Russian tsar letters to see $88,000 in Geneva imperial auction



2015-06-26 13:32:54

Russian tsar letters to see $88,000 in Geneva imperial auction

230 letters from Russian tsars Nicholas I and Alexander II join imperial items

A collection of letters from Russian tsars Nicholas I and Alexander III that reveal the "heart of Russian imperial life and political intrigue" willauction at Hotel Des Ventes on December 9 in Geneva.

 Alexander III's sister became Princess of Wurttemberg and moved to Stuttgart, having married the German prince who became King Charles I of Wurttemberg

The 230-strong collection, including unpublished letters from the tsars and their families, is expected to sell for $66,000-88,000. Written in French, English and Russian, the letters were bought by an American captain who served in Europe in the second world war.

The letters are mainly addressed to Grand Duchess Olga Nicolaievna, sister to Alexander III (1845-1894)and daughter of Nicholas I (1825-1855).

Also selling in the auction is a collection of previously unseen photographs of Alexander III and his family, which were saved when Nazis burnt the Gatchina palace in 1944.

A pair of Russian vases is the highest valued lot of the sale. They are expected to raise as much as $551,500.

The auction house holds the record for letters sent by Nicholas II at auction, after four missives from the tsar sold for $129,000 in Geneva in December 2012.

This week marks Russian Art Week in London, and has seen major sales from the top auction houses, including Sotheby's $2.2m auction of a pair of Russian imperial vases that were described as "the most magnificent to have come to auction".

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