Item #1979 [RUSSIAN LIFE OF FIN DE SIÈCLE]

[RUSSIAN LIFE OF FIN DE SIÈCLE]

Item #1979

The collection of 8 albums contains 826 photos of the French and German expats in
pre-revolutionary Russia, the local business, types, photos of historical events, landmark
architecture and a variety of photos of Russian scenery and people.

All the albums are in similar gray cloth with red lettering in Russian and French. They are numbered from
1 to 8 which makes us believe the photo-archive is complete. [Moscow region, 1880s-1900s].
• Album I. 57 photos.
• Album II. 55 photos.
• Album III. 126 photos.
• Album IV. 72 photos.
• Album V. 123 photos.
• Album VI. 108 photos.
• Album VII. 130 photos.
• Album VIII. 155 photos.
Size of albums: 24x34 cm. Standard size of the photos 16,5x23 cm and 18x12 for portraits. Smaller photos are
9x12 cm. All the photos are captioned in pencil. The spine of Album I is detached.

The albums document life and days of the several
Moscow-based expat families, who are involved
in the local small businesses and enterprises,
factory owners. The two families we were able to
identify were the Bloesch family, the owners of
the chemical factory ‘Karl Bloesch’, which existed
in Moscow in Zayauzie (Kurskiy per., 17) from the
1890s until 1919 when it was nationalized by the
Soviet government. Another factory featured
in the photos is the French Moscow-based paint
factory ‘Lombar’.
Apart from that there are dozens of French and
German (and occasionally Russian) individuals,
all carefully captioned in French. The photos
demonstrate every aspect of the life of Moscow
expat communities - from the business trips
to Ural to the holidays in Caucasus and Crimea,
official portraits with spouses and children, the
interiors of the factories and the home residences.
The albums document the plants and factories
alongside Yauza river in Medvdekovo (now a
district in the North of Moscow) and Obdiralovka
(now the town of Zheleznodorozhniy). Some of
the other families included in the albums: Sauders,
Heugels, Labiche, Vinogradov. The earliest dated
photo is 1881. The latest dated photo is 1907.

Album II shows a few photos of the village close to
Perm, where one of the family members went on a
business trip. Album II also shows the photos from
other areas of Moscow and a few of St. Petersburg,
photo of the railroad station in Kursk, newly built
bridge upon Yauza in Moscow. The album ends
with the photos of French Moscow-based paint
factory ‘Lombar’ showing all its employees in the
group photo. Albums included a lot of photos of
the ordinary Russian folk, peasants and factory
workers, as well as clerks and some civil servants.

Album III includes the photo of the destruction on
one of the factories after the explosion. Followed
by the photos of Batumi and Sebastopol, Yalta
and Constantinople. It also includes the photos
of the Moscow chief of police Dmitri Trepov (1855-
1906) who is best known for his active antirevolutionary
activity; he was the subject of a few
assassination attempts by the terrorists.
Couple of albums include the Russian types,
and the types of Crimean tatars as well as many
photos of Crimea, Nizhniy Novgorod and Moscow,
the photos of Danilov factory and the flooding
on Moskva and Yauza rivers. The albums also
include photos of European trips of the families in
question, including to Freiburg (Germany).

Album VIII includes several historically significant
photos of Moscow right after the 1905 revolution,
like the barricades on the streets, the destruction
and the famous building of Sytin typography
just after the fire. Album VIII has a few photos of
the militias on the streets of Odessa in the 1905
revolution. The last photos of the album are dated
1913 and show the Bloesch family in Germany
where they moved in the early 1910s.
An incredible insight into the industrial life of
Russia in the era of Alexander III and Nicolas
II. The lives of expats in Moscow at the time are
not so thoroughly studied, as most of them left
the country when the business was impossible to
maintain due to the coming of the new political
regime, and they eventually lost all the ties with
Russia. Such detailed photographic lots from
Russia around that time are very rare on the
market.

Provenance: European family collection.

Status: On Hold
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