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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Sotheby’s to Auction a Lost Inheritance of the Romanovs

Sotheby’s London announced that in November this year it will bring to the market, for the first time ever, the extraordinary and rediscovered collection of personal and rare objects, including many exquisite pieces of Fabergé, which belonged to Her Imperial Highness Maria Pavlovna, Grand Duchess Vladimir (1854-1920) and her late husband, His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (1847-1909) – son of Emperor Alexander II and brother of Emperor Alexander III.

Deposited at the Swedish Legation in November 1918, the month Sweden broke off diplomatic relations with the Russian revolutionary government, the existence of the trove was unknown for ninety one years and recently surfaced among diplomatic holdings in Stockholm. Sotheby’s has now been asked to sell this collection, which represents one of the most important groups of objects with Romanov provenance to be offered at auction in recent times. It is expected to realise in the region of £1 million.

The sale of this previously unknown and private collection will comprise around 100 lots of cigarette boxes and an extraordinary array of cufflinks, including many fine pieces of Fabergé, that bear ciphers, Imperial inscriptions and coats of arms and even photographs of the Vladimirs and their immediate family. Estimates for the objects in the auction – several of which are in immaculate condition – range from £80-120 up to £4,000-6,000 for a set of cufflinks, and for a cigarette box from £700-900 up to £70,000-90,000.

Discussing this cache, which had been lost to posterity, Marcus Linell, Senior Director at Sotheby’s and Olga Vaigatcheva, Specialist in Russian Works of Art and Fabergé at Sotheby’s, commented: “We are absolutely thrilled to be offering for sale one of the most remarkable collections relating to the Romanovs to be offered at auction. Unknown for generations until their recent rediscovery, the objects, some of which still contain evidence of use by the Romanovs – remnants of tobacco and period Bogdanov cigarettes – truly evoke the grandeur and sublime taste of their original owners. We fully expect that the allure of this intimate and precious group, with its links to the historical events connected with one of the world’s most fabled dynasties, will hold the highest appeal for discerning collectors.”