Thursday, October 15, 2009

Victoria of Prussia sells possessions at auction

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October 15, 1929

It "is another gloomy chapter in the ill-starred love affairs" of Princess Victoria of Prussia, sister of the former Kaiser Wilhelm II that ended today with the auction of the Princess' possessions, "comprising a stately array of Hohenzollern heirlooms."

More than 500 persons, mostly "prominent art dealers and collectors" from Europe and the United States gathered in the palace garage for an auction as "Frau Subkoff was unable to meet her creditors her belongings were being auctioned off."

A true royal garage sale.

Due to the lack of racks, many of the guests placed their hats on the busts of Hohenzollerns, "chiefly the ex-Kaiser."

There were no representatives from Doorn or from the British royal house, although some of the gifts were from Queen Victoria, who was the princess' grandmother.

Unfortunately for the auctioneer, the auction "caused keen disappointment, especially for the creditors, on account of the ridiculously lowly prices offered."

The only lively bidding was for pieces "bearing the Hohenzollern coat of arms.
The most valuable object was a Japanese silver tea service, which was bought by a Cologne dealer for 7000 marks. The tea service was presented to Empress Friedrich (the Princess Royal) by her father-in-law, Wilhelm I, on the occasion of her silver wedding anniversary.

The auction brought in a mere 60,000 marks ($14,000), a "trifling sum" as Princess Victoria's debts total more than 750,000 marks ($180,000.) She now lives in "comparative poverty" in a two-room apartment at Mehlem, near Bonn. Her much younger husband, Alexander Zubkoff, a Russian emigre, was recently expelled from Germany and has been arrested in Luxembourg.

1 comment:

Bea said...

Marlene, I have read some about this and I wondered was it Princess Victoria who got herself into debt or did Alexander Zubkoff steal her money? And why didn't her family help or the Schaumburg family, I'm sure this had to be very embarrassing for them, a royal garage sale.