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Russian imperial treasure removed from auction

Published time: May 15, 2009 12:52
Edited time: May 15, 2009 12:52

Treasures belonging to the Russian tsars have been removed from the Bukowski Spring Auction due to ownership disputes.

“The furniture was removed because of a conflict over the ownership between the client selling the furniture and his relatives, which is a common occurrence in our work,” said the executive director of the Bukowski Auction House.

He added that representatives from the Romanovs, the last tsar family in Russia, are not a part of the conflict.

The highlight of the auction was an 11-piece silvered furniture collection that was purchased by a Finnish family in the 1920s and was used as ordinary household furniture for years.

Made in 1894 for the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, it was the first commission made by Tsar Nicholas the Second. The set had 15 pieces originally. Four are still missing today.

In 1927 the Soviet government started selling off furniture from the tsar’s family in order to raise money.

The actual value of the furniture is also being disputed as the family dog was known to have regularly slept on a chair that today is being valued at €10,000.

Russia’s famous Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg had shown interest in it, along with many other bidders.

The Hermitage was also unable to secure a bid for a rifle that had belonged to Catherine the Great. Officials at the museum believe, however, that the gun was sold to a Russian bidder, so it will still be on its way back to Russia regardless.