MS Thr 414.1
Rothschild, Howard D., collector. Howard D. Rothschild collection on Ballets Russes
of Serge Diaghilev: Manuscripts and objects: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Location: b, bust in HTC reading room
Call No.: MS Thr 414.1
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Rothschild, Howard D.
Title: Howard D. Rothschild collection on Ballets Russes of Serge Diaghilev: Manuscripts and objects,
Date(s): 1908-1969, (bulk) 1908-1929.
Quantity: 1 collection (5 linear feet (9 boxes and 1 bust)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in Russian, English and French.
Abstract: Correspondence, contracts, compositons and objects related to Serge Diaghilev's Ballets
Russes, collected by Howard D. Rothschild.
No accession number. Bequest of Howard D. Rothschild, 1035 Park Avenue, New York, New York; received: 1990 March 23.
Processed by: Irina Klyagin
The collection was intially processed in 1991 by Catherine Johnson, Amy Lucker and
Kathy Markees. It has been frequently used by researchers, so the previous call numbers
(where applicable) have been recorded.
There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.
Howard D. Rothschild Collection on Ballets Russes of Serge Diaghilev: Manuscripts and Objects, 1908-1969 (MS Thr 414.1). Harvard Theatre
Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University
Other parts of the bequest were cataloged as:
Ballets Russes souvenir programs, books and periodicals from the bequest were incorporated into
the Harvard Theatre Collection general holdings. Provenance of each item was indicated.
Howard D. Rothschild (d. 1989) was an artist and a major American collector of artwork
related to Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. He developed a passion for the Ballets
Russes as a child after attending a ballet where Waslaw Nijinsky withdrew from a performance
during the company's tour of America in 1916. The collection was amassed by purchase
and by gift from the dancers and artists with whom Rothschild developed friendships.
Serge Diaghilev (1872-1929) was a Russian ballet impresario, the founder, producer
and artistic director of Ballets Russes.
Ballets Russes was established by Serge Diaghilev in 1909 as a touring company to
promote Russian ballet in Europe. After World War I the company permanently relocated
to the West. The company gave rise to careers of a great number of outstanding Russian
and Western dancers, choreographers, composers and artists who had recreated the art
of ballet for the 20th-century, both in Europe and in the United States.
Arranged into the following series:
- I. Correspondence
- II. Contracts
- III. Compositions
- IV. Objects
Includes correspondence between Serge Diaghilev and Sergei Grigoriev, and between
other members of Ballets Russes; Diaghilev's contracts with dancers and other performers
for Ballets Russes seasons from 1908 to 1929, notes on dance lessons and choreography,
and notes on productions, figurines, jewelry for Ballets Russes costumes and objects.
- Series: III. Compositions
Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically by author.
Scope and Contents: A collection of various documents concerning Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and
Ballets Russes du Col. W. de Basil, including business records, court summons, notes
on choreography and teaching, essays, and memoirs.
- (64). Tcherkas, Constantin, d. 1965. Classe Cechetti : autograph manuscript, undated. 1 notebook in 1 folder.
List of daily exercises Monday through Saturday in Enrico Cecchetti ballet classes, and detailed descriptions of various ballet steps in "Checchetti
In French and Russian.
- (65). Cocteau, Jean, 1889-1963. Genre nouveau : manuscript (in unidentified hand), typescript with corrections, undated. 1 folders
Manuscript is in French, typescript is an English translation entitled The New Species.
- (66). Diaghilev, Serge, 1872-1929. Спящая красавица [Spaishchaia krasavitsa] : autograph manuscript, undated. 1 notebook in 1 folder.
Written in ink and pencil in Russian and French.
Full list of cast of characters and performers, scene by scene, for the 1921 production of Sleeping Princess at Alhambra Theatre, London, England.
- (67). Grigoriev, Sergei Leonidovich, 1883-1968. [Репертуар] [Repertuar] : autograph manuscript, undated. 1 notebook in 1 folder.
Complete repertory list of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes from 1909 to 1929 with dates
and venues of seasons and numbers of given performances, information also includes
names of choreographers, artists, composers, writers, and conductors associated with
the company, length of ballets, and lists of symphonic interludes performed during
- (68). Grigoriev, Sergei Leonidovich, 1883-1968. Русский Балет Col. W. de Basil [Russkii balet Col W. de Basil] : autograph manuscript , 1932-1956. 1 notebook in 1 folder.
Dos-à-dos style notebook. From one side, pp. 1-243: complete repertory list of Ballets
Russes du Col W. de Basil from 1932 to 1952 with information on choreographers, composers,
and writers associated with the company, detailed information on company's tours;
and first performance notes.
From the other side, notebook continues on pp. 1-39: chronology of Sergei Grigoriev's
and his wife Lubov Tchernicheva's employment in 1955-1956.
- (70). Sokolova, Lydia, 1896-1974. Dancing for Diaghilev fragment : typescript with manuscript corrections, undated. 1 folders
Includes proofs of the fragment.
