Mark Funke Books

MF 007 | Once Upon a Time Princess Anastasia

von Rotsmann, Georgina Freiin; Maria Olbrich, Joseph - illustrator
Es war einmal[Once upon a time]

Inscribed to Princess Anastasia Romanov, youngest daughter of the Russian Tsar Nicholas Romanov II, and therefore, precious.

An elegant book telling the story of Princess Elizabeth von Hessen’s (1895-1903) playhouse. Signed and inscribed by Baroness Georgina Freiin von Rotsmann, the author and Lady in Waiting, or Governess, of Princess Elizabeth.

Princess Elizabeth was the daughter of the Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse-Darmstadt. The Duke was the older brother of Tsarina Alexandra Romanov and the Romanov princessess’ uncle. Princess Elizabeth died November 16, 1903 during one of her frequent visits to her uncle, the Tsar. This book was written as a tribute to Princess Elizabeth.

Von Rotsmann inscribed the book on the flyleaf to “Der lieben Grossfürstin Anastasia zum Andenken. Georgina von Rotsmann. 1904.” [“To my dear Grand Duchess Anastasia. In remembrance” alternate translation “as a keepsake.”] On the same page is a tag from Hammer Galleries in New York, which sold the Russian Imperial collection in the 1930s. The tag incorrectly states that the inscription is to Grand Duches Tatiana. 

From the collection of A.J. Marino. Marino’s journal states: “This collection of Russian items were nearly all bought from Hammer Galleries starting in 1934, containing pieces that cannot be obtained today.” 

The playhouse was designed by the book’s illustrator, the influential Art Nouveau architect Joseph Maria Olbrich (1867-1908). Olbrich, along with Gustav Klimt, Josef Hoffman and Koloman Moser founded the Vienna Secession artistic group. 

Format 10” x 9.75” (25.5 x 24 cm)
First edition. In German.

Extent [24] pp.

Condition Faded front wrapper; wrapper detached and repaired; 1.5” loss to bottom edge, chip to lower corner; rubbed and worn, contents generally clean; some bent corners; front is leat with small tear; otherwise very good. Along with: new professionally made box and 1983 reproduction, bound in red cloth with gilt cover, in as-new condition.

Published Darmstadt: Hofdruckerei Hohmann, [1904]
Accompanying reproduction signed in 1990 by the publisher, Christa von der Marwitz.

Price $4,500