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Album with Thirty-Four Original Gelatin Silver Photographs of the Famous Georgian Resort Borjomi and Its Environs, Including the Romanov Palace in Likani, Borjomi Cargo Railway Station, Saw Mill, Sanatorium of Dr. Hambachidze, Tabatskuri Lake, and Others. Ca. 1900s.


Ca. 1900s

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Oblong Quarto (ca. 18,5x24 cm).  pp. Thirty-four gelatin silver prints mounted on recto of card stock leaves, images ca. 12x17 cm (4 ¾ x 6 ¾ in) or slightly smaller. About a dozen with later ink captions on the mounts in Russian. Original beige full cloth album with a painted scene in oil (depicting a Georgian village at night) on the front cover. The binding weak on hinges, leaves disconnected at one joint, but the images are bright and sound. Overall a very good album.

Interesting historically important collection of original photographs of turn of the 20th century Borjomi – then the estate of Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolayevich Romanov (1832-1909) and a favourite summer resort of the Russian aristocracy. The pictures were taken by a local resident and at different times ranger of the Imperial forest and manager of the Borjomi sawmill. Several images bear handwritten commentaries by his son or daughter, e.g. “Papa in the Mineral Park [of Borjomi],” “Mama on the path to Likani on the other bank of the Kura River,” “Mama on the opposite side of the Starokavalerskaya Hotel,” “[Mama and Papa] in Tori (behind Bakuriani, in the now closed forestry; could be reached by an araba carriage only),” and others.

The sharp well preserved images include general views of the Borjomi Gorge and the city itself with the mansions on the banks of the Kura River and the Olga Bridge, images of the famous palace of Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolayevich in Likani (built in Moorish style in 1892-1895, there is a general view of the palace and a view of the duck pond), four views of Borjomi sawmill on the bank of the Black River taken from above (with various facilities and piles of wooden logs and planks), Borjomi cargo station of the narrow gauge Barjomi-Bakuriani railway (constructed in 1898-1901), sanatorium of Doctor Hambachidze (with a large painted sign “Sanatorium Dr. Hambachdze. 1904” on the roof), Tabatskuri Lake (located between Borjomi and Akhalkalaki districts in Samtskhe-Javakheti region), and others. There are also several portraits of local residents and family friends identified by the child of the album’s compiler: “Administrator of the Borjomi Estate before Vinogradov – Gets,” “Ivan Iosiphovich Roshchin and his wife Zinaida Konstantinovna (a forest ranger before Papa, he lived in our apartment),” “Ernest Vladimirovich Ramm with his wife, the manager of the sawmill before Papa, he lived behind the sawmill,” “Our last apartment (before the renovation), on the balcony – a hunter Karl Vladimirovich Ramm.” Overall an important visual source on the topography and history of pre-revolutionary Borjomi.

“The viceroy Mikhail Vorontsov, fascinated by local landscape and mineral waters, made Borjomi his summer residence and refurnished it with new parks. Its warm climate, mineral water springs, and forests made Borjomi a favorite summer resort for the aristocracy, and gave it its popular name of "the pearl of Caucasus". In the 1860s, new hotels were built, and an administration for mineral waters was established. In 1871, Borjomi was bestowed upon the royal family member, Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolayvich, then the viceroy of the Caucasus. In the 1890s, Mikhail’s son, Nikolay, built a park and a chateau at Likani, at the western end of Borjomi. The bottled mineral waters began to be extensively exported. The town grew significantly at the expanse of Russian migrants and, in 1901, the number of ethnic Russian inhabitants (2,031) outstripped the native Georgians (1,424) for the first time” (Wikipedia).

Item #P1
Price: $850.00