In 1903, the Romanov family celebrated the 290th anniversary of their dynasty. A massive masquerade ball in Winter Palace was arranged for the occasion. They dressed up as the 17th century Russian tsars and noblemen. Here are the photos taken at that splendid feast. Eventually, their gorgeous outfits became an inspiration for Russian-style playing cards.
These vintage dresses are now held in the Hermitage museum and, recently, employees of the Laboratory of Scientific Tissue Restoration started restoring one of the costumes. But they came across an unexpected finding.
Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of RussiaPublic domain
The dress of Nicholas II’s sister, Xenia, was in a great condition, just a few stitches had to be fixed.
“We used to look through every single tab, fold and hanging piece of the dress, because they usually accumulate dust or frayed fabric,” Galina Fedorova of the Hermitage said in a video the museum uploaded to their instagram account.
One of the sleeves was sewn up for some reason, but the stitch was quite light and the restorer decided to remove the thread… And something pink fell out onto her hand, looking like a little stone.
“For some reason - probably some ancient instincts triggered - I licked this piece and it turned out to be sweet,” the museum worker said.
It turns out that it was a candy of the early 20th century, bitten by the Grand Duchess. Most likely, she just didn’t find where to put the candy and simply hid it in the sleeve of her dress.
The candy was actually made from sugar paste. Can you imagine how good the quality of tsars’ candy (and dress) was, that it survived more than a hundred years? It wasn’t even affected by any bacteria or mold. The great finding will be preserved and exhibited with the dress from now on - and won’t be licked again!
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