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A Tsar Joking Around

Written by: George Chittenden : 27 Dec 2019

These photos were taken back in 1899 and feature the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II joking around with friends. It’s rare to see comical photos from this era, often we see Victorians looking rather miserable in old images and we can easily assume they had nothing to smile about. In truth it was often down to the long photo exposure times of photos in those days, making it difficult to maintain a cracking smile for a long period.

Another factor was simply poor dental hygiene which made people understandably quite reluctant to show off their rotten teeth. Now photography has come so far, we walk around with amazing cameras on our phones, but of course back then photographers were few and far between and photos came at a high price. Going back to the images, Nicholas II ruled Russia from November 1st, 1894 until his forced abdication on March 15th, 1917. Sadly, Nicholas II and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks in July 1918.

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