Russia's Treasure of Diamonds and Precious Stones

Three plates of crown jewels
Adoption Amount: $1,600
Category: Preserve for the Future
Location: Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History

Russia's treasure of diamonds and precious stones

By Soviet Union. Moscow: People's Commissariat of Finance, 1925.

This is an illustrated catalogue of the Russian crown jewels, published by the Soviet Union’s People’s Commissariat of Finance, after the Russian Revolution removed the Tsar and his family from the throne. It is believed to be the only complete record of the Romanov dynasty’s treasures before their dispersal through private sale and a subsequent auction. The work was published as a limited-edition portfolio consisting of 100 photographic plates (often life-sized) and four sections of text, with only a dozen copies currently known in North America.

Condition and Treatment: 

The portfolio contains 100 photographic plates in four separate enclosures, each holding 25 plates. Each plate has a fragile piece of tissue paper printed with the plate number and description of the jewels. Each of the four sections is accompanied by a pamphlet-sewn text. The portfolio case is tattered and broken in places; the plate enclosures are falling apart. Five of the plates require minor repairs. Ten of the tissue papers are torn, and the texts are fraying at the spine, with the covers starting to break loose. Conservators will repair the outer portfolio and the four internal enclosures to create stable housing for the plates. The plates and tissue papers will be repaired; the text covers will be repaired and strengthened. Finally, a new double-tray box will be created to house the repaired portfolio.

Discover more about this book in our Catalog.