A faberge cutlery gift given by Alix of Hesse to her English god daughter is to be auctioned
Alix of Hesse, who was married to Tsar Nicholas II, gave the set to Alix Allen for her first birthday.
The champlevé enamelled boxed set is now up for auction at Bulstrodes in Christchurch, Dorset, with a hefty estimate of £8,000-£10,000. It is causing more excitement as the presents given to Alix were considered lost a long time ago.
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Those given to her twin brother Nicholas were kept safe in a security deposit box and have since been displayed in a Harrogate museum.
In 1894 Princess Alix of Hesse, Queen Victoria's granddaughter, visited the Yorkshire spa town Harrogate. She was seeking a cure for her sciatica before marrying Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia, who later became Tsar Nicholas II.
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The champlevé enamelled boxed set is up for auction at Bulstrodes
Travelling with one lady in waiting under the name Baroness Startenburg, she stayed at the Cathcart House boarding lodge. During the princess’s stay, house owner Mrs Allen gave birth to twins. Interpreting this as a sign her own marriage would be successful, Princess Alix asked to be the twins' godmother and to name them Alix and Nicholas. Even after leaving the country, the future Russian Empress maintained close contact with her godchildren and regularly sent them gifts.
The Fabarge cutlery was sent to Alix Allen for her first birthday in 1895. There were two identical sets sent for the boy and girl, shown in the black and white photograph included in the lot. Also included is a scrapbook of letter and news clippings showing the Russian royal connection to the Allens, including two handwritten letters signed by Carl Fabergé.
The gift is causing excitement as it was originally thought to be lost
Kate Howe, auctioneer at Bulstrodes, said: "We are delighted that its generating some interest as it's a beautiful set with a truly fascinating story with it.
"The family scrapbook that accompanies the lot has many clippings and stories relating to the Allen family, Cathcart House and Harrogate, it truly was the place to go in the late 19th century!"
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