear Ernst, on the day of our silver wedding these commemorative sheets of beautiful collective memories of our 25 years of happy coexistence.’ Prince Albert’s first return to Coburg was in 1844 for the funeral of his father (below)
1845 - Queen Victoria’s first visit to Albert’s childhood home in Coburg (below)
1860 – Prince Albert’s last visit to Coburg with Queen Victoria (below)
The Haus-Chronik 1842-1867 contains twenty-five years of fascinating details of places and royal personages. A link to the book in the Landesbibliothek Coburg:

Monday, 12 July 2021

Rare Interior Watercolors of the New Mikhailovsky Palace c1860s

In 1857 Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolaevich the youngest son of Nicholas I and Empress Alexandra married Grand Duchess Olga Feodorovna the former Princess Cecilia of Baden. The New Mikhailovsky Palace was constructed for their St. Petersburg residence. Early images of the interiors from the 1860s are rare. E. Hau’s watercolors (below) of the Green Drawing Room, Grand Duchess Olga’s Bedroom and Study, Grand Duke Mikhail’s Office and Study and the Interior of the Church.
Photographs (below) of the New Mikhailovsky Palace c1860 and today

Thursday, 8 July 2021

Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra’s Lower Dacha in Alexandria Park at Peterhof

The scope of the reconstruction for the Lower Dacha reveals the floorplans and the first of the designs for the memorial rooms of Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra (below).
Designs for Alexandra’s Drawing Room, Dining Room and Nicholas II’s Study

Sunday, 4 July 2021

Photograph of Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna with her daughter Maria

After the marriage of Princess Victoria Melita and Grand Duke Kyril in 1905 the couple resided in Paris and Coburg before returning to St. Petersburg in 1910. The location of the photograph below of the grand duchess with her daughter is unknown.
It may have been taken at her mother Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Saxe-Coburg’s Sengerschloss at Tegernsee in Bavaria. Photographs below of a family gathering with the Grand Duchess holding her granddaughter, the Sengerschloss then and today.

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

A Century of Photographs of Anna Vyrubova’s Little House in Tsarskoe Selo

The clarity of the rare photograph below of Anna Vyrubova’s Little House on Srednaia Ulitsa in Tsarskoe Selo c1925 reveals the porch and iron fencing survived the revolutionary years.
The following photographs show the exterior of the house through the decades: Panorama c1900 of Srednaia with Anna’s house marked as X near the Alexander Palace, Empress Alexandra with Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana on the porch c1906, the house c1915 prior to the revolution, aftermath from the war years with the fencing still there c1973 and my photograph of the house now.

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Rare Photographs of Empress Alexandra’s Mauve and Maple Rooms in the Alexander Palace

The clarity of the previously unknown photographs below reveals a different view of Empress Alexandra’s Mauve and Maple Rooms in the Alexander Palace:

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Emperor Alexander III & son Michael’s visit to Sergei & Ella at Illinskoe in 1888

In Peterhof on August 13th 1888 Alexander wrote to his brother Sergei ‘I am terribly happy to stay with you and Ella in sweet Illinskoe. Misha is delighted and has already brought his saddle to pack since Ella told him that Bormann can be ridden. Just do not tell anyone yet that we are coming and I beg you not to arrange any special meetings. I hug you tightly. Your brother Sasha.’ Photographs (below) of Illinskoe Main House (#1 on plan), Terraces, Alexander and Sergei in the garden.
On August 16th Alexander informed his wife in Denmark that ‘we arrived here with Misha and Alexei [brother] yesterday at 11 o’clock in the morning … My incognito was successful … The weather is gorgeous and hot … Yesterday after lunch we all went together to the other side of the river to look for mushrooms … Misha is very pleased as Ella gave him various toys and goes with the sailors on the boats.’ On August 22nd Alexander left to return to Peterhof with his son. Photographs (below) of Guest Houses (#4, 5, and 6 on plan), Library/Observatory, Entrance Gate, Plans.