The Old Man Clung to the Moscow Pearl 1840 Even After Death

Only after death could the Moscow Pearl 1840 be wrenched from his fingertips. Could the Moscow pearl of 1840 be La Pellegrina?

Anyone looking for an intriguing plot and setting? This story sounds like it's straight from an Dumas novel.

The German traveler, Johann Georg Kohl (1808-1878), in the account of his travels in Russia, relates an interesting incident connected with a beautiful pearl in the Imperial Treasury.

Shortly previous to 1840, a rich Moscow merchant died in a convent, whither he had retreated after the manner of the wealthy pious ones of his nation.

Feeling the approach of age, he had given up the toils of business to his sons. His wife was dead, and the only beloved object which even in the cloister was not separated from him was a large, beautiful, oriental pearl.

This precious object had been purchased for him by some Persian or Arabian friend at a high price, and, enchanted by its water, magnificent size, and color, its perfect shape and luster, he would never part with it, however enormous the sum offered.

He himself inhabited an ordinary cell in the convent; but this object of his love reposed on silk in a golden casket.

It was shown to few persons, and favorable circumstances and strong recommendations were necessary to obtain such a favor.

A Moscow resident reported the style and manner of the ceremony. On the appointed day he went with his friends to the convent, and found the old gentleman awaiting his guests in his holiday clothes.

Their reception had something of solemnity about it. The old man went into his cell and brought out the casket in its rich covering.

He spread white satin on the table, and unlocking the casket, let the precious pearl roll out before the enchanted eyes of the spectators. No one ventured to touch it, but all burst into acclamations, and the old man's eyes gleamed like his pearl. After a short time it was returned to the casket.

During his last illness, the old gentleman never let the pearl out of his hand, and after his death it was with difficulty taken from his stiffened fingers.

There seems to be a great similarity between the description of this pearl and that of La Pellegrina.

Moscow Pearl 1840 as recorded by Kunz and Stevenson in "The Book of the Pearl".

Go to Main Famous Pearls and Collections after Moscow Pearl 1840.

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