A Cabinet Card Photograph of Grand Duke Michael (Mikhail) Alexandrovich, circa 1901, by photographers W. & D. Downey. The Grand Duke shown at bust length in a black suit and Glengarry bonnet. Mounted on W. & D. Downey’s trade card for their London offices in Ebury Street, the reverse detailing their position as Photographers by Special Appointment to Queen Victoria as well the Russian Imperial and other courts. 6 1/2″ x 4 3/8″ (16.7 x 11 cm).
This photograph was most likely taken in 1901, when Grand Duke Michael represented his older brother, Emperor Nicholas II, at the funeral of Queen Victoria. W. & D. Downey, or William and Daniel, were among the most exclusive of portrait photographers in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The firm was granted the right to use the Royal Warrant in 1879 and Photographers by Special Appointment to the Queen in 1890. They were subsequently granted the honor of taking Queen Victoria’s official portrait for her Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The photographers were permitted unusual access to the Royal family; they frequently took more casual photographs at Balmoral and Frogmore in addition to their formal studio portraits.
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