Copy of Nicholas II’s Abdication Sells at Moscow Auction


The signature of Nicholas II is located in the bottom right, and co-signed by Count Vladimir Frederiks, who served as Imperial Household Minister (1897 – 1917), is located in the bottom left

A copy of the act of abdication of Russia’s last emperor Nicholas II went under the hammer during an auction held on 19th February at Sotheby’s Moscow. 

The document refers to the era of “damned days”, one of the most interesting for Russian historians. Therefore, experts had no doubt that there would be a buyer.

“Any document signed by a member of the Imperial family, particularly the last Russian emperor Nicholas II, is always popular with collectors and lovers of Russian history,” explained Dmitry Butkevich, an expert in the antique market.

“This is a very important historical document, previously such things have never been put on the market by private individuals,” Butkevich explained.

“In the state archives there are several versions of the act of the abdication of Nicholas II from the throne, and all of them are considered authentic,” added Butkevich, who explained the circumstances of this phenomenon.

“There were a lot of people who wanted to destroy this act, so a tricky move was invented: several originals were created, all with the tsar’s handwritten signature,” he explained. “Then they made copies of them — for example, the lot that was exhibited was copied using a glass scanner. Then these samples served as the basis for other reproductions of the document.

The starting price of the lot, which includes a copy of the act of the abdication of Nicholas II was 90 thousand Rubles ($1,400 USD). It sold for ten times the amount at 900 thousand rubles ($13,000 USD). Click HERE to read The Document That Ended an Empire by Charles G. Palm, from the collection of the Hoover Institute.

© Paul Gilbert. 25 February 2019


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