Miniatures of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna

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Photo: Miniatures of Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna
Artist: Alexander Wegner

The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Reserve recently acquired a collection of five miniatures that once adorned the brooches and pendants of the Empress Maria Feodorovna, wife of Emperor Alexander III, and mother of Emperor Nicholas II.

These unique items, had been kept in a private London collection shortly after the 1917 Revolution. The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Reserve recently acquired them, the acquisition of which was made possible thanks to the help of patrons.

Among the portraits are miniatures of Emperor Nicholas II (in childhood, adolescence and adulthood) and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.

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Photos: Miniature of Tsesarevich Alexandrovich in adolescence
Artist: Alexander Wegner

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Photo: Miniature of Tsesarevich Alexandrovich in childhood
Artist: Alexander Wegner

After the revolution, in 1919, Maria Feodorovna managed to take some of her jewellery, including these miniatures, with her when she left Russia into exile.

Later, her daughter, Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, inherited her mother’s jewellery. She sold part of them to the English company RG Hennel & Sons, as evidenced by an inventory dated 29th May 1929.

The miniatures were made by the Academician of the Imperial Academy of Arts Alexander Wegner. The smallest of them has a size of only 8 × 6 mm.

The miniatures are currently on display in the Evening Hall Pavilion, which is located in the Catherine Park at Tsarskoye Selo.

© Paul Gilbert. 21 August 2019

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