November 27, 2012

Russian Books with Imperial Provenance at Christie’s

London - On 29 November, on the eve of the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the Romanov dynasty, Christie’s will offer for sale the largest group of Russian books and manuscripts with Imperial provenance to come to auction in decades: Michael Fedorovich, Elizabeth, Catherine II, Paul, Alexander I, Alexander II, Alexander III, Nicholas I, Nicholas II, and many Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses are all represented.
Sven Becker, Head of Books and Manuscripts Department at Christie’s, comments: “The fate of books from the Russian palaces mirrors that of the palaces themselves: war and revolution took their brutal toll. Material with imperial provenance of the quality and importance represented in this collection is seldom offered for sale, and hardly ever in quantity. It would be nearly impossible to form another collection of this scope and calibre today.”
The collection spans five centuries, from the superb 16th-century Russian illuminated manuscript of St Chrysostom's discourses on Matthew to the last days of the Romanov dynasty represented by a poignant group of postcards from Nicholas II's young daughters to a friend, the last of which was sent on the eve of the Imperial family's demise. The collection embraces all aspects of Russian culture: Literature, Geography, the Natural Sciences, the Arts, Numismatics, and History, including Militaria and regimental histories. All are united by the most distinguished provenances and superb condition.
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