The exposition
"The Butler's Apartment"

The exposition “The Butler’s Apartment”

             On September 19, 2013, the opening of the exposition “The Butler’s Apartment” took place in the Worontsov Palace. This exposition complements the idea of the life of the estate in the middle of the XIX — early XX centuries. Work in this direction has been carried out for many years. The gifts of local residents and museum staff, which make up a significant part of the expositions , were collected bit by bit. Now visitors can get acquainted with the everyday life of ordinary people who served the palace.
             In the late 1840’s, after the completion of the construction of the palace, a significant staff of servants appeared in the Alupka estate of Count M.S. Worontsov.  Her duties included maintaining order in the manor house, serving members of the count’s family who visited the estate on visits, as well as their guests. Maids, valets, footmen, grooms, coachmen, etc. they lived in rooms on the second floor of the Utility buildings.
            Traditionally, male servants were led by a butler (majordomo, head waiter, caretaker). He was the main figure in the management of the entire household. The butler knew all the routines to a nicety, kept the keys, was fully responsible for the front part of the house, the dining room and silverware, the wine cellar and the pantry.                            His functions included the organization of dinner parties, the selection of wines and the delivery of food for the kitchen. The dignity of a butler was considered punctuality, tact, devotion to the masters, the ability to keep their secrets. He usually wore a black tailcoat, of a simpler cut than his master’s, a white tie and waistcoat. The annual income of the butlers was very significant, and many of them accumulated considerable capital over several years of service.                                                                                          In the English manner, it was customary to call butlers by their last names. It is known that Firsov (1848-1855) and Sabarov (1855-1856) served with the Worontsov family at various times. Under His Serene Highness Prince Semyon Mikhailovich Worontsov, from 1856 to 1881, Volkov was the butler, who received 720 rubles a year, not counting boarding and uniforms.                                                                                                                         The butler, according to his position, was entitled to the best living conditions. This could be a small house on the territory of the estate or a separate apartment in the same Utility building.


             The room, conventionally called the office, was located above an arched passage leading to the Front Yard. In the only window, you can see Shuvalovsky Passage, once braided with thick ivy, and an openwork metal bridge spanned between the buildings. The interior of the office is laconic. Against the south wall there is a bulky sofa with a high back, completed with a wooden shelf with a mirror.  Such sofas in the early twentieth century were often found in the apartments of ordinary people. On the table with carved legs is a four-piece writing device, including a stand, a candlestick, a paperweight, a pen cup (stone, metal).
             The butler usually kept the keys to the living quarters. Some samples of ancient keys to the doors of the Vorontsov Palace can be seen in a box with cells for storing small items installed on a table of handicraft production.
             In addition to the butler, there was a position of manager in the estates. The South Bank estates, including Alupka, were managed in the 1860s and 1880s by Anton Karlovich, the son of the Worontsov gardener K. Kebakha. It is possible that he is depicted in a photograph of the 1870s (in the center of the first row) among the employees of the estate. At that time, Alupka belonged to His Serene Highness Prince Semyon Mikhailovich Worontsov (1823-1880), whose photographic portrait is placed above the desk.
             Near the window is a copy of a postcard from the beginning of the XX century depicting the palace road and the Old Worontsov House (Asian Pavilion), rebuilt in the 1860s.
             In the entrance room in front of the office, three floor-mounted showcases exposition everyday objects typical of the late XIX- first third of the XX centuries. On the walls are reproductions of paintings by George Leslie (1835-1921), an English artist, writer and book illustrator who created numerous images of maids in painting.

Living room

             The room with this name was traditionally intended for family recreation and reception. It was furnished with comfortable sofas and armchairs, tables of various functional purposes. An antique card table designed for playing cards is displayed in the niche. It was made at the end of the nineteenth century in Russia, as well as paired hanging brackets decorated with a figurine of a bird sitting on a branch.                                               The interior of the living room resembles a modest women’s boudoir. A white fringed shawl of the finest silk is draped over the back of the chair. Examples of needlework made with high artistic taste attract attention: a tablecloth woven from green woolen thread, decorated with flowers embroidered on top of the base and a path with colorful geometric ornaments embroidered on the canvas. Such a delicate craft was taught to girls in the Shamordinsky convent of the Kaluga province at the beginning of the twentieth century. The descendants of one of them, living in Alupka, donated these items to the museum in the 1980’s.                                                                                                                     On a round table covered with a heavy carpet tablecloth, evidence of a bygone era is a gramophone with a brass red pipe and an old record of the song “Nochenka” performed by F.I. Chaliapin. In 1898, the great singer performed at the palace together with S.I. Rachmaninov.                                                                                                                                            The paintings hung on the walls of the living room are works of Russian artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Dining room

             The central place in the small dining room is occupied by a rectangular dining table with four Viennese chairs around the perimeter. There is a high sideboard in the Art Nouveau style against the western wall, on the contrary, there is a table—stand by the window. All furniture was made in Russia in the middle of the XIX – beginning. XX century., wall clock in an ebony case – in France at the end of the XVIII century.                                A table on which dishes made of glass, crystal and porcelain of Russian (brothers  Kornilov, the partnership of M.S. Kuznetsov) and Western European factories, comfortably illuminated by a frosted glass lantern.                                                                                      Elegant household items include a kettle made of light metal (Zap. Europe. The end of the XIX – beginning. XX centuries) and a nickel–plated coffee maker with an alcohol lamp (Russia, Pereslavl – Zalessky, early twentieth century).                                                    The path, embroidered by weaving, lace and woven napkins (Shamordino, Kaluga lip, early twentieth century) look like bright openwork spots on the snow-white surface of the tablecloth.                                                                                                                                                       In a separate showcase, table setting devices (spoons, forks, knives, etc.) are presented, the production of which was carried out by leading manufacturing companies in Poland (Frazhe, Norblin), Germany (Welner, the Hepp brothers, the Württemberg Metal Products Plant), Austria (Arthur Krupp), etc.                                                                                    The interior of the dining room is complemented by paintings by Russian artists: still lifes by I.E. Voloshinov (“Berries”) and G.M. Bobrovsky, “Landscape” by K.A. Savitsky and “Landscape with Geese” by F. Drozdov.                                                                                                    Based on the materials of G.G. Filatova