House of Bolin and BuckongahelasThe House of Bolin is one of the oldest firms specializing in jewelry and silverware that remains in the hands of its founding family. HistoryThe firm's archives once dated as far back as 1796, and its founder, the German-born jeweler Andreas Roempler, was established in St. Petersburg as early as 1790. In the registers of the German colony of this city he is called Master of Diamonds. He functioned as official appraiser to the Russian Imperial Court from the early 1790s. His eldest daughter, Sofia, married Gottlieb Ernst Jahn, a reputable goldsmith, who subsequently became Roempler's partner. Jahn is known to have supplied an opal and diamond jewelry suite, comprising a tiara, necklace and bracelet, at the occasion of the christening of Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich of Russia on 17 May 1834.The price of 169,601 roubles was the highest ever paid for a christening gift in the nineteenth century.In 1833 Carl Edvard Bolin arrived in St. Petersburg and began to work for Andreas Roempler. In 1834 he married Ernestine Catharina, another daughter of the recently deceased Roempler, becoming a full partner at the occasion of his marriage. The firm was henceforth named Jahn & Bolin. Brother-in-law Jahn died in 1836, leaving Bolin as partner to Jahn's widow. In 1839 the partners submitted a request to become Jewelers to the Imperial Court, which was granted. The name Jahn & Bolin prevailed for another two decades.Bolin, an able businessman, rapidly became the most important jeweler in St. Petersburg. At the peak of his activity, he supplied more to the Imperial Court than all other jewelers put together. Towards the end of the nineteenth century some of the leading Paris houses, in particular Boucheron, established themselves in Russia, and were granted impressive commissions. From the 1890s, Bolin's main competitor was Fabergé, and although the Bolins continued to make most of the large pieces of jewelry for the Court, Fabergé surpassed Bolin in numbers and possibly also in turnover. The total invoiced was the princely sum of 339,400 roubles.In 1836 Henrik Conrad, then only sixteen years old, joined his elder brother in St. Petersburg, staying with Carl Edvard until 1852 when he opened a shop of his own in Moscow in partnership with an Englishman, James Steuart Shanks. Their shop was called Shanks & Bolin, Magasin Anglais, and was situated on the exclusive Kuznetski Most. They sold not only jewelry and silverware (this being Henrik Conrad's department) but also ladies' luxury accessories such as handbags, gloves, plumes, luxurious underwear, etc. This partnership did not last long and Henrik Conrad continued the business alone, though the Shanks an Bolin name continues on silverware until the 1880s. His specialty was fine silverware which he manufactured and sold in Moscow and with which he supplied his St. Petersburg relatives. Originally the silver workshop was run by Maria Linke, and later by her son, Konstantin.In 1864 Carl Edvard Bolin died in St. Petersburg, leaving his part of the firm in the hands of his sons Gustaf and Edward. When Henrik Conrad died in 1888 in Moscow he left everything to his three daughters. His sons, in his opinion, had received an expensive upbringing and training which was to be their sole legacy. To make it possible to continue the business, his eldest son Wilhelm James Andreevitch Bolin opened a branch for his St. Petersburg cousins called C. E. Bolin. He continued on his own in Moscow, very much in the old tradition and was especially interested in silverware, bringing in young French sculptors as designers and making magnificent pieces in the somewhat overladen style of the 1880s. Eventually, he adopted the Art Nouveau style, often combining glass (Lalique), ceramics and cut crystal with silver mounts. In 1912 he took over the Moscow shop in his own name W.A. Bolin.In St. Petersburg the two brothers, Gustaf and Edward, who in 1912 had been granted the title of hereditary noblemen with the right to bear a coat-of-arms, continued as one of the foremost jewelry houses. Sadly, Gustaf died in 1916, creating a vacuum, as neither he nor his brother Edward had any heirs wishing to take over the business. Wilhelm Bolin, who had two sons, was interested. However, the Russian revolution put an end to such plans.Wilhelm Bolin, like his father, kept his Swedish citizenship. In 1904 he purchased a property in the south of Sweden which he visited each summer together with his family. Showing foresight, he opened a branch office in Bad Homburg in Germany in 1912 - a spa visited by the Tsar and his family. At the outbreak of World War I a great deal of stock remained in Germany. Taking advantage of his Swedish nationality, Wilhelm Bolin, whose Russian belongings and assets were confiscated by the Bolsheviks, transferred his German stock to Stockholm and opened a shop there in 1916. The firm exists today as Jewelers and Silversmiths to HM King Carl XVI Gustav.It is deeply regrettable that none of the archives of the Bolin firm have, as yet, been found. A number of invoices from Bolin to the Imperial Court have been discovered in the Imperial Archives in St. Petersburg. There are certainly many more and research has been initiated to locate both them and Bolin's own records.
