Our Notes & References
UNCOMMON LAVISH PRODUCTION DEDICATED TO THE PATRIOTIC WAR, RARELY FOUND COMPLETE. A FINE EXAMPLE IN WRAPPERS.
The 1912 centenary of the great victory against Napoleon was marked in Imperial Russia by a series of events and publications: this one was one of the most lavish. Published by the recently formed Committee for the Construction of the 1812 Museum in Moscow, it accompanied an important exhibition held at the Historical Museum on the Red Square. The opening of the 1812 museum was actually supposed to be a major event within the programme of celebrations of the jubilee; however, because of the long lasting reconstruction of the premises allocated to the museum, its opening was postponed and the Committee chose a temporary exhibition.
The exhibition comprised items predominantly gathered from Imperial museums (such as the Hermitage and the Kremlin Armory), but also loaned by prominent private collections, such A. A. Bakhrushyn’s, S. N. Tsvetaev’s, P. S. Sheremetiev’s and P. I. Shchukin’s.
The thick and richly illustrated catalogue comprises not only detailed descriptions of the exhibited items, but also a list of documents that were not on display due to shortage of space. Interestingly, the editor gave preference in the illustrations to items from private collections, which were not easily accessed even by specialists, leave alone the general public. It was planned that after the reconstruction was completed, all these items would constitute the core collection of the newly built museum. Unfortunately, the First World War delayed the opening of the museum and the events of the year 1917 made the organisers to abandon this project completely.
Vengerov, Bibliokhronika I-155 (“Davno tsenitsa znatokami kak redkost”).