Mary’s sister, Princess Tamara Shervashidze (1896-1931) married Count Peter Konstantinovich von Zarnekau (great-grandson of Emperor Paul I) in 1914. They had two kids: Konstantin (b. 1916) and Nina (b. 1919). Sadly, Tamara died in 1931, aged 34.
Princess Mary Shervashidze-Eristavi in her final years, Paris
Mary retained her charm and grace until her death at age 97. Even in the last years of her life, her room was filled with flowers from known and unknown admirers.
Princess Mary Shervashidze-Eristavi by Savely Sorin
For some time after the Revolution Mary and her husband lived in rather peaceful Tiflis (Tbilisi, Georgia). There, they met artist Savely Sorin, who immediately asked Mary to sit for him. It took him 23 days to finish the portrait. When Sorin left Georgia, the only thing he took with him was this portrait of Mary. Some time later this portrait reappeared at the Princely Palace in Monaco. It is believed that Princess Grace hanged it in her bedroom, and it was the first thing she saw in the morning. Most likely, the portrait still belongs to the Grimaldis.
Princess Mary Shervashidze-Eristavi modelling in Paris, mid-late 1920s
In the mid 1920s Mary and her husband ran out of money. So a family friend, Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia, asked his friend, Coco Chanel, to hire Mary as a model. Coco liked the idea, and Mary agreed to do some modelling, despite considering it embarrassing and humiliating. Even in the end of her life, Mary avoided talking about her modelling days.
Georgian immigrants at the “Moscow circles” club, Constantinople (Istanbul), 1921
Top photo: Princess Mary Shervashidze (3rd from left) and her husband Prince Giorgi Eristavi
Prince Giorgi ‘Gigusha’ Nikolaevich Eristavi (Eristov)
After the Revolution, in 1919, Princess Mary Shervashidze married Gigusha Eristavi, a former aide-de-campe of Emperor Nicholas II
Princess Mary Shervashidze-Eristavi in Paris after the Revolution
Mary’s beauty could always help her get away with being late. Once, when she was still a lady-in-waiting to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Mary arrived late to the ‘important’ funeral. She entered the cathedral after the Emperor, which was a major breach of protocol. Inside, she met the Emperor’s eyes, and was ready to recieve the punishment she deserved. But Nicholas looked at her and reportedly said: “Mary, it’s a sin to be so beautiful”.