The last emperor of Russia Nicolas II dressed in the golden brocade of 17th-century Russian tsar Alexey Mikhailovich, standng with Empress Alexandra Fedorovna. All the jewellery was chosen by court jeweller Carl Faberge.
These portrait photographs of Russia’s ruling Romanovs were taken in 1903 at the Winter Palace in majestic. St. Petersburg. Knowing what was to follow, the venue was apposite.
Czar Nicholas II and his 390 guests partied for 2 days. Day one (February 11) saw dancing, music and food. With the guests loosened up and rested, day 2 (Feb 15th) featured a masked ball. There was a surfeit of sexual excess, debauchery and entitlement for a family whose absolutist rule was hailed by the country’s grateful serfs – they dubbed the Czar ‘Little Father’ – and supported by a complicit church which declared Romanov blood sacred.
In 1918, Bolshevik officials executed the ex-Emperor and his family.
Princess Olga Orlova in Masquerade Costume for the Ball
Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia, 1903
Alexandra Feodorovna, Costume Ball 1903
La Comtesse Karlow, nee Vonlarsky (Femme de boyard du XVII siecle)
La Comtesse Fersen, nee Princesse Dolgorouky (Femme de boyard du XVII siecle)
La Comtesse Orlow-Davydow, nee Zographo (Femme de boyard du XVII siecle)
Mademoiselle Dorothee Bibikow, 1903
La Comtesse Keller, née Princesse Schakhovskoy (Femme de boyard)
Mademoiselle Alexandrine Taneiew
La Princesse Elisabeth Obolensky, Demoiselle d’honneur de Sa Ma
La Comtesse Elisabeth Moussine-Pouchkine, née Comtesse Capnist (Femme de boyard du XVII siècle)
La Princesse Youssoupow
Anna Taneeva (Vyrubova) with sister
S.A.S. la Princesse Galitzine, née Comtesse Moussine-Pou
S.A.S. le Prince Dmitri Galitzine, Chef de la Venerie Imperial
Madame Bezobrazow, nee Comtesse Stenbock-Fermor (Femme de boyard)