Text Box: HARMONIE AUTOGRAPHS AND MUSIC INC.

MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
Text Box: MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS AND EPHEMERA BOUGHT AND SOLD

Price: $600.00

NEAR MINT CONDITION

Original 1887 Konstantin Shapiro carte de visite photograph of the composer, despite the anonymous mount.  The verso round stamp states, Library of his Imperial Highness Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovitch.

 

The photograph of the composer is close to mint.  We have been able to identify the year of this image through the leading reference on Tchaikovsky photographs and iconography, Tchaikovsky, 1840-1893, Musyka Press, Moscow, 1990; edited by L. Sidelnikov, p. 192.

 

The image itself was taken by Konstantin Shapiro (1839-1900) the leading celebrity photographer in St Petersburg who also was one of the leading Yiddish poets of his generation.  He impregnated his landlord’s daughter and was coerced to convert to the Russian Orthodox Church to marry her and please them. However, the marriage failed and while he found the conversion useful for his business, many Jews and Christians alike held him in contempt.  He was self loathing in his poetry for the rest of his life and gave his rather substantial estate to Zionism.   That said, he became Leo Tolstoy’s official photographer and also took photographs of royalty, as well as the best and brightest among the politicians, musicians, singers, scientists, authors and other luminaries in St. Petersburg.

 

Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovitch (1879-1956) was a grandson of Tsar Alexander II and the first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II.  He left Russia in 1920 and married the prima ballerina assoluta Mathilde Kschessinska.  He was the most important male Romanov to escape to the west and he settled in the South of France.  His gambling vice seriously reduced his wealth.

 

We have compared this to an extant example and based upon the poor quality of the blind stamped cabinet example believe this image to be first state.

 

A most interesting provenance!

 

 

 

 

 

PIOTR TCHAIKOVSKY -  COMPOSER
Text Box: COMPOSER ICONOGRAPHY

Phone: 212-860-5541  *  Fax: 917-677-8247