Baroness Zeddeler Antique Signed Letter 1935 - Russian Imperial Ballerina Matilda Kschessinska Sister


Fine signed letter dated 9th January 1935 from Baroness Julia Zeddeler (1866-1969). She was a ballerina and sister to the Prima Ballerina Matilda Kschessinska. Written in Russian to her nephew Slava Kschessinky (Astafiev), his mother was the famous ballerina Serafima Astafieva (Sima) who married Matilda and Julia's brother Joseph. Julia's husband was Baron Alexadner Zeddeler, a close friend of Tsar Nicholas II. They were young officers together in the Preobrazhensky Regiment, and he was one of five officers at the select dinner party given by the Tsar on the evening of his Coronation in 1896. Julia known as 'Mlle Kschessinska 1', married him in 1902 after completing twenty years on the stage. Asafiev has annotated the letter in pencil that it was answered.

The letter is interesting as it discusses some of the losses they suffered during the revolution following their departure from St Petersburg, but also regarding the fate of his father who had remained in Russia, and the dreadful persecutions under Stalin against such people.

"Dear Slavun,

I am sorry I took so long in answering your letter, I was busy before the holiday and that held me up. I am very pleased that you like your coat of arms. You are interested in whether I saved Uncle Ali's medals and regimental badges, alas, unfortunately not. They were stolen from my trunk when Uncle Ali and I left St. Petersburg at the Northern Station for Kislovodsk after the first months of the revolution. We remained for two months there without our things and did not get our luggage, and when we got it at last we saw that a window had been cut in the trunk and closed with wire and lots of things had been stolen from it, my marvellous furs and various other things. I have not yet had time to reproduce the family photographs I promised you, but I will definitely send them to you. Thank you for your good wishes to send all of us things you have made, but you are right that the [customs] duty is very high and the things might be spoilt by the carelessness of the post on the way. We like your newspaper drawings very much. You are very talented and I am very pleased with that. Vova gives you a big hug. He does everything, but I do not know what exactly, he is never at home, he is a very kind and good person. Aunt Malia's affairs are going well, but she gets very tired.

Yet again, we congratulate you with the New Year and from all our hearts wish you good health and all, all the best.

There is one thing that worries me, that I am not getting letters from your father and he used to answer every month very regularly for the money sent every month and as they have terrible, crazy terror there, all sorts of horrors come into our minds and thoughts. If some disaster has occurred to them, there is no-one I can tell, the only hope is that they are afraid to write to me. Those scoundrels do not have a single drop of conscience or heart, they can shoot someone who is not guilty of anything. You understand my concern.

I hug you tight.

Your Aunt Yulia

9 January 1935

Thank you for what you wrote out about the service and careers of Uncle Ali's grandfather and father, and under the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna his great grandfather was the Ambassador to Austria in Vienna and to this day there is a street there called in his name ...

Thank you for the beautiful photographs of your father, they are magnificent. And if you could send my photograph, that would be marvellous, as there is not a single one of me. On Uncle Ali's frock-coat there is no pin fixing the piping and buttons on both sides of his chest, his collar is quite smooth and red."

Size: 27 x 20 cm approx

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