A Faberge cutlery set with links to the Russian monarchy is due to be auctioned this week.
The cutlery set was a first birthday gift from Princess Alix of Hesse, who was Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, to her goddaughter. In 1894, the Princess was set to marry the heir to the Russian throne, Grand Duke Nicholas. Previously, she had travelled to the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate, to take ‘the cure’ in the baths, which were famous for their healing properties. While there, the Princess resided at Cathcart House, which was owned by a Mrs. Allen.
While the Princess was in residence at the boarding house, Mrs. Allen gave birth to twins, a boy and girl. As this was seen as a good omen for the forthcoming marriage of the Princess to the heir to the Russian throne, the princess requested that she be the godparent to the children and that they should be named Alix and Nicholas.
The Tsarina regularly sent gifts to her godchildren, and Nicholas would keep his gifts safe at the Yorkshire Penny Bank. In 1895, the Faberge cutlery set was sent to Alix as a gift on her first birthday. On the death of Nicholas, his son was asked by the bank to collect the valuables. Mr. Allen decided that he would sell the items.
The cutlery was estimated to be worth up to £10,0000 and will be sold at auction this Thursday, March 2, by Bulstrodes. The new owner of the cutlery may decide to use it on special occasions, as it will complement an antique dining set like a Victorian mahogany dining table.
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