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Lot # 1440 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1884 Tchaikovsky Signed Imperial Cabinet Photograph

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $4,700.00

Extremely rare Imperial cabinet photograph signed by Pytor (Peter) Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), renowned Russian composer. The original albumen photograph (5.25 x 7.75 inches) captures Tchaikovsky in a formal studio pose and has been signed and dated ("1884") directly below his image. Tchaikiovsky's signature and inscription (written in Cyrillic letters) has been beautifully scripted in black fountain pen and grades "6." The name of the photographer (also in Cyrillic letters) is printed along the base of the mount (5.5 x 7.75 inches). Tchaikovsky signed albumen photos of any size are extremely rare and highly prized by collectors in the field of historical autographs, but an example of this size and quality is particularly extraordinary. This is a simply incredible large-format Imperial presentation photograph, produced at great cost, signed, and personally presented by Tchaikovsky. Universally recognized as one of the "giants" of nineteenth-century classical music, Tchaikovsky is best known for his ballets The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake . Among his other famous works are the 1812 Overture , his seven symphonies, and the operas Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades . Tchaikovsky contracted cholera in 1893 (most reports state that he contracted the disease from a glass of contaminated water) and he passed away shortly after at the age of fifty. Though he was much celebrated during his lifetime, because of his early death signed photographs are extremely rare. This is a particularly impressive signed Imperial photograph, ideal for display as intended, from one of classical music's most enduring composers. The cabinet photograph is in Excellent condition. It is beautifully and very expensively framed to total dimensions of 20 x 17 inches. (Note: The signed photograph is mounted in the frame with clear corners so as not to damage the piece in any way). A color copy of the reverse of the cabinet , which has an elaborate advertisement for the photographic studio, is affixed to the reverse of the frame. The only other Tchaikovsky signed photograph we have ever offered appeared as Lot 1339 in Robert Edward Auctions' April 2005 auction. That example sold for a hammer price of $4,500. This larger signed photograph has been consigned to this auction by the same gentleman. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000. SOLD FOR $4,700.00


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