Wednesday, March 28, 2012

To Monsieur Narischkine from Nice

Yesterday's post on trams in Nice, France made me want to post another non-tram postcard of Nice. There are so many wonderful details on this card, some of them undiscovered since I do not speak Russian. If there are any Russian speakers out there who can provide a translation, I would be very grateful, because the back of this card seems to have just as much going for it as the front.

The front of the card shows the fairly typical scene of Nice, with well-dressed people out for a stroll.
 It would be easy to overlook some of the added elements, such as the man with the balloon.

There's also the woman (?) on the left-hand side of the card with the umbrella.

And then there's the kiosk, selling magazines and newspapers from all over the world.

And finally, there's the back of the card. The message is written in Russian, so I can't begin to decipher it, but it is addressed to Mr. Narischkine at Palazzo Galitzine in Rome. Who is this Mr. Narischkine and what is Palazzo Galitzine?

I found a reference in the New York Times, February, 1918 referring to a Prince Cyril Narischkine  and his marriage to opera star Genevieve Vix. This doesn't guarantee that our postcard recipient is Cyril Narishkine, but the address of the card at Palazzo Galitzine in Rome is another clue. The Galitzine (Golitsyn) family was also a noble family of Russia with hereditary connections to the Narishkine family. It's also possible that our recipient was M.B. Narischkine, who liquidated an extensive art collection in 1883. That's where that Russian translation might help.


  1. Christine, this is a unique postcard. The message is written in old Russian. I can read it except two words.

    "Nice, 1906, March 11th.
    Dear father, how are you doing?
    Kiss you affectionately and hug you ....!
    Daughter ...."

    The last word is probably her name or nickname but I can't decipher it, sorry. Old Russian is very hard to read sometimes. On the front of the card she wrote: "I'm here" and pictured herself with the umbrella.

  2. How fascinating and great detective work!
    I shall check back to see if more is uncovered :)

  3. Thank you so much Elena!

    This may suggest that it is not Cyril if he already has a daughter in 1906. Although he could have married a second time. Hmmm, wonder what that daughter's name was.

  4. Mr. Narischkine might be Kirill (Cyril) Narischkine (1855-1921). He was a diplomat. His parents were Mikhail Narischkine and Anna Sutgof. Kirill married his cousin Sophia Naryshkine. Between 1904 and 1906 he was a minister-resident in Vatican. Between 1910 and 1912 - ambassador in Stockholm.

    Looks like the daughter's name is Sadovnina (last name) but I'm not quite sure.

    Prince Cyril Narischkine mentioned in the article above was born in 1877, son of Vasiliy Naryshkine.

  5. Thanks again Elena.
    I think you're right, especially as the Rome/Vatican dates match up.

  6. Very nice research. How dear that she drew herself into the picture!



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