• Russian Art auction at Christies

    Sale 7772

    Russian Art

    1 - 2 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 344

    A personal photograph album of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna

    GRAND DUCHESS OLGA ALEXANDROVNA, GATCHINA PALACE, ST PETERSBURG, 1898

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A personal photograph album of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna
    Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, Gatchina Palace, St Petersburg, 1898
    Containing 145 original photographs at Gatchina, including one depicting Nicholas II, with numerous drawings in the margins by Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna. Contemporary half-morocco photograph album with gilt edges (slightly stained).
    8o (180 x 145 mm.)


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    Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (1882-1960) was the youngest daughter of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna and the sister of the future Emperor Nicholas II. Olga enjoyed a close relationship with her father and brother, Grand Duke Michael, who is pictured in some of the most intimate photographs in the present album. She was raised in the safety and relative isolation of Gatchina Palace, nearly fifty miles outside of St Petersburg. In her adulthood, Olga would become an accomplished artist, and evidence of her early artwork is visible in the margins of several pages of the present album.

    Dating to 1898, the present album is a record of Olga's life just two years prior to her first official public appearance in 1900 and her marriage in 1901, at the age of nineteen, to Duke Peter Alexandrovich of Oldenburg. The marriage famously did not last and was annulled in 1916. Shortly thereafter, Olga married her true love, Nikolai Kulikovsky, an officer in the Blue Cuirassier Regiment of the Imperial Russian Cavalry, whom she had first met in 1903.

    Following the Revolution, Grand Duchess Olga fled with her mother, husband, and children to the Crimea, where they lived near the city of Yalta under house arrest and the threat of assassination. Eventually escaping the country, Olga settled in Denmark and remained there until 1948. She then moved her family to Ontario, Canada, where she lived until her death in 1960 at the age of seventy-eight.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna.
    Swann Galleries, New York, 1980s.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.