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The Greek physician for Nicholas II

16 December 2014 / 17:12:17  GRReporter
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Haralambos Akrivopoulos experienced the luxury life of the Russian aristocracy but also its forced dethronement, being the physician for the last Tsar Nicholas II in the turbulent years just before the October Revolution. One hundred years later, exquisite silver objects from his collection are auctioned by his successors.

The Greek served in the palace of the royal family as a young military physician in the second decade of the 20th century and accompanied Tsar Nicholas II himself and his army in their expansionary campaigns. The Greek had won the confidence of the family and developed a special relationship with the Tsar’s children, being awarded with unique silver objects for his services. As he told his grandson Abraham Akrivopoulos, who is still living and today is a doctor from Thessaloniki, the Tsar’s son Alexander had given him a very fine silver chariot pulled by two horses as a token of gratitude for having saved him from a disease.

Among his possessions are a cigarette case - a true piece of jewellery with the name "Nastya", the pet name of the little Tsar’s daughter Anastasia, engraved on it; a silver box; engraved ivory pens and a jewellery box of one of the Tsar’s daughters with whom he reportedly had a love romance, and many other items from the last years of the Russian Empire. In anticipation of the developments Akrivopoulos himself had taken care to send some of them outside Russia before it was too late, he took part of them upon returning to the Soviet Union years later and a third group of these items were scattered in the following years in auction houses and private collections throughout Europe.

During the revolution in 1917 Akrivopoulos fled to Poland using a trick to pass through the border blockade of the Bolsheviks: all the time he was rubbing his hands with a stone statuette and a rusty piece of iron to make them look like the rough hands of an ordinary worker, thus saving himself from detention and a possible execution. He settled in Serres where he raised his family and became involved in politics, initially in the Liberal Union, and later in the National Radical Union of Konstantinos Karamanlis.

400 relics put up for auction

The chariot, cigarette case, money-box and other items from the royal collection had ended up in the hands of a private collector from Thessaloniki. While looking for little silver treasures of the Russian aristocracy in antique shops all over Europe, he met with Xenofondas and Abraham Akrivopoulos, the son and grandson of the Greek physician for the Tsar. Due to financial difficulties he has put up for auction 400 objects from his collection through the auction house Myro Antique's House. The selling price of the entire collection is set at 200,000 euro.

Tags: Tsar Nicholas IIGreek physicianRelicsAuctionAction house
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