Monday, May 7, 2012

Hidden treasure, Part IV

Today we travel to Russia, to examine a fantastic cache of valuables secreted during a pivotal time in its history. While restoring a 19th-century mansion that once belonged to the Naryshkin family, construction workers came upon an enormous cache of silver services, pearl- and porcelain-handled flatware, enamel, jewels, and medals, hidden in a secret storage compartment between its second and third floors. In excellent condition, the more than 1,000 individual pieces from the 19th and early 20th centuries had been packing in vinegar-soaked cloths and then wrapped in newspapers from 1917. This was the period of the Russian Provisional Government, the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, and the October Revolution, which brought the Bolsheviks to power. After Lenin’s Decree on Land abolished private property, the first floor of the mansion was used as a cafeteria-style restaurant for workers. Whatever prescient person or persons engineered the hiding place, at least their descendants have the satisfaction of knowing that their heirlooms were not split up hither and yon, but will become an integral attraction and a slice of history for all Russians to experience.





10 comments:

  1. Well, I think it was to prevent "all Russia" from sharing their bling that someone stashed it away in the first place. Alas, the family will never eat off those dishes again! They will have to go to a museum and sigh over it all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, these are stunning! I can't imagine having to polish these or lugging all of it to "Antiques Roadshow."

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am a fan of anything silver! The teacups and silverware are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! What beautiful pieces. I love the idea of a secret storage compartment that successfully did its job so well and for so long.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Pretty watch! I want one and I don't even wear a watch!

    ReplyDelete
  6. How beautiful! I especially love the baubles and watch, and the enamel-handled flatware. I love the romance and mystery of this story, it reminds me of the myths surrounding Anastasia and the royal family.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Pretty cool. So much of the collection is so dainty and adorable. If I had this collection it would make all dinner parties events. Even dinner parties with sammies and beer.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Vinegar soaked clothes!? Is there anything vinegar can't do?

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is amazing. That something with so much history can be found and still look as though its brand new. That must have been some strong vinegar in order for it to keep the items the way it did!!!

    ReplyDelete