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   The Street of Boutiques
   A unique historical document
The Street of Boutiques

The history of Tretyakovsky Proezd likewise the history of many other old Moscow street and corners are closely connected with the history of Moscow, its cultural heritage and the past.

Since the middle of 1870-s, in premises of buildings of Tretyakovsky Proezd, there were located private shops and affiliates of large firms. As a rule, residents personally knew the Tretyakovs and architect Kaminsky. A very famous at that time was Trading House of William Gabus who originated from Switzerland.

Gabus shop located at Nikolskaya Street and Tretyakovsky Proezd sold watches, clocks and jewelries made at William Gabus own watch factory in Switzerland and imported to Moscow. Shop windows displayed various kinds of watches and clock – pocket, wall and floor – each having its identity number and mark of issued by the Assay Chamber to the best jewelers.

Regular clients of Gabus Trading House were always satisfied with the quality and beauty of goods. Nowadays, in some countries including Russia, one can find in antique shops elegant ladies` watches or pocket or wristwatches of gentlemen of W.Gabus mark. N.A. Varentsov remembers when once talking to Jean Gabus (son of the founder of the Trading House of William Gabus), he expressed his regret he could not find anything as a present to Bukhara Emir. Jean Gabus invited Varentsov to his house at Nikolskaya Street. When they come into the drawing room, Mr. Gabus pointed at a large covered object was uncovered, Varentsov saw an antique clock box – a masterpiece of Italian art, a little bit cracky with age. Seeing Varentsov`s admiration, Gabus immediately promised to bring the case into a good state within two days. Exactly in two days, a restored masterpiece appeared before Varentsov`s eyes. Ivory decorative incrustation and bronze handles relieved against newly covered varnish. When Varentsov opened the box, hi saw an elaborate golden watch, which struck hours. Quarters, minutes in defferent tones. Varentsov characterized Jean Gabus, who took care of his client as a person of great honor and well doer, for whom keeping his word was as much important as a possibility to have good clients in future.

Tretyakovsky Proezd was reputed among Muscovites as the most fashionable and popular place in the city. People were attracted by luxurious shops, nice stylish goods and possibility “to see the world and ti show themselves”. Many bankers and owner of trading houses used to have their breakfast at Slavyansky Bazar, a restaurant famous for its cuisine and reseptions. Jean Gabus wrote he liked to eat at Slavyansky Bazar. He came in there at about nine o`clock in the morning and ordered a breakfast comprising of strong coffee and very big rolls. Sometimes Gabus held business talks conserning his Trading House with industrialists and businessmen. In the evening, crowds of people attracted by brightness of shop widows gathered at Tretyakovsky Proezd. Shops were competing with each other in their illumination. Gabus shop was the best in decorating its windows. Wrist and pocket watches were illuminated from beneath with small lamps creating the effect of luminescent objects. Threads of pearls and large pearls laid on the black or red velvet. Rings were put in dark velvet boxes and cases, which stood out on light textile embroidered in gold.
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