Rare and valuable minerals

Where are the Romanovs jewels kept?

Royalty is always associated not only with power and might, but also with luxury, magnificent outfits and jewelry. The imperial Romanov dynasty, which ruled Russia for 304 years, is still considered a shining example of greatness. They possessed treasures that are almost impossible to estimate even approximately. We will tell you about the fate of the most brilliant jewelry, which served as proof of the high position of the owners. These are precisely the items that have been considered priceless works of jewelry for centuries. In the photo: jewelry of the Romanov dynasty from the photo archive of the French magazine “L´Illustration”. Until now, no one can say for sure what size the jewelry box of the Romanov dynasty was. After all, after the 1917 revolution, most of the decorations of the imperial court were taken abroad and sold at auction. Only a small part of the treasures has survived, which can be seen in museums today.

Aigrette with sapphires

Elizaveta Petrovna, Daughter of Peter I, was very fond of jewelry. The most striking jewelry creation is an aigrette in the form of a fountain with sapphires and diamonds. The word “aigrette” itself is translated from French as “tuft” and means an ornament for a hairstyle or hat. The royal aigrette was complemented by cascading earrings. At the slightest movement, the headset “lit up” with bright lights and cast a dark blue flicker on everything around. The beautiful set has survived to this day and is in the Diamond Fund. In the photo: aigrette and earrings with sapphires and diamonds that Elizaveta Petrovna loved to wear.

Parure “Bow-slavage”

Slavage is a piece of jewelry worn like a necklace on a velvet ribbon. In 1764, the “Bow-Slavage” parure was made for Empress Catherine II, which included a necklace and candelabra earrings. The jewel is decorated with a scattering of diamonds and spinels. To make the gems shine even brighter, the craftsmen used foil, which was placed under the stones before inserting them into the frame. In the photo: parure “Bow-slavage” by Catherine II. The last owner of the parure was Maria Fedorovna, wife of Alexander III. The set was found in her chambers in the Anichkov Palace in St. Petersburg. Now this luxury can be seen in the Diamond Fund.

Caesar’s Ruby

The Diamond Fund contains the jewelry that we talked about in the article “Rubellite – the history of the legendary jewelry.” Catherine II possessed it. In the photo: Caesar’s Ruby. Catherine II. In 1777, King Gustav III of Sweden presented a large crimson gem to Catherine II. Wanting to impress the empress, Gustav accompanied his gift with the legend of Cleopatra and Caesar. Catherine did not want to spoil such a beautiful crystal by cutting it and ordered the court jewelers to polish the stone and make a pendant. The craftsmen decorated the crimson gem with golden grape leaves and gave the stone the appearance of a grapevine.

Wedding diadem of the Romanovs

At the beginning of the 175th century, court jeweler Jacob Duval created an exclusive creation for the imperial family – a diadem in the form of a kokoshnik. At that time, this was the most fashionable type of tiara not only in Russia, but also abroad. The majestic jewelry consists of 1200 large and more than XNUMX small Indian diamonds in an antique round cut. The central row is decorated with free-hanging large drop-shaped diamonds. At the slightest movement, the play of stones flashed with millions of sparks. In the central part of the tiara is a 13-carat pink diamond. However, according to imperial documents, this diamond is listed as red and once belonged to Paul I. It’s all about the foil, which Jacob Duval placed under the base of the gem to enhance the color. In the photo: the wedding diadem of the Romanovs. All brides of the imperial house of the 19th and early 20th centuries were married in this wedding diadem. And this is the only diadem that remains in Russia. She was saved from sale by a pink diamond, which art critics considered priceless. You can see this exclusive creation in the Kremlin Diamond Fund.

Imperial wedding crown of the Romanovs

According to tradition, a new wedding crown was made for each royal wedding. After the ceremony, the decoration was dismantled and the precious stones were returned to the treasury until the next holiday. However, this tradition was interrupted in 1884. In the photo: the imperial wedding crown of the Romanovs. For the wedding day of Princess Elizabeth Feodorovna and Prince Sergei Alexandrovich, a small imperial wedding crown was made. The frame of the decoration is covered with dark crimson velvet, on which 320 small diamonds from the camisole of Paul I flaunt. The cross is decorated with diamonds from the royal epaulette of the same time. And it was this crown that was subsequently passed on to all royal brides for weddings until 1908. In the photo: The wedding of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna. Unfortunately, in November 1926 the relic was taken out of the country. It was put up for auction several times, resold, and kept in private collections. Now the decoration is in the Icon Room of the Hillwood Museum, near Washington.

