Yes, even in the palace! In which houses and how did the largest tea merchants of Tsarist Russia lived?
The richest merchants of pre-revolutionary Russia have realized themselves in various types of business, and in the list of the most profitable areas you can put tea trade in the first lines. Of course, not everyone was able to succeed in the “tea business”, but those who succeeded in doing so became millionaires and could afford a lot. For example, to build or buy a house-castle in the center of Moscow or an entire city estate.
The luxurious urban manor built in the first half of the nineteenth century on Zemlynyy Val, for tea millionaires Peter and Vasily Usachev, was known to the citizens as the “High Mountains”. This complex of buildings in the style of typical classicism is one of the last projects of the Swiss architect Domenico Gilardi in the capital.
Very interesting is the main building with an eight-column portico, elegant stucco on the facade and a ramp that leads from the front side of the building along the embankment to the garden. An urban park with an area of 8 hectares, in which rotundas, part of garden pavilions, sculptures, as well as a small “tea house” still survive, are attached to the city manor. The landscape design of the park was made with the direct participation of Pyotr Usachev, who was fond of gardening.
After Usachev, the manor was owned by the factory Khludov, and in the 1880s, the family was transferred to the family of the Naidenovs.
Merchants of the 1st guild Usachevs achieved commercial success gradually: they were once simple trays traders in fruits and vegetables. Having succeeded in the tea business and having built a rich estate, they did not forget about charity. The son of the youngest of the brothers, Petr Petrovich Usachev, although he could not continue and develop the tea business of his father and uncle, made successful investments, and spent most of the money on patronage. For example, he built a female poorhouse of the Church of the Nativity in Sergiev Posad.
This mansion in Glazovsky lane is better known as the house of merchant Margarita Morozova. However, Konstantin Popov, a major tea merchant, co-owner of the Brothers K. and S. Popov partnership, who had his own passage in Kuznetsky, lived there.
A chic house in neo-Greek style was built on his order in 1870 (project by Alexander Rezanov). The living room of the house was decorated in the Pompeian style, the dining room was in Russian, and the hall was in the Empire style. There was an Egyptian room with a mummy in the house. After the Morozovs became the owners of the mansion, the architect Mazyrin, at their request, rebuilt the building, but the appearance of the facade remained almost unchanged.
Konstantin Abramovich Popov was a native of the Kostroma province and began his career as a simple employee in a shop. Having learned the tricks of the tea business, he opened his own business in a few years. Soon his brother Simon joined Constantine. At first they were selling tea at retail, and when things went uphill, they took an experienced tea merchant Alexey Abrikosov as a companion.
The luxurious mansion in question was built by the son of Semyon Popov and the namesake of his brother Konstantin. He gave this house to his wife, and when they broke up, he left her possession.
By the way, Konstantin Popov was the first in our country to create tea plantations. He bought a large plot of land near Batoum and planted bushes brought from China on it, and families from China invited them to cultivate them. Popov presented the first batch of tea to Nicholas II. By the way, the company Popov had the right to depict the state emblem as the official supplier of the Imperial Court on the tea packages.
Perlov’s Tea House
This famous building on the Butcher is absolutely rightly considered the most extraordinary and beautiful tea merchants in Moscow. Here and nowadays you can buy fine teas and elegant sets.
The house shop, which belonged to the founder of the Perlov and Sons tea company, Sergey Vasilievich Perlov, before the revolution, has an interesting and very famous story.