The "Dowager Empress' Archive" A group of photographs of Russian Imperial Interest
various photographers, various dates, circa 1900-1928
A collection of seventy-six photographs relating to the close family, residences, and possessions of the Dowager Empress of Russia, largely from within the period of exile (1919-1928). (76).
H: 11 3/4, W: 9 1/2 in. (largest)
H.I.M. the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia (d. 1928)
Mlle. Caecilie Grünwald, personal maid to Her Majesty (d. 1951)
Private Collection, Denmark
Private Collection, USA
This extraordinary archive is offered here publicly for the first time, and contains more than 70 images, some well-known to the public, but most never before published. The collection is one of the most comprehensive to come to auction relating to the exile of the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia (1847-1928), and features selections of photographs divided into several main groups of interest to collectors; one, images of the Dowager Empress and friends in Russia, in Denmark, and in Great Britain; two, pictures of her close family including intimate family pictures of the families of her daughters the Grand Duchesses Xenia and Olga; three, images of the interiors of the many residences of the Dowager Empress in Russia and in exile; and four, detailed large format images of the interiors of "Hvidore", the Danish house shared with her sister, Queen Alexandra of Great Britain, in which important individual works of fine and decorative art, including works by Fabergé, are visible and identifiable under magnification.
By deduction, it is believed that this collection may have belonged to Mlle. Caecilie Grünwald, who was "kamer-metkhen" or Chambermaid to the Dowager Empress. It is likely that she was a relative of Ludwig Leo Edward Grünwald, who was one of the Imperial gardeners.
It is unclear when the Danish-born Grünwald entered the service of the Empress, but Mlle. Grünwald was with the Empress Maria Feodorovna at Gatchina, went with her when when she traveled to Kiev during the first World War, and followed her to the Crimea when the Russian Revolution broke out.
On April 6, 1919, the British ship HMS Marlborough arrived at Yalta, and the ship took on the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna and other members of the Russian Imperial Family on the evening of the 7th. The Russian contingent aboard the Marlborough numbered some 80 people, including 44 members of the Imperial Family and the high aristocracy, together with their attendants and several hundred cases of luggage. Mlle. Grünwald is listed on the passenger manifest of the H.M.S. Marlborough, and remained in service to the Dowager Empress until the end of her life.
Many of the photographs are inscribed in Danish, in the same clear hand, and in each, the formal titles of the Imperial Family are used, indicating that the pictures did not belong to Romanov family members themselves. Grünwald herself is identified in several pictures (the only imperial servant to be included in any of the images) which lends credence to the attribution of ownership by Grünwald.
Full photo listing:
1. Signed Photo postcard Maria Feodorovna standing on balcony at Hvidore, circa 1920-1922
2. Photo View from Maria Feodorovna's Window, Hvidore 1925. Description in Danish on reverse.
3. Photo of corner of the Grand Salon at Hvidore 1925. Description in Danish on reverse.
4. Photo the mantel piece in the Salon at Hvidore. Description in Danish on reverse.
5. Photo of Maria Feodorovna's small Salon at Hvidore 1925. Description in Danish on reverse. View towards cases with objets de vertu
6. Photo of the Black Sea from Livadia Palace, Crimea, 1917. Description in Danish on reverse.
7. Photo of the Black Sea from Dulber Palace of Grand Duke Petr (Peter) Nikolaevich, Crimea 1918. Description in Danish and Russian on reverse.
8. Photo of the coastline of the Black Sea from Harax (Palace of GD Georgy Mikhailovich), Crimea, 1918. Description in Danish and Russian on reverse.
9. Photo detail of exterior of Hvidore 1925. Description in Danish on reverse.
10. Photo of a stone and thatch (?) cottage, identified (incorrectly?) in Danish as England, Her Majesty Dowager Queen Alexandra's "Summerhouse" Hunstanton England.
