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Monday, 25 March 2013
Christie's Offers Exceptional Faberge Works
Topic: Faberge

 

Christie’s sale of Russian Works of Art on Monday, April 15 in New York features one of the strongest offerings of Fabergé to come to the market in recent years. Highlighting the sale is Property from a Distinguished Midwest Private Collection, which comprises over 30 lots by Fabergé, as well as Imperial porcelain table services and silver. Other highlights include an Important Silver-Mounted Porcelain Imperial Presentation Vase by Fabergé and the Imperial Porcelain Factory; an impressive section of cloisonné enamel from a Private Arizona Collection; a Collar and Badge of the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called from a Private Collector; and a wide selection of late 19th/early 20th Century bronzes. With over 160 total lots and more than 60 by Fabergé, the sale is expected to realize in excess of $3.2 million.

The exceptional group of works from a Distinguished Midwest Private Collection exemplifies the refined taste of an American collector who, with regular visits to important Russian art dealers and auctions in Paris, London and New York, carefully built the collection over the course of the last quarter century. This finely curated group of Fabergé includes everything from desk clocks to photograph frames, hardstone animals to Imperial cigarette cases. Many works have been exhibited widely and benefit from remarkable Imperial provenance.

Fabergé highlights from the Distinguished Midwest Private Collection include a Jeweled Gold Box originally gifted to Princess Irene of Prussia by her sister Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, later in the collection of a German Royal Family (estimate: $40,000-60,000); an Aventurine Quartz Gum-Pot in the form of an apple originally purchased by the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna from Fabergé in 1901 (estimate: $25,000-35,000); a Gold and Bloodstone Gum-Pot formerly in the Forbes Magazine Collection (estimate: $30,000-50,000); and a vibrant blue Jeweled Enamel Imperial Presentation Cigarette Case (estimate: $50,000-70,000).

Another highlight of the Fabergé section of the sale is an Important Silver-Mounted Porcelain Imperial Presentation Vase by Fabergé and the Imperial Porcelain Factory from a New York Collector (estimate: $150,000-250,000). The vase was recorded in the ledgers of the Imperial Cabinet and was intended to be presented by Emperor Nicholas II. However, it remained in the Imperial Cabinet’s stock until the Russian Revolution in 1917. By mid-century, the vase had found its way into the collection of India Early Minshall (1885-1965), the renowned American collector of Fabergé. Minshall’s iconic collection was donated to the Cleveland Museum of Art and The Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, the latter of which eventually deaccessioned the works. The present vase was among those deaccessioned works sold at Christie’s New York in 1988, where it was acquired by the present owner.

Another Fabergé highlight with extraordinary provenance is an Important Silver and Enamel Presentation Clock initially gifted to George Nikolaevich de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg (1872-1904), an officer of the Horse Guard Regiment. George Nikolaevich was a descendant of Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna (1819-1876), daughter of Emperor Nicholas I (1796-1855), and also, Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763-1814), the first wife Napoléon Bonaparte. The clock was gifted to him in 1905 by his fellow officers of His Majesty’s squadron, presumably upon his retirement (estimate: $80,000-120,000).

The militaria section of the sale features a rare badge and collar of the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called from a Private Collector (estimates: $80,000-120,000 and $150,000-250,000). Founded by Peter the Great, the order of St. Andrew was the highest and oldest Imperial award. The badge was made by the Russian Imperial court jeweler Julius Keibel in 1865 and the collar by the jeweler Eduard.

The sale also features an excellent selection of bronzes, including a portrait of Mary Clark Brabant, the daughter of an industrialist and senator from Montana, by Prince Paul Troubetzkoy (estimate: $50,000-70,000).

© Art Daily and Christie's. 25 March, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:51 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 25 March 2013 8:47 AM EDT
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Saturday, 16 March 2013
Faberge at the Yale Center for British Art
Topic: Faberge

 

A Fabergé bell push, in exhibit at the Yale Center for British Art. Photo Credit: The Royal Collection/Queen Elizabeth II

The three sumptuous objects, studded with gemstones and embellished with gold, are too large to be worn as jewelry; they’re too small to serve as display pieces. If they were boxes, they might hold stamps or face powder; but they don’t open. Their exquisite workmanship implies instead that they exist only to be beautiful.

