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     Home > IMPERIAL RUSSIA > Imperial Russian Militaria

    Cabinet Portrait of a Military Doctor in an Inscribed Imperial Russo-Turkish War-era brass Presentation frame mounted with a Russian imperial crown.

    Cabinet Portrait of a Military Doctor in an Inscribed Imperial Russo-Turkish War-era brass Presentation frame mounted with a Russian imperial crown.

    Frame contains an excellent photograph of a Russian military physician that clearly showing his awards: 2nd Class Order of St. Vladimir, Imperial Medical Academy graduate badge, Imperial Red Cross Service Badge, plus a regimental badge that appears to be that of the Lifeguards Pavlovsky Regiment.

    The heavy brass frame has a silvered imperial crown mounted at the top and an interesting inscribed band mounted across the bottom that is hand engraved in Cyrillic: "St. Stefano 23 March 1878". Since San Stefano was the location of the signing of a war-ending treaty by the Russian and Ottoman empires on 3 March 1878, the frame obviously has a Russo- Turkish War connection. [The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 provided the Tsar an opportunity to militarily recover the losses of territory that Russia had suffered at the end of the Crimean War; The Russian forces fought well but the treaty of San Stefano in March, 1878 was so exceedingly favorable to Russia that Great Britain, France, and Germany forced Russia to accept the provisions of the Treaty of Berlin four months later. (You will recall that one of the imperatives of western European diplomatic thought has been that Russia needed to be kept out of the Dardanelles at all costs!) The Treaty of Berlin still provided for the independence of the principalities of Romania, Serbia and Montenegro and the autonomy of Bulgaria, but it basically took away the fruits of victory from Tsar Alexander II. Some writers have expressed the thought that the award of the Pour le Merite to the Tsar by the German Kaiser that year was some sort of a "consolation" prize for what happened in Berlin!]

    The frame measures 6 3/8" by 8 "; the picture opening measures 4" x 6 3/8" and is obviously designed for the display of a 4 x 6 cabinet photograph (which is what it presently contains).

    Very good to excellent condition. There are small dings and scratches at various places on the surface of the frame. One corner show signs of having been bumped; two other, opposing, corners show very slight bends that could have resulted from the frame having been stored on its front or its back. Most of these imperfections would probably become virtually unnoticeable if the new owner decided to apply a very light polishing. The graceful easel back is sound and functions perfectly.

    On the back of the photo, the name of the photographer is indicated in English as "S. Savicky" in "St. Petersburg". There is also a partially legible handwritten inscription in blue ink on the back of the photo that seems to say "For good memory, Ya. K. Grechanikov, 30 May 1912(?)."

    In our experience, frames mounted with representations of the Imperial Russian crown were used almost exclusively for photos or pictures of members of the royal family. Unfortunately, it is unknown if the doctor in this photograph had any Romanov connections.

    Without a doubt, this frame and its portrait would make a handsome addition to a display of imperial artifacts or to a collection themed around military medicine.


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