Fabergé Clock Spirited out of Revolutionary Russia for Auction at Bonhams

. May 19, 2010

A Fabergé clock spirited out of Russia in 1917 by the deposed Tsar’s aide-de-camp, Prince Mikhail Cantacuzène, and his American wife Julia, granddaughter of US President, Ulysses Grant, is for sale at Bonhams Russian sale on 7 June.

The silver-mounted seed-pearl and enamel clock (£70,000- 90,000) is a fabulous reminder of a vanished age. The Prince, a diplomat from a long established family of Russian statesmen, first met the 17 year old Julia Dent Grant in 1893 when he was posted to Rome. Julia, who was then living in Vienna where her father was US Ambassador to the Austro-Hungarian Court, had been born in the White House and, as the first grandchild of the President, was known as the “Daughter of the Nation”. They were to meet again in 1899 when Julia was touring Europe with her aunt, and four months later they married in Newport, Rhode Island. The clock for sale is most likely to have been a wedding present, probably from the Prince’s mother who is known to have given the couple an enamelled Faberge clock.

During the first world war, the Prince served as an aide-to-camp to Tsar Nicholas II and later as a General, leading 15,000 Cossacks in one of the last great cavalry charges in history. As revolution swept through Russia in 1917, the family fled to Finland with their valuables – sewn into Princess Cantacuzène’s clothes. From Finland they left for America where for a time they assumed leading roles in the counter-revolutionary movement in Washington DC agitating for the return of the monarchy in Russia. The couple divorced in 1934 but remained interested in Russian affairs for the rest of their lives.

For further sale information please go to www.bonhams.com/russian

Category: Antiques

Comments are closed.