(Julia, b. 1866, Ballerina, sister of the ballerina Matilda Kschessinska, 1872-1971, and wife of Alexander, Baron)
Autograph letter signed 'Aunt Julia', in Russian with translation, to her nephew Slava Kschessinsky (Astafiev) (d. 1976),
saying she has "received all your letters ... what a pity I did not know that Mama had come to join you, I sent her a letter for Easter to London, in your letter she wrote that she is going to Buda Pest", and sending "all the stamps that you asked for ... where do you plan to go for the summer? ... We set off with Uncle Ali from Gaf to Yalta", on the return to St. Petersburg "we got as far as Sevastopol by the steamer, and there was such a terrible storm in the sea, every one was seasick, the waves flooded the deck", she asks "when Mama will be in London again", 2 sides 8vo., no place, 23rd April (Russian), 6th May (Western)
top left corner neatly removed, possibly with loss of embossed coronet
Julia's husband was a close friend of Tsar Nicholas II (1868-1918). They were young officers together in the Preobrazhensky Regiment, and the Baron was one of five officers at the select dinner party given by the Tsar on the evening of his wedding. Julia, known as 'Mlle Kschessinska I', married the Baron in 1902 on completing 20 years on the stage.
When Nicholas II set up Matilda as his mistress in 1892, her father, the famous Polish dancer Felix Krzesinski (1823-1905), insisted that Julia keep house with her, and there Nicholas and Matilda gave dinner parties like any married couple.
Slava's mother Serafima Astafieva, 'Sima', 1876-1934, was the first wife of Joseph Kschessinsky, Julia and Matilda's brother. She graduated from the Imperial Ballet School to the Maryinsky Theatre (now the Kirov) in 1895 and was in Diaghilev's company 1909-1911. In 1916 she opened a famous school at 'The Pheasantry', 152 King's Road, Chelsea. Her pupils included Alicia Markova, Anton Dolin, Margot Fonteyn, and Margot Luck (d. 1976), whom Slava married.