Cherry earrings

Initially, cherry earrings were made for Empress Catherine II, but later became part of the wedding look of royal brides. In the photo: cherry earrings. Maria Pavlovna, granddaughter of Alexander II, recalled: “On the table lay the jewels of the imperial house, which the grand duchesses were supposed to wear on their wedding day. There was an amazingly beautiful tiara with a pink diamond in the center and a small dark red velvet crown, all studded with diamonds. There was a diamond necklace made of large stones, bracelets and earrings in the shape of cherries, so heavy. I could barely move. The earrings weighed down my ears so much that in the middle of the holiday I took them off and hung them on the edge of the glass of water standing in front of me.” In the photo: Princess Maria Pavlovna with her husband, Prince Wilhelm of Sweden. 1908 On Maria Pavlovna you can see cherry earrings, the Romanov wedding diadem and the imperial wedding crown. The most massive part of the jewelry is Brazilian diamonds of 11 and 7 carats. It is not known for certain who created this jewelry masterpiece, but it is documented that in 1810, the court jeweler Francois Duval renewed the silver frame. Such massive earrings cannot be worn as traditional ones because they are actually quite heavy. Royal brides found a way out of the situation and wore them like modern ear cuffs. The earrings were not threaded into the ears, but were worn on them.

Tiaras “Spikes” and “Russian Field”

One of Maria Feodorovna’s most beautiful and favorite decorations was the “Spikes” tiara. The Duval brothers tried to put all the power, beauty and fertility of the Russian land into the creation of this jewelry creation. Ears of wheat gracefully entwine thin stalks of flax, and a 37-carat leucosapphire shines at the very center of the jewelry, symbolizing the sun. Unfortunately, this decoration was taken out of the country in 1927 and sold at Christie’s auction. Until now, nothing is known about the whereabouts of the diadem. In the photo: “Spikes” tiara. The photo was taken specifically for the auction. In memory of the brilliant diadem, in 1980, jewelers V. Nikolaev and G. Aleksakhin created a copy, which they called “Russian Field”. They carried out the work from a photograph, and the copy is somewhat different from the original. However, now in the Kremlin’s Diamond Fund you can see this masterpiece and have an idea of ​​what the lost value looked like. In the photo: tiara “Russian Field”.

