A very rare original autographed photo of Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich
by St. Petersburg photographers Boasson and Eggler.
Size – 13,5 x 20,8 cm (5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.)
The photograph is boldly signed in Indian ink:
Grand Duke Michael is wearing a military uniform with conjoined ciphers of his father Alexander III and his brother Nicholas II on shoulder boards.
Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich (1878-1918), the youngest brother of Czar Nicholas II and the last Russian Czar. He was the Czar only for several hours. By early morning of March 16, Michael was proclaimed as Emperor Michael II to Russian troops and in cities throughout Russia. On the same day, he deferred acceptance of the throne until ratification by an elected assembly. Michael was permitted by the Provisional Government to live at his Gatchina villa outside St. Petersburg. After the Bolshevik Revolution (October 1917) , Michael was briefly under house arrest but later was released. On March 7, 1918, Michael and his secretary Nicholas Johnson were re-arrested and imprisoned at the Bolshevik Headquarters in the Smolny Institute. On March 11, 1918 he was sent to the city of Perm (the Urals), where he was murdered on June 12. Grand Duke Michael was the first of the Romanovs to be executed by the Bolsheviks.
Photographs of Grand Duke Michael are rare in general. His autographed pictures are especially rare.
The photograph was taken by the renowned photographers Boasson and Eggler whose photographic portraits were highly artistic and considered to be unusual at the time.
As favorites of the Imperial family, Boasson and Eggler were primarily photographers of the Russian royalty in the early years of the 20th century.