By Appointment to his Imperial Majesty, Czar of all Russias

Here’s an Imperial period Russian cabinet card. I got it for the ornate advertising logo printed on the back of the card. Roughly translated, it says (from the top):

Photographer to the Court

His Imperial Majesty

F. P. Orlov

and the royal King series

received awards and acknowledgements


Ekaterininskaya Ulitsa

Telephone Number 107

Negatives Saved

So Mr. Orlov was an award winning court photographer to the Emperor and royal family in Yalta.

God help me if I can read the handwriting on the left side of the verso – it’s not cyrillic as far as I can tell, and appears to be relatively modern (looks like a felt-tip pen).

Photo by F.P. Orlov, Imperial Court Photographer
Photo by F.P. Orlov, Imperial Court Photographer

The young lady’s name, if not in the handwriting, is lost. She could be the daughter of an up-and-coming middle class or industrial elite family, or maybe the child of some old aristocratic family.

One thought on “By Appointment to his Imperial Majesty, Czar of all Russias”

  1. Beautiful picture, front and back. I know how maddening it is to be stumped by handwriting like this because it seems almost like you should be able to figure it out. I agree it doesn’t appear to be cyrillic. I played around with an online translator for a few minutes, and it told me that “manai” means “think” in Lithuanian. That tells me virtually nothing about the sentiment, but I agree the language appears to be something Slavic. What a fun challenge!

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