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Lot #552
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Signed Photograph (European Tour)

Incredibly scarce photo signed during Tchaikovsky’s first concert tour of Western Europe

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Estimate: $10000+
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Incredibly scarce photo signed during Tchaikovsky’s first concert tour of Western Europe

Rare and magnificent 4 x 6.25 cabinet bust portrait of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky by Muller & Pilgrim of Leipzig, signed and inscribed in the lower portion of the image in fountain pen in German (translated): "To my good friend Carl Armbrust, with fond memories, P. Tschaikowsky, 10 Feb. 1888." Archivally mounted, matted, and framed to an overall size of 11.75 x 14.25. In fine condition, with lightly trimmed edges, and light overall soiling.

A year after making his professional debut as a maestro in 1887, Tchaikovsky embarked on his first concert tour of Western Europe as the conductor of his own works. Though insecure in his abilities to direct an orchestra, he sincerely wanted to extend his and Russia's musical reputation and thus began his travels. He visited Hamburg in late January of 1888 where several musicians and critics (to quote his diary) 'paid me flattering attention, awoke my warm sympathy, and thereby left me with indelible memories.' One such person was the well-respected music critic and virtuoso organist at St. Peter's Church Carl Armbrust, who made him feel quite at home there, and with whom he stayed in touch and held as a good friend upon his departure for Berlin in early February. A real music rarity, this handsome Tchaikovsky signed photo is one of just a handful that we have ever offered. The addition of his genuine sentiment of "fond memories" to his new friend and fellow music-lover makes it a truly extraordinary piece.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts Featuring Classical Music
  • Dates: #661 - Ended April 12, 2023

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