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Alexander II’s carpet restored

20.01.2020

The Museum has received after 1.5-year restoration a nineteenth-century carpet that used to adorn the Reception Room of Alexander II in the Zubov Wing of the Catherine Palace.

Evacuated in 1941 to Sarapul on the Kama River and then stored at the Central Repository of Museum Stocks in Pavlovsk, the floor covering piece returned to Tsarskoe Selo in 1958. It was later on display in the Dressing Room of Nicholas II at the Alexander Palace.

The 510 x 288 cm rug was made in the second half of the nineteenth century by Leisler & Co, Wilhelm Leisler’s carpet factory in the German Hanau which had been founded in 1789 and numbered Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and other celebrities of the time among its customers.

According to experts, the woolen piece with stylized oriental patterns is remarkable for its unlikeness to then dominant French products by the Savonnerie factory and the Aubusson workshops and slightly reminds Axministers, the English machine-made carpets.

After more than sixty years without restoration, the carpet required careful treatment by Svetlana Skripnik, an art restorer from the company Phenomen, who worked on it since August 2018 and has done a marvelous job removing dirt and repairing discolouration, wear and some losses.

The carpet will be a splendid piece of historic furnishings in the Zubov Wing interiors after their reconstruction.