Countess Yelizavetta Fredericks: Her Twenty Piece Glass and Tortoiseshell Travelling Set
St. Petersburg, late 19th century
Comprising eleven glass bottles and boxes with reeded silver lids, each with engraved initials under a coronet, two tortoiseshell dishes, four brushes, and a tortoiseshell box, various sizes, contained within a dark green leather travelling case
The travelling case belonged to the wife of Count Vladimir Borisovich Fredericks (Freederickz), Minister of the Imperial Court, Commander of the Horse Guards, etc. A perfect courtier imbued with great tact and charm, he knew his job perfectly and served his master loyally.
During the troubles of February 1917, Fredericks' proximity to the great court and his German-sounding (in fact he was of Finnish origin) name, made his house and family a target for the mob. It was only through the presence of mind of the servants that his sick, eighty-year old wife was carried from the house as it was set alight.
She was taken to the English Hospital where there were misgivings about admitting her and the Ambassador was telephoned. It was Lady Muriel Paget who ran the hospital who refused to desert an old friend in need. The Countess was hidden on the top floor for a few days prior to being taken to a safe place. It is tempting to wonder if this green bag accompanied the Countess on her wanderings.