early 20th century
including a letter from 'Vicky' to 'Sascha' in English, together with the transcription of the letter in French; the death certificate of Victoria Zoubkoff, dated 13 November 1929; the prison release of Alexander Zoubkoff, dated 23 November 1929; various newspaper cuttings; and a set of three ivory brushes and an ivory hand mirror, engraved with monogram A below a royal crown
‘Well - such is life – nothing but disappointments and misery’, Vicky in her letter to Sascha, dated 13 July 1929
Born in 1866 as Victoria Princess of Prussia and the younger sister of Wilhelm II, the last emperor of Germany, Vicky fell in love as a young woman with the son of the King of Portugal, Alexander von Battenberg. Marriage plans were supported by her parents but soon forgotten. Prince Von Battenberg who ruled Bulgaria since 1879 after having been nominated by the Russian Tsar and the Emperor of Germany, Wilhelm I, soon demanded total independence for Bulgaria. Not to offend Russia, grandfather Wilhelm I and his chancellor Otto von Bismarck opposed the marriage. Nevertheless, Victoria and Alexander secretly engaged hoping that after the death of Emperor Wilhelm I, views would change. Unfortunately they did not, the marriage was cancelled and a year later, in 1889, Alexander married an opera singer.
In 1890 Vicky married Prince Adolf of Schaumberg-Lippe and the couple moved to Bonn into Palace Schaumberg where Adolf died in 1916.
In 1927, after years spent in solitude, the excentric 61-year old Vicky meets 27-year old Alexander Zoubkoff. She falls desperately in love with ‘Sascha’, born in 1900 in Moscow, an officer in the Imperial Russian army and forced to seek refuge from the Revolution in Central Europe. Despite the scandal aroused in the family and the press who cautions against this ‘Hochstapler’, she marries him in November 1927. Hardly four months later she is left behind shattered: her fortune has been spent towards a ‘dolce vita’ and a husband having walked off to Luxembourg. With debts rising high and abandoned by her family, Vicky is forced to publicly offer the contents of the Schaumburg Palace in October 1929. She dies on 13 November 1929, embittered and lonely, only a few days before her official divorce from Alexander Zoubkoff is granted. After a life of adventure, Sascha dies in 1936, only 35 years old.
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