But the labels at the Yale Center for British Art reveal them to be bell pushes, fashioned by Carl Fabergé at the turn of the 20th century for the newly electrified system for summoning servants at Buckingham Palace. That an item so utterly utilitarian, and so emblematic of modernity, would also represent the height of handmade luxury is one of the many contradictions that ripple through the center’s splendid new show, “Edwardian Opulence: British Art at the Dawn of the 20th Century.”

“Edwardian Opulence: British Art at the Dawn of the 20th Century” consists of 170 items arrayed on two floors at the Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel Street, New Haven, through June 2. Information: britishart.yale.edu or (203) 432-2800.

© Yale Center for British Art. 16 March, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:57 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 16 March 2013 8:08 AM EDT
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Friday, 15 March 2013
Faberge Imperial Jewelry at TEFAF Maastricht
Topic: Faberge

 

 A stickpin and a golden brooch with diamonds purporedly given to Russian ballerina Anna Pavlovna

New-York based art and antique gallery A La Vieille Russie (ALVR) is preparing to exhibit a cross-section of its inventory at the world-renowned European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) in the Netherlands.

Among the works to be shown will be is a selection of unique pieces by Fabergé including a 19th century presentation charger, a range of jewelry created for the Romanov family, and a collection of miniature hardstone carvings of animals and insects crafted from semi-precious stones.

The highlight is a set of precious gifts — both Fabergé creations — that famed Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova received for her performance at the Imperial Hermitage Theater in 1898: a stickpin and a golden brooch with diamonds.

A La Vieille Russie will also showcase ornamental objects and jewelry crafted for the Russian Imperial family, including a round platter made of gilded silver, which was commissioned to celebrate the planned coronation of the Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich of Russia in 1825, which never took place since Konstantin had secretly renounced his claim to the throne in 1823.

“We want to show the lavishness, the sophistication of design, the quality and the beauty of antique jewelry,” says Mark Schaffer, a partner in A La Vieille Russie.

Established in 1851 in Kiev, and now located in New York on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, the dealers have participated in TEFAF Maastricht for 21 years.

TEFAF will take place March 15-24

© Blouin Artinfo. 15 March, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:30 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 14 March 2013 8:48 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Lead Shot Fired at Tsar Nicholas II to be Sold
Topic: Faberge

 

The shot was recovered and mounted on a gold seal and presented to Tsar Nicholas II as a gift. Photo Credit: Wartski 

It may look innocuous, but this tiny lead ball is thought to have triggered a rebellion that saw millions of Russians die and gave rise to the world's first communist state.

When the ball of shot narrowly missed hitting Tsar Nicholas II after it was fired from a cannon in 1905 in St Petersburg, it is believed to have set in motion a chain of events that culminated in the Russian Revolution.

Now its unique place in history is expected to see the grapeshot ball - which has been privately owned for almost a century - fetch up to half a million pounds at auction.

The lead shot missed the Russian Tsar by three feet when it was fired during a ceremonial salute outside the Winter Palace in January 1905.

Although an investigation later found the shot had been fired by accident, Nicholas II is said to have been convinced he had been the target of an assassination attempt.

Three days later, the Russian Imperial Guard opened fire on a crowd of striking workers and their families during a peaceful demonstration, killing almost 100.

This incident earned the Tsar the title 'Nicholas the Bloody'* and led to a decade of civil unrest that culminated in the Russian Revolution of 1917.

*Bloody Sunday is the subject of a new article to appear in Royal Russia Annual No. 4, to be published August 2013. The author, Andrei Mantsov takes a new look at the facts of this historic event based on documents from the Russian archives, ones that are continually overlooked or ignored by Western historians - PG.

The rebellion dismantled the Tsarist autocracy in Russia and paved the way for the creation of the USSR, led by communist revolutionary Lenin.

Tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed in 1918.

The shot was recovered from scene of the 1905 'shooting' by a Russian duke who had been standing next to the Tsar at the time.

He took it to famed goldsmiths Faberge where the shot, which measures 1.5ins in diameter, was mounted on a gold seal that was later given to Nicholas II as a present.

A member of the royal court took it with him when he fled Russia at the outbreak of the revolution.

It has been in private ownership ever since but has now gone on general sale for the first time through London antiques dealer Wartski.

The item could sell for up to £500,000 given its 'exceptional' provenance and Faberge seal, experts said.

Wartski's managing director Geoffrey Munn, who has appeared on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow, said: 'This is a truly historic piece and an extraordinary treasure.

