I have a small update on the location of Thomas and Lucy’s residence in St Petersburg, where they lived together from the time they returned from Siberia in December 1853 until they returned to England for good in 1858. In the Paul Dahlquist Collection of Atkinson letters in Hawaii is a letter that Thomas wrote to Baroness Edith Fedorovna de Rahden. The baroness, who is thanked personally in the preface to Thomas’ book Oriental and Western Siberia, was a lady-in-waiting to the Grand Duchess Helena Pavlova, wife of the Tsar’s brother Paul.
The letter, dated 28th April 1855, concerns Thomas’ attempts to get his pictures seen by the Grand Duchess, who had previously expressed an interest in his paintings. I had not noticed before, but he gives his address as House Gutschow, 10th Line, Wassili Ostroff, St Petersburg. The same address is given in a letter that Thomas wrote to Tsar Alexander II, dated 26 April 1856, so we know it was not temporary.
Can anyone help identify this property? Does it still exist? Is there any sign of the studio mentioned by the Illustrated London News? Please get in touch if you can help with any of these questions.