- (71). Sokolova, Lydia, 1896-1974. Make-up for ballet : typescript carbon copy, undated. 1 folders
- (73). Sokolova, Lydia, 1896-1974. [Remembrance of Michel Larionov] : autograph manuscript, typescript, 1964. 1 folders
- (74). Sokolova, Lydia, 1896-1974. [Notes on choreography] : autograph manuscript. undated. 1 folders
Notes on various aspects of performing her major roles at Ballets Russes arranged
- (75). Sokolova, Lydia, 1896-1974. [Notes on personalities] : aurtograph manuscript, undated. 1 folders
Brief impressions of Sokolova's colleagues at Ballets Russes.
- (75a). Sokolova, Lydia, 1896-1974. Court summons : printed form, 1927. 1 folders
Summons from Clerkenwell County Court of Middlesex for Sokolova and Stanislas Idzikowski.
- Series: IV. Objects
Scope and Contents
: Includes: three porcelain figurines; bronze bust of Waslaw Nijinsky; pressed leaves
gathered from places such as Diaghilev's tomb in Venice; five pairs of earrings worn
by Lydia Sokolova in Ballets Russes productions; two small boxes, one given by Waslaw
Nijinsky to Mathilda Kschessinska; and various other ballet-related mementos.
Earrings, boxes and pressed leaves were left to HR by Lydia Sokolova.
- A. Figurines
- (77a). Fokine, Michel, 1880-1942 and Vera Fokina as Harlequin and Columbine in Carnaval (Choreographic work: Fokin), 1919? 1 figurine : porcelain ; 28 centimeters.shelved separately at end of collection
Fragile: consult curatorial staff.
Made by Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen.
Marks on base: D. 287 149, 3 x's.
Identified as Fokine and Fokina by Rothschild; possibly, Nijinsky and Fokina.
- B. Other objects
- (82). Cuff links: rectangular black and silver. Maker unknown, undated. 1 pair : metal, plastic? ; 1.5 centimeters.
Note from HR says: "Leon Woizikowski's cuff links given as collateral to Ronald Mahon for a loan never repaid and given by R.M to me after Sokolova's death as a gift."
- (84). Decorative box: oval with lid. Maker unknown, undated. 1 boxes tortoise shell ; 5 centimeters.
Box belonged to Lydia Sokolova.
- (85). Earrings: metal horseshoe shaped pendant earrings with white and blue stones. Maker and designer
unknown. ca. 1920. 1 pair : metal, rhinestones ; 3.5 centimeters.
Earrings were worn by Lydia Sokolova in one of her roles for Ballets Russes.
- (86). Earrings: round shaped pendant earrings with small blue balls suspended on metal filigree pendant.
Maker and designer unknown, 1919? 1 pair : metal, glass ; 4 centimeters.
Note from Lydia Sokolova indicates that earrings were made for ballet Tricorne.
- (87). Earrings: oval shaped pendant earrings with two pearls on metal chain. Maker and designer unknown,
1924? 1 pair : metal, plastic, pearl coating ; 7 centimeters.
Note from Lydia Sokolova indicates that earrings were made for the role of Hostess in ballet Les Biches.
- (88). Earrings: diamond shaped red pendant earrings with white stones. Maker and designer unknown,
1919? 1 pair : plastic, rhinestones ; 8 centimeters.
Note from Lydia Sokolova indicates that earrings were made for corps de ballet in
- (89). Earrings: diamond shaped green earrings, hooks missing. Maker and designer unknown, 1919? 1 pair : plastic ; 8.5 centimeters.
Note from Lydia Sokolova indicates that earrings were made for ballet Boutique Fantasque.
- (90). Earring: large off-white round stud earring. Designed and made by Coco Chanel, 1924. 1 earring : ceramic, pearl coating ; 2 centimeters in diameter.
Note from Lydia Sokolova indicates that earrings were designed for ballet Train Bleu. One of the pair was lost.
- (91). Finger ring: metal with a raised round pale yellow stone cut as a diamond, size 6. Maker and designer
unknown, undated. 1 ring : metal, rhinestone? ; 1.65 centimeters in diameter.
Production and role unknown.
- (92). Letter opener: wide off-white pen knife with carved ornaments on the handle and along the blade.
Maker unknown, undated. 1 items ivory ; 28 x 3.5 centimeters.shelved separately out of sequence
Note from HR indicates that it belonged to Anna Pavlova.
- (94). Pin (jewelry): metal pin with blue head decorated with red and green stones and gold paint. Maker
unknown, undated. 1 pin : metal, glass ; 5.5 centimeters.
Note from HR says: "Marie Taglioni pin given to me by Cyril Beaumont for Harvard. Beaumont has the original pincushion with other pins."
- (95). Pressed leaves collected from gardens and graves, undated. 3 folders
Includes leaves from the gardens of :
- Lydia Sokolova
- Maurice Ravel
and graves of:
- Serge Diaghilev
- Waslav Nijinsky
- Igor Stravinsky.
- (96). Rose petal: pink silk. Detail of costume for Nijinsky doll representing Nijinsky as Spectre in Spectre de la rose (Choreographic work: Fokine), made by Olga Spessivtzeva, undated. 1 items silk fabric ; 5 x 2 centimeters.
Note from HR says: "Spectre petal."