11. Photo of Sandringham Palace, 1907. Description in Danish on reverse.
12. Photo of the Anichkov Palace, St. Petersburg. Description on reverse.
13. Photo of the hanging of a large church bell (in Russia?) with numerous onlookers
14. Photo of several wood cabins in Russian (?) village at the edge of a lake or river
15. Photo of exterior of Hvidore, glued down on paper.
16. Photo of Maria Feodorovna's boudoir at Hvidore, double-headed eagle pillow on chair
17. Photo of the interior of Hvidore, sunroom?
18. Photo of interior entrance of Hvidore with standing clock and statue of Mercury
19. Photo of the Grand Salon at Hvidore
20. Photo of the reception room at Hvidore, view towards window
21. Photo of a room at Hvidore, looking towards bay tree sculpture and window (desk only partially visible), the desk with photos of Alexander III
22. Photo of Maria Feodorovna's bedroom at Hvidore with icons and religious paintings above the bed
23. Photo of the interior of Hvidore with a pastel dual portrait by Francois Flameng of Maria Feodorovna and Queen Alexandra (now in the Romanoff family collection, UK) visible at center in the upper gallery
24. Photo Maria Feodorovna's desk at Hvidore with numerous photos of Alexander III
25. Photo Princes Tikhon and Guri (Sons of GD Olga) Amalienborg 1921. Description in Danish on reverse.
26. Photo Prince Tikhon (Son of GD Olga) Amalienborg 1921.
27. Photo of Queen Alexandra, GD Xenia group of Danish and British royals (?) circa 1920 (?)
28. Photo Caecilie Gruenwald (MF's maid), Ai-Todor, December 1917. Description in Danish on reverse.
29. Photo of GD Olga's sons Tikhon and Guri with nurse, Amalienborg 1921. Description in Danish on reverse.
30. Snapshot of GD Xenia and her son Prince Vasilii, 1925. Description in Danish on the reverse.
31. Photo of Maria Feodorovna walking arm in arm with a man, possibly her brother Prince Valdemar
32. Photo Maria Feodorovna
33. Photo GD Alexander Mikhailovich (husband of GD Xenia), Paris 1920, description in Danish on reverse
34. Photo Maria Feodorovna with her spaniel dog Tschifer (Looks like Kiev palace, so 1916?)
35. Photo Maria Feodorovna (with her back turned) and coachman in white, Crimea 1918. Description in Danish on reverse.
36. Photo of Maria Feodorovna with GD Olga's sons Tikhon Guri Bernstorff Park 1923. Description in Danish on reverse.
37. Photo GD Olga's son Guri Hvidore 1923. Description in Danish on reverse.
38. Photo of Prince Rostislav Romanov, son of GD Xenia, Windsor 1924. Description in Danish on reverse.
39. Snapshot of Maria Feodorovna in front of a hedge (Danish palace?)
40. Photo of Maria Feodorovna with her grandsons (GD Olga's sons) Guri and Tikhon on the beach (at Hvidore?)
41. Photo of Maria Feodorovna, circa 1920
42. Photo GD Olga's sons Tikhon Guri with Nanny (Garnepige) Hvidore 1922. Description in Danish on reverse.
43. Photo Grand Duchess Olga, her husband Nikolai Kulikovsky, and their oldest son Tikhon in Crimea 1918. Description in Danish on reverse.
44. Photo Maria Feodorovna at Hvidore 1922. Description in Danish on reverse.
45. Photo Grand Duchess Olga, GD Xenia, and Xenia's son Prince Vasily Hvidore 1923. Description in Danish on reverse.
46. Photo of Prince Dimitri Alexandrovich Romanov, son of GD Xenia, Hvidore 1925. Description in Danish on reverse.
47. Photo of GD Olga's sons Tikhon and Guri with nurse/nanny. Amalienborg 1921.
48. Photo GD Olga's sons Tikhon Guri at Hvidore 1923. Description in Danish on the reverse.
49. Snapshot of Maria Feodorovna (in black dress, hat, and veil!) on the beach with one of GD Olga's sons, Hvidore, 1922 or 1923
50. Photo Prince Valdemar of Rosenborg Hvidore 1922. Description in Danish on reverse. (Note: Son of Prince Aage, Grandson of Prince Valdemar, Grandnephew of MF.)
