Tucked away for decades in the Yalta Historical and Literary Museum in Crimea, are three little known albums of photographs of Emperor Nicholas II and his family. The albums were found in Livadia and confiscated by the regional Soviet after the Imperial residences were nationalized by the Bolsheviks in 1917.
I was made aware of the existence of these albums during my visit to Yalta and Crimea in 2000, however, it was not possible to view them at the time.
The albums were published last year by the N. Orianda Publishing House in Simferopol, Crimea under the title Император на отдыхе / The Emperor on Vacation in three handsome hard cover volumes. Each album is filled with photographs of the Imperial family during their stay in Crimea in 1902, 1912 and 1913 respectively. The albums are packaged in a handsome slip case. Text and captions are in Russian.
This collection of photographs are indeed special, as there are no staged portraits, they reflect the private, home life of the Imperial family: walks, picnics, excursions, family and friendly meetings – all set against the backdrop of picturesque Crimean nature, and the region’s historical and architectural monuments. Also included are a few images taken during official meetings and parades.
These albums will be indispensable to historians and any one interested in the life of Russia’s last tsar and his family. The photographs have not been published in any of the pictorials published by Western publishers over the past decades – they are new to us! What makes these albums even more unique and valuable is that only 100 sets were printed! The price is 10,000 rubles ($150 USD).
Volume I (1902) Августейшие дачники / August Summer Residents
Volume II (1912) Земной рай Романовых / Romanovs Earthly Paradise
Volume III (1913) Царский альбом в стиле репортажа
Published by the N. Orianda Publishing House in Simferopol, Crimea.
ISBN: 9785604293164. Click HERE to order your set of these magnificent albums!
© Paul Gilbert. 16 June 2020
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