Unpublished Letters and Pictures From Last Russian Tsar to be Sold at Geneva Auction

Category: World / Nov 30, 2012 2:09PM EDT
Historical letters and pictures detailing the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II's involvement in World War I will be put for sale in Geneva, a descendant of the Tsar said on Thursday (November 29). Prince Nicholas Romanov, a descendant of the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, is offering previously unpublished personal photographs of the Imperial Russian family, the Romanovs, and handwritten letters by Tsar Nicolas II to his army's Commander -in-Chief during First World War at an auction in Geneva on December 10. Selling the letters, photos and a few personal artifacts to the public, Prince Nicolas Romanov, who is 90 years old, is hoping to shed light on the history of the Romanov, as next year will mark the 400th anniversary of the ascension of the Romanovs to the throne in Russia, he said. "Of course I am sorry to part with them, but I am 90. I have taken a decision which means that before the festivities of next year for the centenary of the family, perhaps these letters will get in the hands of a historian or biographer or somebody who's writing something. I am not capable of doing that nor have I the time and I should have started doing it much before", Prince Nicholas Romanov told Reuters TV at his home in a mountainous Swiss village. Four handwritten letters from Tsar Nicholas II to Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolayevich, the Imperial Army's Commander-in-Chief and Grand Uncle of Prince Nicholas Romanov, testify to the Tsar's involvement in the war, the auction house, which is selling the artifacts, said. "These letters are historically important because they were written in the beginning of the First World War, in 1914 and 1916. They show the involvement of Russia and the personal involvement of the Tsar in the global conflict and with the strategies he has to adopt for Russia during this period", auctioneer Bernard Piguet from Hotel Des Ventes in Geneva told Reuters TV. In 1915, Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolayevich was fired from his position as Commander-in-Chief when Tsar Nicholas II took over the military lead, but Prince Nicholas Romanov, who was born four years after the Tsar's assassination in 1918, has kept his Grand Uncle's military cap, that he's selling at the Geneva auction. "When I found this, I tried it of course, not because I wanted, but because I knew, that if it didn't really fit me, and you see on these photographs, it never reached the back of his (Nicholas Nikolayevich) head", Prince Nicholas Romanov told Reuters TV. Together with the letters and pictures offered by Romanov, the Hotel Des Ventes in Geneva is also offering some 3000 Russian items including other rare pictures showing Nicholas II's son who was shot at the age of 14 and some 46 pages of love letters from Tsar Alexander II, Tsar Nicholas II's father, to his mistress Katia Dolgourovky, the auction house said in a statement.