The April 1, 1915 letter handwritten in Russian on the Grand Duke’s embossed stationery and addressed to a certain Pavel Gavrilovich, the text concerning the Grand Duke’s work on the first translation of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” into Russian and the English translation of his (later controversial) play “King of the Jews.” Accompanied by an English translation of the text printed on cream paper and laid down on card bordered in forest green and gold. The paper folded over, the back with four spots where it had been attached to the page of an album. Dimensions (unfolded): 3 7/8 in. h x 6 1/8 in. h
Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich was unique among the Imperial family for having achieved both distinguished military and literary careers. He served in both the Imperial Army and Navy and on Imperial committees overseeing military academies. He and his wife, Grand Duchess Elizaveta Mavrikievna (born Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Altenburg, 1858-1927), served as patrons of numerous artistic, literary, and scientific organizations, including the Imperial Archaeological Society, the Imperial Russian Musical Society, the Imperial Russian Academy of Sciences, including the photographic section, Pushkin House, and Moscow’s Polytechnic Museum. The couple sponsored several important exhibitions in St. Petersburg and Moscow around the turn of the century. Konstantin is best known as one of the last members of the Imperial family to have lived at Pavlovsk Palace and for writing poetry and plays under the pseudonym KR (for “Konstantin Romanov”), as well as his translations, including the first translation of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” into Russian.
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