asta, news — November 13, 2021 at 4:00 am

The adventurous story of the Tsar’s jewels sold by Sotheby’s




Tsar jewels still have charm. So at the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction at Sotheby’s in Geneva, a sapphire and diamond brooch and matching clip earrings, smuggled out of Russia at the time of the 1917 revolution, sold for $ 850,000, against a maximum estimate of $ 500,000. They are jewels that belonged to the Romanoff family. To be precise, they belonged to the aunt of Emperor Nicholas II, the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (1854-1920), who entrusted her expatriation to her friend, the British antiquarian and aristocrat Albert Henry Stopford (1860-1939). of jewels in London.

I gioielli messi all'asta da Sotheby's
I gioielli messi all’asta da Sotheby’s
Often referred to as the “Queen of St. Petersburg,” the Grand Duchess was by all accounts a glittering figure who fought to maintain her status during the revolution. Albert Stopford, who was fifty-five at the time and therefore ineligible for military service, was an integral part of the St. Petersburg social scene and was the noblewoman’s intimate. The history of jewelry is quite adventurous. Dressed in workman’s clothes, Stopford secretly went to collect the jewels from the Grand Duchess’s home, the Vladimir Palace, a 360-room building on the Neva, not yet plundered by rioters. Entered by a side door and escorted by Maria Pavlovna’s eldest son, Boris, and a trusted servant, Stopford disassembled the jewels, folded them into old newspapers to protect them, and set off on the train. In three nights he reached the spa town of Kislovodsk, in the Caucasus, where Maria Pavlovna had retired to her summer villa. He then left for London on September 26, 1917, carrying 244 Maria Pavlovna jewels in a Gladstone bag, including the sapphire brooch and earrings sold at Sotheby’s auction.
Maria Pavlovna
Maria Pavlovna
It was then another two years before the Grand Duchess crossed the Russian border (reluctantly), traveling to Venice, Switzerland and finally to Paris in July 1920. Her health as a Russian noblewoman was severely compromised, however, and only a few months after her arrival. in France he died. The jewels, therefore, were inherited from her daughter, Princess Elena of Greece and Denmark (1882-1957) and then to her descendants. A in 2009 they were bought at an auction, again at Sotheby’s, by another European princely family and now resold.
La granduchessa Maria Pavlovna
La granduchessa Maria Pavlovna
Spilla e orecchini con zaffiri e diamanti
Spilla e orecchini con zaffiri e diamanti







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