Vladimir tiara

In 1875, Prince Vladimir Alexandrovich, the younger brother of Emperor Alexander III, presented his bride, Maria Pavlovna, with a gift – a diamond tiara. The luxurious piece featured 15 intersecting diamond rings with teardrop-shaped pearl pendants. In the photo: Vladimir tiara. After the revolution of 1917, Maria Pavlovna went abroad and hid the tiara in the mansion of Prince Vladimir. By a lucky coincidence, after the revolution, at the request of Maxim Gorky, the House of Scientists was located in this mansion. And only thanks to this, the house of Prince Vladimir avoided the standard fate of plunder. Furniture, paintings, jewelry remained in their places. Maria Pavlovna personally knew the English antiquarian and aristocrat Albert Stopford, who delivered mail from George V to Emperor Nicholas II. She asked Albert to bring her favorite jewelry and explained where the safe was. Soon the Vladimir tiara again fell into the hands of its rightful owner, who did not part with it until her death. When the jewel was inherited by Elena, the daughter of Maria Pavlovna, she sold it to the British Queen Mary of Teck in order to improve her financial affairs. In the photo: British Queen Mary of Teck, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna. With the help of the court jewelry House of Garrard, Mary of Teck made the pearl pendants removable and also complemented the tiara with emerald teardrop pendants. Since 1921, the legacy of the House of Romanov has remained forever in the treasury of the British Crown. The granddaughter of Maria Tekskaya, Elizabeth II, proudly wears the Vladimir tiara, considers it her favorite decoration and wears it more often than others. In the photo: Elizabeth II wearing the Vladimir tiara. In 1719, Peter I issued a decree stating that all crown valuables were prohibited from being given, exchanged or sold. For almost 200 years, the imperial treasury was only replenished with new jewelry masterpieces. Famous jewelers from Europe and Russia worked on each piece of jewelry. Those who were worthy of the honor of beholding this beauty said: “I will retain in my eyes for a long time the dazzling radiance of precious stones scattered on women’s shoulders. This is a fantastic flow of diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, topazes, beryls – a flow of light and fire.” The year 1917 became a turning point not only in the fate of Russia, but also in the fate of the treasures of the House of Romanov. Many items that contained a whole history began to leave the country and end up in private collections or museums. What remains in Russia is only a small part of lost history. In the photo: the “Princess” set from the Maxim Demidov jewelry house. The treasury of the Maxim Demidov jewelry house contains truly spectacular jewelry in the spirit of the Romanov dynasty. The standard of luxury and majestic beauty is captured in the “Princess” set, where touches of a regal image and beautiful modern aristocracy are masterfully intertwined. In the catalog you can see equally beautiful jewelry masterpieces by Maxim Demidov. Even after 102 years, there are still many blank spots in the history of the death of Nicholas II and his family. One of them is what happened to the Romanovs’ jewelry, which they took with them from Tsarskoe Selo, first to exile in Tobolsk, and then to Yekaterinburg. In subsequent years they were found in parts, but then they disappeared again. Komsomolskaya Pravda correspondents found out where they “surfaced” last time. PEARLS FROM THE CORSET WERE HIDDEN IN THE UNDERGROUND FOR A YEAR The Bolsheviks shot the Royal Family on the night of July 16-17, 1918. The location of the murder was the basement room of the house of engineer Ipatiev, almost in the very center of Yekaterinburg. Even at the moment of execution, the regicides noticed that something incomprehensible was happening with the clothes on the daughters of the abdicated emperor. For some reason, the soft fabric did not allow bullets and bayonets to pass through. This is how the leader of the execution, Yakov Yurovsky, recalled it. “Nicholas was killed by the commandant himself outright, then Alexandra Fedorovna and the Romanov people immediately died. Alexey, three of his sisters and Botkin were still alive. They had to be shot. This surprised the commandant, because. aimed straight at the heart. It was also surprising that the bullets of the revolvers bounced off like a ricochet and jumped around the room like hail. When they tried to kill one of the girls with a bayonet, the bayonet could not pierce the bodice. ” The treasures of the Romanovs in the 30s of the last century were valued at millions of Soviet rubles. Photo: courtesy of the Museum of History of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Sverdlovsk Region Later, when the bodies of the dead were taken by car outside the city, the Bolsheviks took a closer look at the clothes of the daughters of the abdicated emperor and noticed that they were wearing “some special corsets”. But the killers only managed to inspect them when they arrived at an abandoned prospecting mine. Initially, they wanted to hide the bodies in it, after removing their clothes. It was decided to burn her in a fire. “When they began to undress one of the girls, they saw a corset, torn in places by bullets – diamonds were visible in the hole,” recalled the leader of the execution. – The audience’s eyes visibly lit up. The commandant decided to immediately disband the entire artel, leaving several horsemen and 5 people on guard.” The Bolsheviks began to evaporate diamonds and jewelry from the clothes of the women they killed. The wife of Nicholas II, Alexandra Feodorovna, had a pearl belt sewn into her dress, consisting of several necklaces. In total, they found about eight kilograms of various jewelry. Since the whites were already approaching the city closely, the Bolsheviks decided to temporarily hide the jewelry in the underground of one of the houses in Alapaevsk. A year later, when the Reds reoccupied Yekaterinburg, the jewelry was taken out of the underground and taken to Moscow. True, historians have not been able to fully find out what happened to these jewels afterward. It is only known that they were sent to the capital, where the diamonds and pearls were received by the commandant of the Moscow Kremlin, Pavel Malkov, the same one who shot the anarchist Fanny Kaplan for trying to kill Lenin. According to one version, the Bolsheviks simply dismantled the jewelry into its component parts and sold them separately, since the state needed money after the revolution and the devastating Civil War. For a hundred years, many Romanov family treasures disappeared without a trace. Photo: courtesy of the Museum of History of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Sverdlovsk Region A DIAMOND THE SIZE OF AN EGG IS MISSING But the fate of other jewelry is known, those that the Bolsheviks dropped at the artisanal mine and therefore could not send to Moscow. According to Yurovsky’s memoirs, the mine was supposed to become only a temporary place for hiding the