English 18K Gold Hunting Case Pocket Watch
Storr & Mortimer, London, 1837
The dial with an engraved floral motif on silver with an off-white finish, outer chapter ring with Roman numerals and minute indicators, subsidiary seconds and blue steel Breguet hands; the movement signed Storr & Mortimer, London, two hammers, stem activated repeater, back key wind and set; the engine-turned case with coin edge, with factory signed cuvette, the inside front cover inscribed in Russian Watch always carried by Emperor Alexander II and inherited by Count A.V. Adlerberg.
By repute, Emperor Alexander II (1818-1881)
Count Alexander Vladimirovich Adlerberg (1818-1888), then by descent
Xenia Jud, née Princess Xenia Georgievna of Russia (1903-1965), acquired from the family of the above
Then by descent
Count Alexander Vladimirovich Adlerberg (1818-1888) was the son of the court minister Vladimir Feodorovich Adlerberg and Maria Vasilievna, the cousin of Varvara Nelidova, the favorite of Emperor Nicholas I (1796-1855). The Adlerberg family enjoyed the unlimited favor of the emperor.
Educated at the Corps des Pages, Adlerberg was appointed to be the heir to Tsarevich Alexander Nikolaevich, later Emperor Alexander II (1818-1881), who would become his closest friend for the rest of his life. He enjoyed a distinguished career as a military officer and served the court in several key positions until the assassination of Alexander II in March of 1881. Deeply affected by the loss of his close friend, Adlerberg left the service of the court due to poor health several months after the assassination.
Adlerberg received a number of Russian Imperial awards for his many years of service, including the highly prestigious Order of St. Andrew the First-Called with diamonds, granted by Emperor Alexander III (1845-1894) on his coronation day in 1883 in recognition for Adlerberg's service and devotion to the late emperor. In 1886, on the day of the fiftieth anniversary of his service in the officer ranks, Adlerberg was granted portrait diamonds of the both Emperors Alexander II and Alexander III.
The present pocket watch belonged to Count Adlerberg, as indicated by the engraved inscription. It was later acquired from the Adlerberg family by Princess Xenia Georgievna, daughter of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich, and has since descended in her family. The watch is thought to have belonged to Emperor Alexander II and to have been given to Adlerberg following the emperor's assassination. According to family legend, the watch was carried by Alexander II on the day of his assassination. Another English gold pocket watch belonging to the emperor, purportedly carried by him on the day of his assassination and bequeathed in his will to his mistress, and later his second, morganatic wife, Princess Catherine Yurievskaya (1847-1922), was sold Christie's, London, South Kensington, December 17, 1999, lot 255.
After leaving Rundell, Bridge & Rundell in 1819, Paul Storr went into partnership with John Mortimer of 13 New Bond Street under the name of Storr & Mortimer. Storr manufactured goods for Mortimer to sell in the shop at New Bond Street. Now established as manufacturing and retail goldsmiths with a prominent clientele, Storr and Mortimer were appointed Goldsmiths and Jewellers to Her Majesty (1822-1839).
C Property from the Descendants of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia
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