The Service for the Grand Duke Michael Pavlovitch by Biennais and Cahier a gift from his brother the Czar

Sold into the West by the Soviet Government between the wars.

Purchased from me by H. E. Mahdi al Tajir as part of the initial sale that started his collection on the floor of his embassy office in 1977.

When I told him how much the group of items had cost and that I wanted a 10% profit he told me to pack it all up and take it away. While I was repacking in his PA’s office the phone rang and Kay Humphries asked me to go back in and see the Ambassador. Tajir told me it was no fun dealing this way that I should have asked him over a million and we could have argued for many hours before agreeing, then honour would be satisfied, I told him this only led to a lack of trust and a waste of a lot of our mutual time.

He bought the collection, in what was then the largest deal done in the London silver trade since the Crichton purchase of the Cumberland plate in the 1930’s.

Sold Christies on behalf of Tajir December 1 2004.