Week in Photos: Geminid Showers, Fastest Eco-Boat, More

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Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, December 19, 2007—As the ruler of 18th-century Russia for more than three decades, the famous empress Catherine the Great was no teetotaler.

The vodka bottle, finely engraved with the Russian double-headed eagle and Catherine's royal monogram, belonged to the empress who reigned during the golden age of the Russian Empire.

The bottle, along with two others and their wooden traveling case, recently went on display for the first time at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Catherine, a ruthless leader that expanded Russia both in territory and influence, is perhaps best known for her wild private life—she kept young lovers up until her death at 67 from a stroke.

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—Photograph by Press Association/AP Images
 
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