Rare Russian imperial letters sell for 304,000 euros
A collection of rare correspondence from the family of the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, was sold for 304,000 euros, four times estimated price, Geneva's state auction house said on Tuesday.
The sale of the letters and photographs, many of which were sent between 1881 and 1959 to a Swiss tutor, "exceeded our expectations... all the lots were sold," said auctioneer Bernard Piguet in the Swiss city.
"The two main buyers are private Swiss collectors. Russians also took part in the auction by telephone and in the room, as did a small group of Americans," he told AFP.
The collection of 1,000 letters, 250 photos, 400 telegrams, 150 postcards and 12 imperial lunch menus were discovered in a trunk by the descendants of Ferdinand Thormeyer, tutor for Alexander III, Nicholas II and their siblings.
The private correspondence revealed a surprising facet of the Russian imperial family.
Piguet said they showed people "who are disconnected from reality, who did not see everything that would happen" during the 1917 revolution.
The 45 lots had originally been valued at 50,000 to 80,000 euros.
© 2010 AFP