Friday, 27 January 2017

Fabergé & Nabokov - 1903 Costume Ball in the Winter Palace

Vladimir Nabokov’s grandfather, Dmitri was dismissed as the Minister of Justice by Alexander III and restored to favor by Nicholas II. Of the youngest daughters, Elisaveta was a lady-in-waiting to Empress Marie and Nadezhda, appointed on April 23rd, 1901, was a lady-in-waiting to Empress Alexandra.

Nadezhda, who later married Dmitri Wonlar-Larsky, attended the 1903 Costume Ball in the Winter Palace.

Photographs (below) of Nadezhda at the 1903 Costume Ball

Her old-Russian style gown was designed especially for her by Serge Diaghilev in the World of Art manner, which was then at its height, with edgings and patterns of precious stones on the broad collar and high cloth peak by Fabergé.

Photograph (below) of Dmitri Wonlar-Larsky at the 1903 Costume Ball

Photograph (below) of Elisavata Sayn-Wittgenstein nee Nabokova in Court Dress


  1. Joanna.
    Loved this! After reading this post I remembered that in the second Star Wars movie: Attack of the Clones the character of Padme Amidala wore what they named a "travel gown' and it was based on a picture of Grand Duchess Xenia wearing what I think is called a: Kokoshnik.
    It's not an exact replica but the costume they came up with was still rather good and a small link to the past in a glaxey far, far away ;).
    Ghostie x.

  2. My head aches seeing the Kokoshnik in the photo above. I wonder of the actual weight with its elaborate design and stones.

    Kokoshniks worn for court ceremonies were not quite as high but still must have been heavy with jewels - tiaras seem lighter for the long hours of wear during Imperial balls.