51. Photo Prince Vasily (son of GD Xenia) in bed with toy soldiers with Nurse Miss Cosler Crimea 1917. Description in Danish on reverse.
52. Photo Caecilie Grünwald (MF's maid), Ai-Todor, December 1917. Description in Danish on reverse.
53. Photo Prince Vasily Alexandrovich Romanov son of GD Xenia and GD Alexander 1912 SPb.
54. Photo Prince Vasily Alexandrovich Romanov son of GD Xenia and GD Alexander 1912 SPb. Description in Danish on reverse. In a sitting room with numerous paintings and a shelf with sculpture.
55. Photo of an Orthodox priest in a sunny garden. MF's confessor?
56. Snapshop/Photo of Maria Feodorovna at a writing table at Hvidore, circa 1922
57. Photo of GD Olga's sons Guri and Tikhon on balcony, Hvidore, ca 1922
58. Photo seated boy on park bench in sailor suit. Note on reverse in English reads VA 3 years old. Possibly Prince Vasily Alexandrovich, son of GD Xenia
59. Photo Maria Feodorovna Queen Alexandra Hvidore 1920 Copenhagen photographer Danielsen
60. Snapshot/Photo Maria Feodorovna (and Queen Alexandra?), Hvidore?
61. Photo Queen Alexandra and her daughter Princess Royal Louise of Fife in carriage on Rose Day 1919. Description in Danish on reverse.
62. Photo of Maria Feodorovna standing in a garden, circa 1922
63. Photo of Prince Andrei Alexandrovich Romanov at Windsor 1924, described in Danish on reverse
64. Photo of Maria Feodorovna seated at a table Hvidore, circa 1922
65. Photo Prince Valdemar's five children (brother of Maria Feodorovna) with infant Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna in Gule Pala (Yellow) Mansion Copenhagen 1897. By Mary Steen Danish Court Photographer Description in Danish on reverse.
66. Cabinet group photo of Danish, English, and Russian royal and imperial families, probably at Fredensborg Slot, circa 1888. Includes GD Xenia, GD Olga, Maria Feodorovna, Nicholas II as Tsarevich, Alexander III, Prince Albert Victor of Wales; Crown Prince Constantine of Greece, GD Georgy, GD Mikhail, Prince and Princess of Wales. By Danish Court Photographer Jens Johan Danielsen
67. Photo Princess Thyra, Duchess of Hanover and Cumberland (sister of Maria Feodorovna), and her daughter Princess Olga of Hanover, 1906.
68. Photo of oxen in a field with Russian (?) peasants
69. Photos of two women (Imperial family members?) in late 19th/early 20th century riding habits, with groom?
70. Cabinet Photo of Danish and Russian Royal Imperial Families, Alexander III, Maria Feodorovna, GD Nicholas, Xenia, Michael, and others, probably Fredensborg, circa 1885. By Danish Court Photographer Jens Johan Danielsen
71. Photo of GD Olga and Xenia at Hvidore, probably after 1928.
72. Photo Maria Feodorovna and Queen Alexandra on a balcony at Hvidore, laid down on beige mat
73. Photo of Maria Feodorovna, her sister Thyra and a man (their brother Prince Valdemar?), circa 1920
74. Photo of Maria Feodorovna, Queen Alexandra, and their sister Thyra of Hanover and Cumberland, laid down on grey mat
75. Photo of Maria Feodorovna and Queen Alexandra seated at Hvidore, by Danish Court Photographer Mary Steen
76. Photo Maria Feodorovna, Queen Alexandra, Princess Thyra, Duchess of Cumberland, and their father Christian IX of Denmark playing cards, laid down on grey mat
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