A jewel of a book


Miniature Photographic Album

Publication: [Moskva or Skt. Peterburg, 1913].

[ROMANOVS], Miniature Photographic Album

Lovely ‘book’ boasting a luxurious binding with, inside, portraits of all rulers of the Romanov dynasty of Russia. Very unusual, especially complete.

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Our Notes & References

A rare album of photographic portraits of the Romanov dynasty, here in an exceptional jewel binding.

Produced to celebrate the 300-y. reign of the Romanovs, it includes all heads of the Russian State from Mikhail Feodorovich to Nicholas II and his family, through Peter and Catherine the Great among the 18 tsars and tsarinas represented. Beyond the feat of printing such small photo leaves, this example is particularly remarkable for its gold binding, with an intricate cover showing gilt imperial regalia on a background of enamelled Russian colours, with both dates 1613 and 1913 designed like pieces of jewellery. It also retains its fragile original clasp.

Such small and fragile objects are rarely found, especially complete with all ruling members of the dynasty. We came across another, incomplete example, and we handled some years ago a similar photo album, produced for the 1896 coronation of Nicholas II and focusing more on his family.

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Physical Description

Miniature album (2.8 x 2.1 cm) of 12 leaves of photographic paper, showing a coat-of-arms and 21 portraits.


Gold binding with ‘JW’ and ’56’ marks to lower cover, upper cover with white, blue and red enamelling, first and last leaf pasted as endpapers, all edges gilt, original clasp.


Binding minimally marked, some leaves probably rebound; a few pages with small area of abrasion barely affecting the portraits, a couple of leaves creased, first and last leaf (endpapers) frayed at edges with minor loss.

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