Russian Royalty. 4 signed photographs (by photographer Bergamasco) showing Grand Duchess Olga Feodorovna of Russia, Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich of Russia, Anastasia Mihailovna Romanova, and Mihail Mihailovits Romanov. St. Petersburg. 8vo. 4 photographs, oval, with scattered mild signs of wear - in fine condition. In addition: 3 unsigned studio photographs of family members.
$ 4,786 / 4.500 €
Beautiful portrait photographs of the Russian Royal Family, the of the Mikhailovichi, the junior branch of the Romanov dynasty. The photographs werd taken by „the photographer of His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Nikolai Nikoaevich“, Karl Bergamasco, probably in 1874.
Four of the seven photographs are signed. They show mild signs of wear, and are in fine condition. They are showing Grand Duchess Olga Feodorovna of Russia (1839-1891), Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich of Russia (1859-1919), Anastasia Mihailovna Romanova (1860-1922), and Mihail Mihailovits Romanov (1861-1921), each signed in dark ink „Olga“, „Nicolas“, „Anastasia“, and „Michel“.
Their provenance is nobel, too: They come from the estate of Swedish Prince Oskar Bernadotte (1859-1953).
Grand Duchess Olga Feodorovna of Russia, born Princess Cäcilie Auguste of Baden, was the youngest daughter of Grand Duke Leopold of Baden and Sophie Wilhelmine of Sweden. On 28 August 1857, she married Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolaevich of Russia (1832-1909), the youngest son of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. Unusually among the Romanovs of her generation, her marriage was a long and happy union. The couple remained devoted to each other. She raised their seven children with an iron hand.
Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich of Russia (nickname: Bimbo) was the eldest son and a first cousin of Alexander III. The sons of Grand Duke Michael Nikolaevich were educated by private tutors and Nicholas, a gifted student, soaked up their instruction. From his youth he was interested in art, literature, architecture, and scientific matters. However, as with all male members of his family, Nicholas was expected to follow a military career. He later would fall from favour during the last part of the reign of Nicholas II, as Empress Alexandra disliked him for his liberal views. He was later imprisoned by the Bolsheviks in Petrograd and shot outside the St Peter and St Paul Fortress along with his brother Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and his cousins Grand Duke Dimitri Konstantinovich and Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich.
Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia (nickname: Stassie) was the only daughter and second child. In 1879 she married Friedrich Franz III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who in 1883 became the reigning Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. A strong-willed, independent and unconventional woman, she caused a royal scandal when in 1902 she had a child fathered by her personal secretary. She died in Switzerland.
Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia (also called Miche-Miche) also followed a military career. He had a spartan upbringing that included sleeping on army cots and taking cold baths. The relationship with his parents was troublesome. In 1891 he contracted a morganatic marriage with Countess Sophie von Merenberg, a morganatic daughter of Prince Nicholas William of Nassau and a granddaughter of the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. For contracting this marriage without permission, Emperor Alexander III of Russia, stripped him of his military titles and banished the couple from Russia. He lost his fortune with the fall of the Russian monarchy in 1918. Three of his brothers were killed by the Bolsheviks, but he escaped the Russian Revolution because he was living abroad.
The photographer Karl Ivanovich Bergamasco (1830-1896) was born in Northern Italy, and moved to St Petersburg in the 1840s with his mother, who was a painter. He started as an actor at the French Theatre in St Petersburg but became interested in the daguerreotype process and went to Paris to study it. He returned to St Petersburg to open his own studio. In 1865 the magazine „Photographer“ announced that Bergamasco was „appointed photographer of His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich“..