Russian nobles at the fancy dress ball of 1903

On the 13 February 1903 in the Winter Palace a grandiose fancy dress ball was given. Called "The 1903 Ball", it remains the most celebrated festivity arranged in St. Petersburg during the reign of Nicholas II, the last Emperor of the Romanov House. Costumes for the ball were created according to the illustrations by the artist Sergei Solomko with the help of the costume consultants. The 17th century was the chosen period for the masquerade. Ladies wore sarafans and kokoshniks, while men sported dresses of archers, falconers, etc. The Empress Alexandra Feodorovna was dressed as Tsarina Maria Ilyinichna and the Emperor Nicholas II as Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich.

After the ball the Empress commissioned the best photographers of St. Petersburg to make individual and collective pictures of participants. 173 of them were published in the form of an album of phototypes. Albums were sold with charitable purposes to the ball guests. Phototypes give a general idea of every participant’ fancy dress.

Several costumes of the ball participants have survived and are now preserved at the State Hermitage museum, St.Petersburg.

You may also like Russian beauties of the 19th century in traditional costumes


  1. All schools host fancy dress competitions once in a while to amuse these little wonders.
    School Uniforms Online Shopping| Lunch box online

  2. Espectacular. Precioso. Muchas gracias

  3. Hello
    I, hereby introduce myself as a Indian traditional and contemporary costume and fashion jewellery designer. Currently, I m supplying my jewellery in 10 cities namely London, Dubai, Hongkong, Singapore, Jakarta, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Durban, Bangkok and Colombo, both retailing and wholesaling. I m interested in doing business with you. Kindly visit my FB page and Instagram accounts by the name of Auraa Trends. Please let us known if you have any requirement of Indian traditional and contemporary costume jewellery.