royal remains. The very next night the bodies were taken out of it and taken to another place. And so that the residents of the neighboring village of Koptyaki would not see this, they were told that soldiers of the Czechoslovak Corps, which at that time was just approaching Yekaterinburg, were hiding in the forest. “They announced in the village of Koptyaki that Czechs were hiding in the forest, the forest would be searched so that no one would leave the village under any circumstances. It was ordered that if anyone breaks into the cordoned off area, they will be shot on the spot.”, Yurovsky recalled. However, the curiosity of the residents of Koptyak turned out to be stronger than fear. As soon as the Bolsheviks took off the guard, they went to see what exactly the Reds were doing in the forest. One of them, 41-year-old Mikhail Babinov, later, when the whites had already entered the city, told about this to the judicial investigator for especially important cases, Nikolai Sokolov, who was instructed by the Supreme Ruler Kolchak to find out what happened to the Royal Family in Yekaterinburg. “After the guard was lifted, our peasants, including myself, decided to check what the Red Army soldiers were doing in the forest, suggesting that they probably hid weapons and ammunition there, – Mikhail Babinov testified. – Not far from the main mine there were signs of a small burnt area with coals lying around, and there was a small mound of clay and extinct coals. We dug up this mound, and among the clay and coals we found a cross with green stones. ” Some of the jewelry was hidden in the corsets of the daughters of Nicholas II. Photo: courtesy of the Museum of History of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Sverdlovsk Region This cross, when it was washed, sparkled in the light with diamonds along the edges and emeralds in the center. Moreover, it itself was made of platinum. This was the regimental badge of His Majesty’s Life Guards Ulan Regiment, which was presented to the Royal Family by the officers. Another find made by the residents of Koptyakov – “a watery color and significant size stone, faceted, with a flat middle in a white frame with tiny sparkles” – turned out to be a real diamond the size of a pigeon egg. This was the pendant of the former Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Historians were unable to find out what happened to this diamond in the future – it disappeared somewhere. But the fate of the cross made of platinum with diamonds and emeralds is known. True, it became clear relatively recently. 70 years after the murder of the Royal Family, in 1998, during excavations at the site where the mine was located, archaeologists found a fragment of one of the emeralds from this cross. He was hit by one of the bullets during the execution in the basement of Ipatiev’s house. Now this fragment is kept in the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore. And the cross itself was discovered in. the USA. According to museum employees, in 2013, a priest from the Holy Trinity Monastery, which is located in Jordanville, which is about 60 kilometers from New York, came to them for the opening of the exhibition “A Century-Long Investigation” dedicated to the death of the Royal Family. The museum of Russian history, which operates under him, houses the things of the Romanovs found in the Urals after their death. Some of them, including the cross, and other evidence found, were taken from Russia, first to China, and then to France by the investigator Sokolov himself, when the Reds recaptured Yekaterinburg from the Whites. And after his death they already came to the USA. THEY WANTED TO THROW THE TREASURES INTO THE RIVER But the jewels hidden in clothes that were found in Yekaterinburg are not the only heirlooms that the Romanovs took with them into exile. So, while still in Tobolsk, they were able to hide some of them from the Bolsheviks. The fact is that in this city they were not isolated from society, as in Yekaterinburg. For example, the abbess of the local St. John the Vvedensky convent, as well as her assistant Marfa Uzhtseva, were allowed to see them. As it turned out years later, before the Royal Family was sent to Yekaterinburg, Nicholas II’s valet Terenty Chemodurov approached Uzhtseva and asked to give the abbess of the monastery a bundle of jewelry for safekeeping. Vasily Kornilov and Marfa Uzhtseva after their arrest. Photo: courtesy of the Museum of History of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Sverdlovsk Region So it lay with her until 1923, when the monastery was closed. Then the abbess decided to hand it over to Marfa Uzhtseva herself for safekeeping, and she wrapped it in a towel and lowered it first into a well behind the monastery, and then hid it in a grave in the monastery cemetery. By that time it was already known that the Royal Family had been killed and no one would come for the treasures. Uzhentseva wanted to get rid of them, just in case, by throwing them into the Irtysh River, but the fishmonger Vasily Kornilov dissuaded her from this action. He took the jewelry for safekeeping and buried it in the underground. Years passed, and then, on November 20, 1933, there was a knock on Marfa Uzhentseva’s door. It turned out that all this time the Bolsheviks were trying to find out where the Romanov family jewels had disappeared. Interviewing everyone who was in contact with the Royal Family in Tobolsk, they eventually found Uzhtseva and Kornilov. The Romanovs’ jewelry was kept in these vessels in Tobolsk for several years. Photo: courtesy of the Museum of History of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Sverdlovsk Region “In total, 154 items of valuables were seized, according to preliminary estimates of experts, in the amount of three million two hundred seventy thousand six hundred ninety-three gold rubles 50 kopecks”, – reported in the report of the investigative team. Uzhtseva and Kornilov confessed to everything and were arrested, and four years later they were shot. As for the found jewelry itself, among them were tiaras, necklaces, Faberge items, and diamonds. All this was sent to GOKHRAN, but no traces of this “treasure” remained. According to one version, they were treated in the same way as with those jewelry that were found in the corsets of the daughters of Nicholas II – they were dismantled and sold to replenish the treasury. READ ALSO How the Tsar’s cocker spaniel took revenge on the Bolsheviks for the murder of Nicholas II Komsomolskaya Pravda found out what happened to the royal dogs that were in Ipatiev’s house on the night of the execution of the Romanovs. (More details) Excavations at the site of Ipatiev’s house are 20 years old: under the room where Nicholas II was shot, archaeologists found the grave of a woman with a baby The house of engineer Ipatiev once stood in the very center of Yekaterinburg on Voznesenskaya Hill. In his basement, on the night of July 16-17, the Bolsheviks shot Nicholas II Romanov along with his wife, children and four servants. (Details)

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