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Manuscripts, like humans, often have unusual fate. Who knows where they travel, where they appear, what stories they collect; and then, when blizzards are low, they quietly wait for their time! Indeed, Vakhtang Gambashidze’s album is a chronicle of the epoch.
A handwritten album of the sanatorium “Patara Tsemi”, founded by a famous Georgian doctor and a public figure, encloses the records of XIX-XX century Georgian and foreign celebrities, writers, scientists, doctors, and politicians. In the album are collected 144 different types of records – poems, essays, impressions, congratulations or only signatures – written in 1904-1946 in Georgian, Russian, French, English, Ottoman Turkish, and Spanish languages.
The album comprises signatures of the Great Britain Commissioner in Independent Georgia, Kartvelologist Oliver Wardrop and his family members; The signature of the well-known Kartvelologist Robert Stevenson; the essay of the Chief Doctor of French Sanitary Mission in the Caucasus Louis Dartige; the signatures of the British siblings: Louis Ernest Meinertzhagen and Mary Amelia Meinertzhagen; the signature of the Bishop of Gibraltar – Harold Jocelyn Buxton; the record of the British officer Neil Stuart, ending with the verse of the famous Scottish novelist John Buchan; the unknown up to now work performed in watercolor by the Polish artist Zygmunt (Zyga) Waliszewski, Vakhtang Gambashidze’s pencil painted portrait by V. Poyarkov.
Vakhtang Gambashidze’s granddaughter Nathela Nikoladze-Villecourt handed this treasure over to the motherland. The album was granted the status of a movable monument of cultural heritage of Georgia.
Vakhtang Gambashidze dreamt about publishing this “Golden Book”, as he would refer to it. In 2020, his dream came true, and the phototype edition of the album was published. It encloses the printed versions of the records, annotated indexes and comments and the trilingual essay about Vakhtang Gambashidze’s life and work activities.