Russian Military Print #212, Reign of Nicholas I (1825-1855).
Hand colored lithograph (printed in Paris c 1855) illustrating a Russian
company grade cavalry officer in winter uniform from the Cuirassier
Regiment of the Military Order from the 1854-1855 period (#212 in a
series), very fine condition, large format: 12 1/2" by 17" [32 X 43cm], image
size: 7 1/8" by 9 ¾" [18 X 25cm], colors fresh as new with only minor
Produced in France during the final years of the Crimean War (or shortly
after that conflict ended), this beautifully executed lithograph was printed by
the famous Parisian firm of (Joseph) Lemercier and subsequently
meticulously hand colored, most likely by artists living in Russia who were
able to work from color uniform references and cloth samples not readily
available in France.
Although about one hundred and fifty years old, the paper it is printed on
shows no signs of brittleness and the colors are 'fresh as new.' Most of
whatever minor foxing is present would be covered by a mat when finally
framed for display in a living room or a study. The same would hold true for
any other minor imperfections in the border area (primarily minor edge
crumpling). Please note the photographs.
The background of this unit is quite interesting. The term "Military Order" in
its title was bestowed upon it by Catharine the Great (and refers, of course,
to the Order of St. George, Russia's highest award for military bravery
during the Empire and now reinstituted as a valor award by the current
Russian government). Originally founded by Peter the Great in the 17th
century, the soldiers in this regiment were uniformed at various points as
cuirassiers, at others, dragoons! From 1907 until the Revolution, it was
titled the 13th Dragoon Regiment.
Besides the fact that this is a significant historic document in and of itself, it
represents a rare and uniquely affordable opportunity for the collector of
items related to the Russian Empire to own and display original nineteenth
century artwork in his or her home.