Presented to Grand Duchess Alexandra Nicholayevna (1825-1844), daughter of Nicholas I and Alexandra Feodorovna, on her wedding to Landgraf Friedrich von Hessen-Kassel (1820-1884) in 1844
A pair of vase-shaped silver wine coolers from the Grand Duchess Alexandra Nicholayevna dowry service presented to her by Tsar Nicholas I (1796-1855). One side of each vase is engraved with her cypher ‘AN’ beneath an Imperial crown, the other with the Imperial double-headed eagle; the handles are formed as acanthus branches; the everted rims are cast with scrolling foliage and raised on four scroll feet capped by acanthus leaves.
Grand Duchess Alexandra Nicholayevna, born 1825, was the third daughter of Tsar Nicholas I, and reportedly his favourite child. In 1844, Alexandra married Landgraf Friedrich von Hessen-Kassel (1820-1884), heir to one of the most prestigious royal houses of Europe. The wedding took place at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg and was celebrated with great pomp. Unfortunately, the marriage was not to last long; the following year Alexandra died in childbirth at the tragically young age of nineteen.
All three daughters of Nicholas I received lavish dowries, which, among other precious things, included large services supplied by Carl Tegelsten. The majority of the silver service which formed part of the dowry of Grand Duchess Alexandra Nicholayevna is in Schloss Fasanerie, property of the Grand Dukes of Hessen-Darmstadt (see Die Mitgift einer Zarentochter. Meisterwerke Russischer Kunst des Historismus aus dem Besitz der Hessischen Hausstiftung Museum Schloss Fasanerie, 1997).
Carl Johann Tegelsten (1798-1852) – 19th-century Russian silversmith of Finnish descent. Since the 1830’s much of his work was retailed by the fashionable English Store, owned by the merchants Constantin Nicholls and William Plincke. A leading court silver and goldsmith, Tegelsten became famous for producing services and table wares in the neo-Rococo taste in preparation for the marriages of many members of the Romanov family.