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Sunday, 29 March 2015
Faberge from the Royal Collection Trust on Display at Holyroodhouse Exhibit
Topic: Faberge


A dazzling selection of gold from the Royal Collection has gone on display in Scotland for the first time in a new exhibition at The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.  It includes exquisite items of jewellery and personal accessories that give an insight into the tastes of generations of Queens and Consorts.

Gold explores and celebrates the qualities of the rare and precious metal through over 60 items from across the breadth of the Royal Collection, incorporating sacred and ceremonial items, including those of Fabergé.

Mikhail Evlampievich Perkhin (1860-1903)
 


Patch box 1894
Four-colour gold set with moss agate and rose cut diamonds | 4.6 x 4.1 x 2.5 cm | RCIN 9133
Photo: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Description

By including moss agate in mounted jewellery and boxes, Fabergé was continuing a long tradition. Originally mined in India, these agates were known as mocha stones after the town on the Red Sea from which they were imported to Europe. The term 'moss' agate came about because deposits of ferrous and manganese oxides infiltrated the stone, thereby forming tree- and moss-like patterns. In the eighteenth century moss agate was discovered in Germany and it became much sought after in Europe, both for collectors of natural history specimens and for incorporating into snuff boxes and jewellery. Fabergé's source of the material was Siberia. His craftsmen also produced enamel with patterns simulating moss agate. Mark of Michael Perchin; gold mark of 56 zolotniks (before 1896); Fabergé in Cyrillic characters.Text adapted from Fabergé in the Royal Collection and the catalogue entry from "Gold", London, 2014. 

Provenance

Presented to Queen Mary when Duchess of York by Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, Christmas 1894

Fabergé
 


Cigarette case 1903
Three-colour gold, rose diamonds, cabochon ruby | 1.4 x 9.4 x 6.8 cm | RCIN 4344
Photo: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Description

This sumptuous cigarette case was given to King Edward VII as a fortieth wedding anniversary present by his sister-in-law, the Dowager Tsarina Maria Feodorovna, on 10 March 1903. Its elegant rounded rectangular shape is composed of red, yellow and white gold, a typical technique of Fabergé’s work, in a sunburst design centring on the combined cipher of Edward and Alexandra and on the reverse the date, 10 March 1903 XL 1863–1903, all set in diamonds. 

Marked with a Moscow gold mark of 56 zolotniks (1896-1908); K. Fabergé in Cyrillic characters; the mark of Ivan Britzin, assay master.

Text adapted from Fabergé in the Royal Collection and a catalogue entry from "Gold", London, 2014. 

Provenance

Given to Edward VII by the Dowager Tsarina Marie Feodorovna as a fortieth wedding anniversary gift, 1903

Mikhail Evlampievich Perkhin (1860-1903)
 


Frame with miniature of Tsarina Marie Feodorovna  c.1895
Four colour gold, violet guilloché sunburst enamel containing watercolour miniature | 9.0 x 7.8 x 7.3 cm | RCIN 40107
Photo: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Description

This portrait miniature of the Dowager Tsarina Marie Feodorovna was painted by Johannes Zehngraf and is based on a photograph by Alexander Alexandrovich Pasetti of 1894. Marie Feodorovna (1847-1928), born Princess Dagmar of Denmark, married the future Tsar Alexander III in 1866. In contrast to the Tsar, she enjoyed the excitement and extravagance of court life in St Petersburg. She had great admiration for Fabergé and his artistry and in 1882 she personally endorsed his work by purchasing a pair of gold cuff links in neo-Greek style from the Pan-Russian exhibition in Moscow. Following her husband’s death in 1894, her son Nicholas II continued the tradition of presenting her with a Fabergé Easter egg. In a letter dated 8 April 1914 to her sister Queen Alexandra, she describes how on receipt of the egg for that year she told Fabergé ‘vous êtes un génie incomparable’. Even during the first decade of the twentieth century, in a period of particularly difficult political relations between England and Russia, Marie Feodorovna visited England several times, notably in 1902 for the coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. Following the Revolution in 1917, the Dowager Tsarina escaped to the Crimea and was eventually rescued with her daughter, Grand Duchess Xenia, by a British cruiser sent at King George V’s insistence. After a brief stay with her sister and nephew at Sandringham, she returned to Denmark, moving finally to Hvidøre, the villa outside Copenhagen she shared with Queen Alexandra. Even at Hvidøre, where she was to spend the remainder of her life, she was not without objects by Fabergé, having earlier had seals made for use there; of these there is an example in the Royal Collection. Mark of Michael Perchin; gold mark of 56 zolotniks (before 1896); Fabergé in Cyrillic characters. Miniature signed Zehngraf.Text adapted from Fabergé in the Royal Collection and the catalogue entry from "Gold", London, 2014. 

Provenance

Acquired by the Prince and Princess of Wales (later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra), c.1895
 
The exhibition Gold runs from Friday, 27 March 2015 to Sunday, 26 July 2015 at the Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse. 
 
© Royal Collection Trust and Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 March, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 3:57 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 29 March 2015 6:40 AM EDT
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