Bibelots

London

Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich Romanov of Imperial Russia Antique Signed Letter 1892

£750.00

Fine signed letter from Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia (1861-1929), to the Russian Orthodox priest that instructed his wife, Countess Sophie of Merenberg, Countess Torby (1868-1927), in the Scriptures and Russian language, gifting him a pectoral cross as a gift on the day she jpined the Russian Orthdox faith. The letter is dated 7th (OS) / 19th (NS) 1892, and is written on his personal mourning stationery embossed with his initials MM surmounted by an imperial Russian crowm.

"Highly distinguished dear Father!

In consideration of your Scripture and Russian language lessons with my wife, let me send you, on the day of her joining the Orthodox Faith, the Pectoral Cross, which i hope, you will wear, and it will serve you as a memory of the service, which you delivered for this sacred cause dear to me.

With deepest regard and gratitude

G.D. Michael Mikhailovich"

He was a son of Grand Duke Michael Nicolaievich of Russia and a grandson of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. He was raised in the Caucasus, where he lived between 1862 and 1881 with his family, and was educated by private tutors. As Romanov tradition demanded, he followed a military career. He served in the Russo-Turkish War in 1877, became a Colonel and was adjutant at the Imperial court. In 1891 he contracted a morganatic marriage with Countess Sophie von Merenberg, a morganatic daughter of Prince Nicholas William of Nassau and a granddaughter of the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. For contracting this marriage without permission, Emperor Alexander III of Russia, stripped him of his military titles and banished the couple from Russia.

For some years he lived in Wiesbaden, Nassau and in Cannes. He settled permanently in England in 1900, leasing Keele Hall in Staffordshire and later Kenwood House on the outskirts of London. He became a prominent member of British society, one of his daughters marrying into the British aristocracy and another marrying a great-grandson of Queen Victoria. He lost his fortune with the fall of the Russian monarchy in 1918. Three of his brothers were killed by the Bolsheviks, but he escaped the Russian Revolution because he was living abroad. He spent his last years living under reduced circumstances with the financial help of his son-in-law Sir Harold Wernher.

Sophie was the eldest daughter of Prince Nikolaus Wilhelm of Nassau and Natalya Alexandrovna Pushkina. She was born at Geneva, Switzerland, the first child of Prince Nikolaus Wilhelm of Nassau and Natalya Alexandrovna Pushkina. As the marriage of her parents was considered morganatic she was ineligible to bear her father's title or rank. Her paternal grandparents were William, Duke of Nassau and Princess Pauline of Württemberg. Her maternal grandparents were the renowned Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin, and Natalya Pushkina.

She married morganatically, on 10 March 1891, Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia, grandson of Nicholas I of Russia at Sanremo, Italy. Sophia was later created Countess de Torby by her uncle, Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg; the title was extended to all three of her children.

They had two daughters and one son:

Countess Anastasia Mikhailovna de Torby (1892-1977); married, in 1917, Sir Harold Wernher, 3rd Baronet.
Countess Nadejda Mikhailovna de Torby (1896-1963); married, in 1916, Prince George of Battenberg (later 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven).
Count Michael Mikhailovich of Torby (1898-1959).

Size: 20.5 x 13 cm approx

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