Thursday, 23 March 2017

Chandeliers in Nicholas II’s Gothic Library

In 1895, the architect Krasovsky redesigned the former dining room on the 2nd floor of the Winter Palace into a library for Nicholas II in the gothic style. Walnut was used throughout: ceilings, upper gallery, walls with dark red embossed leather and gilt wallpaper, and furniture.

There were two ‘Gothic’ chandeliers adorning the library. It is unknown if they were specifically designed for the room or purchased from a company. By the 1930s, they were lost and no record has been found if they were dismantled or sold.

Photograph (below) of the Gothic Library c1917

From 1840s until 1917, chandeliers were encased in special woven covers and uncovered and lit only when the Emperor was in residence. They were hung low to be seen whereas today the remaining original chandeliers are near the ceiling.

After the loss of the original chandeliers in the Gothic library, staff placed old stained glass ones that disintegrated after time and then used modern globes.

Recently, the Hermitage unveiled replicas of the Gothic chandeliers by the architect Tatiana Kargina.

Photographs (below) of the Gothic Chandeliers today


Sales of Imperial property from the palaces took place during the 1920s-1930s of which the most well-known were Fabergé pieces and paintings. Chandeliers were also sold.

In 1937, Marjorie Merriweather Post’s husband Joseph Davies was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Russia. The couple went on a buying spree in Moscow and Leningrad collecting Imperial treasures.

There are today two chandeliers in Hillwood Museum, Post’s former home in Washington, that are identified as Imperial Russian with unconfirmed provenances.

Photograph (below) of the Chandelier in Hillwood’s Hall possibly from Gatchina 

Photograph (below) of the Chandelier in Hillwood’s Breakfast Room 

Were the chandeliers in Nicholas II’s Gothic Library sold during the 1930s and the current owners unaware of its provenance?

  

2 comments:

  1. So glad the library's chandeliers have been recreated.

    And that chandelier in the breakfast room at Hillwood is exquisite! : )

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  2. The breakfast room chandelier reminds me of Pavlovsk. There was an article that another had referenced from years ago that said there was a Pavlovsk chandelier in Trump's Mar-a-lago, the former estate of Mrs. Post. I haven't been able to confirm but I am wondering if it had been returned to Hillwood after the sale of Mar-a-lago.

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