Buckongahelas and House of BolinBuckongahelas (c. 1720 – May 1805) was a regionally and nationally renowned Lenape chief, councilor and warrior. He was active from the days of the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War) through the Northwest Indian Wars, after the United States achieved independence and settlers encroached on territory beyond the Appalachian Mountains and Ohio River. He became involved in the Western Confederacy of mostly Algonquian-speaking peoples, who were seeking to repel American settlers. The chief led his Lenape band from present-day Delaware westward, eventually to the White River area of present-day Muncie, Indiana. One of the most powerful war chiefs on the White River, Buckongahelas was respected by the Americans as a chief, although he did not have the position to do political negotiations.Contents 1 Early life and education 2 Marriage and family 3 American Revolutionary War 4 Post-war tensions 5 Legacy and honors 6 Represented in media 7 See also 8 ReferencesEarly life and educationBuckongahelas was born in present-day Delaware to Lenape parents. The British colonists called the people the Delaware, after the river, which was the heart of their territory. The Algonquian-speaking Lenape lived throughout the mid-Atlantic area. Buckongahelas in the Lenape language means a "Giver of Presents." He was also known as Pachgantschihilas and Petchnanalas, meaning a "fulfiller" or "one who succeeds in all he undertakes." Marriage and familyBuckongahelas married as a young man and started his family. Under pressure from colonial settlers, he began to move his band westward. He was believed to have lived some time with his people in what is now Buckhannon in Upshur County, West Virginia.His son Mahonegon was killed there in June 1773 by Captain William White, a native of Frederick County, Virginia. Local legend states that the current Upshur County Courthouse was built over the grave of Mahonegon. Local legend suggests Buckongahelas took revenge on White after trailing his son's killer for a period of nine years (1773–1782). The captain was killed March 8, 1782 within sight of Bush Fort in the vicinity of the Buckhannon River. But, historic documentation places Buckongahelas in Ohio by 1781, as he was moving his band west to escape European-American encroachment. American Revolutionary WarDuring the American Revolutionary War, Buckongahelas led his followers against the Continentals. He broke away from the neutral and pro-American Lenape led by White Eyes. He took his band west to establish a town near the war chief Blue Jacket of the Shawnee. The two men became close allies.During the war years, a number of Lenape who had converted to Christianity were living in frontier villages run by Moravian missionaries. In April 1781, at the Ohio village of Gnadenhütten, Buckongahelas warned the Lenape that an American militia from Pennsylvania was likely to execute any Indians in their path and would not pay attention to whether they were Christians. He urged the Lenape to follow him further west away from the encroaching colonists. Moving westward "from the rising sun," the people could live where the land was good and his warriors would protect them. The Delaware did not heed his words.John Heckewelder, a Moravian missionary, wrote in his account that Buckongahelas' oration to the Christian Indians was told "with ease and an eloquence not to be imitated." He continued, "Eleven months after this speech was delivered by this prophetic chief, ninety-six of these same Christian Indians, about sixty of them women and children, were murdered at the place where these very words had been spoken, by the same men he had alluded to, and in the same manner that he had described." On March 8, 1782, state militia attacked and killed the Lenape in what is known as the Gnadenhütten massacre. Post-war tensionsAfter the Revolutionary War, the United States claimed the Ohio Country by right of conquest through its defeat of Great Britain. In the late 1780s, Buckongahelas joined a Shawnee-led confederacy to try to repel the American settlers who had begun migrating west of the Appalachian Mountains, using the Ohio River to penetrate the territory.They won several battles against the Americans in the Northwest Indian Wars. Buckongahelas led his warriors in helping to win the most devastating military victory ever achieved by Native Americans in the United States, in 1791 against General Arthur St. Clair, who lost 600 troops. The Delaware described Buckongahelas as their own George Washington. Standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall, he was strong with powerful muscles and was said to resemble the statesman Benjamin Franklin.The confederacy were finally defeated at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. The British failed to support the Indian confederacy after this battle, and Buckongahelas signed the Treaty of Greenville on August 3, 1795. By this treaty, his band and other Lenape ceded much land in Pennsylvania and Ohio to the United States. At times, competing tribes tried to control the lands and villages, and it was not clear that the chiefs who signed the treaties had authority over the lands they were ceding.On June 7, 1803, Buckongahelas signed the Treaty of Fort Wayne in Indiana; the US set new boundaries for the Lenape and other nations. They also ceded salt springs. Algonquian tribes ceded large land tracts to the United States. Lastly, he signed the Treaty of Vincennes on August 18, 1804, in Vincennes, Indiana. The Lenape ceded lands between the Ohio and Wabash rivers. The treaty helped open the Ohio and Indiana territories to European-American settlement. Not able to read and write, Buckongahelas made "X" signatures on the three treaties.Buckongahelas spent his final years living with his people on the White River near present-day Muncie, Indiana. He died in May 1805 at the age of 85 from smallpox or influenza.Many local Native Americans thought the epidemics of fatal illnesses to be related to witchcraft, as their traditional remedies and medicine men had no effect on the course of the diseases. They conducted a witch-hunt and executed several Lenape suspected of witchcraft. The conditions of defeat and despair were the grounds for the rise of the Shawnee prophet Tenskwatawa, who promised renewed power for the American Indians against the European Americans. His brother Tecumseh became an influential chief leading a new Indian confederacy against the Americans in the early 19th century. Legacy and honors Chief Buckongahelas' loss of his son Mahonegon was memorialized in a 650-pound bronze statue installed in Buckhannon’s Jawbone Run Park, because settlers admired his alliance with British colonists during the Seven Years' War. The statue depicts the chief cradling the body of his son. Represented in media The killing of the chief's son was represented in the historical romance novel The Scout of the Buckongehanon (1927), written by John Camillus McWhorter (1866–1937), a judge in Buckhannon. See also Frontier warfare during the American Revolution
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