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Russian Royal Photo Albums Gain High Prices at Auction

May 1, 1987

LONDON (AP) _ Photograph albums compiled by the families of Russia’s last two czars, Alexander III and his son Nicholas II, were sold Friday by as much as five times the amounts expected, Sotheby’s auction house reported.

Neither the seller nor the buyers of the albums were identified.

Three personal photograph albums that once belonged to Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, the youngest and favorite daughter of Alexander III, sold for the equivalent of $59,840. Its catalog price was $16,600-$24,900.

The albums included mainly pictures of Russian and European royalty.

The same private buyer paid $29,200 for a 1911 album compiled by Olga’s brother, General Duke Michael Alexandrovich. It included photos of a motor car and sleigh, and the duke playing with a pet bear. It had a recommended price of $3,300-$5,000.

A private West German buyer paid $32,800 for an album of 180 photographs all relating to the domestic life of Nicholas II and his family. The catalog price was up to $8,300.

The same West German also paid $32,800 for an album of 100 photographs of the Russian imperial family compiled by Alexandrovich in 1911, which had an estimated prce of up to $6,600.

Alexander III reigned from 1881 until his death in 1894. He was succeeded by Nicholas II, his eldest son and the last czar of Russia. He was shot to death with his family in 1918, the year after the Russian Revolution brought the Bolsheviks to power.

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