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A collection of jewels worth 2 million euros ($2.9 million), most of which belonged to the last Russian tsar’s family, have surfaced in the Swedish Foreign Ministry’s storage rooms. The jewels that belonged to the Romanovs were handed over to the Swedish Embassy in St. Petersburg for safekeeping after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, Ekot radio station said. They were found while storage items were being moved, the report said. The collection includes around 60 gold and silver cigarette cases and cuff links, and jewels made by Faberge and the Bolin family, who were court jewelers to five Russian tsars and three Swedish kings, Ekot said. “We have discovered a large quantity of jewels which were brought to what was known as the Swedish mission in Petrograd in November 1918 by a confidant of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna,” said professor Krister Valbek. The Grand Duchess died in France without telling her family about the jewelry taken to Sweden. The jewels were kept in Sweden for about 91 years. Swedish authorities had made no mention of them earlier for security reasons, and wary over harming relations with the Soviet Union. The jewels have been handed over to members of the Romanov family. Some of them will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s London in November.

The objects, which include 100 cigarette boxes, are expected to fetch about 1 million pounds ($1.6 million), said Sofia Stroem, a spokeswoman for Sotheby’s in Stockholm. “Unknown for generations until their recent rediscovery, the objects, some of which still contain evidence of use by the Romanovs — remnants of tobacco and period Bogdanov cigarettes — truly evoke the grandeur and sublime taste of their original owners,” Marcus Linell of Sotheby’s said in a statement. The most expensive cigarette boxes may fetch as much as 90,000 pounds, while a pair of cufflinks could sell for as much as 6,000 pounds, according to Sotheby’s estimates. The cheapest cigarette boxes may sell for as little as 700 pounds, while the cheapest cufflinks may fetch as little as 80 pounds, said the auction house.

Diana Mandache’s weblog Royal History