Menu and program of a reception with the Kremlin fanfare on 17 June 1900.
2 ff. in-8 under a blue silk ribbon, large original blue waterco- lour, polychrome crest with imperial crown. Menu followed by programme of the Kremlin Fanfare which interpreted the music of Wagner, Borodine, Tchaikowsky, Glinka, etc. • Herewith, a handwritten invitation from the Russian ambassador, Prince Dolgorouki, for the Persian diplomat Kitabgi (1 p. on bristol in-12). • Herewith, 2 menus on white and green silk for the banquets of the General Consulate of Persia during the Universal Exhibition of Antwerp in 1894.
Our client's story about a successful discovery at the Hermitage Fine Art auction:
"It's terribly nice when an interesting artifact was on show in front of everyone's eyes and everyone but you missed it.
Not so long ago in Monaco, at Hermitage Fine Art auction, lots were sold from several menus. An original watercolor with the monogram "M.YA" was attached to one of them, decorated with a princely monogram. For me, its author was obvious - the talented artist Maria Vasilyevna Yakunchikova (1870-1902), one of the brightest masters of Russian modernism.
I bought this lot without a struggle for a very modest amount. I had no competitors here.
Now that I became the proud owner of a masterpiece, I naturally wanted to understand what the menu is and what it has to do with Yakunchikova. Looking at the monogram and comparing it with the date of celebration, I was able to assume that the menu is connected with the princely pair of the Tenishevs and the Paris World Exhibition of 1900. By the way, the Russian Handicraft department of the exhibition was designed specifically by Yakunchikova under the direction of A.Golovin.
At the end of the exhibition, the commissioner of the Russian department, Prince Vyacheslav Nikolaevich Tenishev, gave a gala dinner at the Continental Hotel in Paris. Naturally, the princess did not stay away from this event. In her memoirs, she wrote: "Dinner was for two hundred and fifty people, and, wanting to give it more originality, I thought of making a menu on parchment paper with vignettes made by our artists. Each menu represented a small watercolor by Korovin, Golovin, Davydova, Bem, Malyutin (I sent the cardboards to Russia to the last two) and several other artists. Everything was ready for the deadline, and the menus, tied with ribbons, immediately became the object of desire, so that as soon as the guests entered the hall, the menus on many tables disappeared. But I foresaw this, and I had a certain amount left in reserve. "