'The provenance is quite exceptional and from a time that now seems so remote yet was in an age of the motorcar and electricity.

'The will to revolution was born from this ball and the events that followed it being fired.'

Nicholas II's grandfather had been assassinated by revolutionary terrorists in 1881, and when he became Tsar in 1894, he used severe measures to subdue resistance movements.

But by 1905 he was seen as a weak leader, and on January 19 that year he concluded the grapeshot fired from a cannon was at attempt on his life.

This grapeshot ball is said to have missed him by three feet while another shattered a window, showering the Tsar's mother, the Dowager Empress, with splinters of glass.

© The Daily Mail. 27 February, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 3:17 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 6 March 2013 11:09 AM EST
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Friday, 8 February 2013
Faberge's 1917 Blue Tsarevich Constellation Egg
Topic: Faberge

 

Yesterday, I posted an article on Royal Russia News about the Faberge: Legacy of Imperial Russia exhibit, which opened this week at the Heritage Museum in Hong Kong.

The exhibition, which runs until April 29th features 4 Imperial Easter Eggs made by the workshops of Karl Faberge. One that will arouse the interest of visitors will be the unfinished 1917 Blue Tsarevich Constellation Egg.

The Constellation Egg is one of 2 Easter eggs created by Faberge for Emperor Nicholas II in 1917. It was also the last Imperial egg made by Faberge.

The egg was never finished or presented to its intended recipient, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, due to the Russian Revolution of 1917 which brought an end to the Romanov dynasty and the monarchy.

The Constellation Egg, as is known from 1917 documents, was made of dark blue glass with an opaque crystal base. There are stars that are marked by rose-cut diamonds. The zodiac sign of Leo is engraved on the glass. The Heir to the Russian throne, the Tsarevich Alexei Nicholayevich (1904-1918) was a Leo, born on August 12 [O.S. July 30] 1904.

In recent years, this particular egg has been the subject of a dispute between two museums: the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow, and the Faberge Museum in Baden Baden, Germany.

In 2001, an unfinished egg was found at the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow. The clockwork and the dial were missing. Most experts believe it to be the unfinished 1917 egg by Faberge. This particular item is without diamonds, and this is the egg currently on display at the Hong Kong exhibition.

Russian millionaire Alexander Ivanov claims that he owns the original (and finished) egg. In 2003-2004 he said that he had acquired this egg in the 1990s and affirms that "the Fersman Museum erroneously continues to claim that it has the original egg. Some experts and their research clearly support the Alexander Ivanov egg as genuine." Fersman museum authorities, however, consider this as "nonsense" and "fake."

Most Faberge experts believe that the Ivanov egg is in fact a modern egg modelled after the unfinished 1917 original egg found in the Fersman Museum in 2001.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 08 February, 2013


  

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:54 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 8 February 2013 11:31 AM EST
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Friday, 1 February 2013
Faberge Exhibition Coming to Hong Kong in February
Topic: Faberge

A special Fabergé exhibition is opening in February at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Four Fabergé eggs appear in the expo. They include the Trans-Siberian Train Easter Egg, which was created in 1900 for Tsar Nicholas II, who, in turn, gave it to his wife, the Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, as a festive present. Also on display is the Moscow Kremlin Easter Egg, the tallest and most ambitious of all of the Imperial Fabergé eggs, made from gold, silver, onyx and enamel. This was given by the Tsar to the Tsarina at Easter in 1906 and represents Uspensky Cathedral, where the tsars of Russia were crowned. There’s also the Memory of Azov Easter Egg from 1891 and the unfinished Constellation Tsarevich Easter Egg.

Among other items on display are works of art and jewellery which have been carefully crafted and lavished with an array of precious metals and jewels, specially created by the House of Fabergé for the Russian court. The Moscow Kremlin Museums and Fersman Mineralogical Museum of Russia have loaned more than 200 pretty pieces to the Heritage Museum until the end of April, making it the first time a Fabergé exhibition has rolled into our city.

Assistant curator at the Heritage Museum, Tang Hing-Sun, explains the painstaking process that would have taken place when making a Fabergé egg. “The creation of an egg took about a year,” he says. “It was a process that had a preliminary period including detailed planning, sketches and models. Fabergé was the mastermind behind it all – and he provided the taste and direction for the creation. Discussions also took place among the goldsmiths, silversmiths, enamellers, jewellers, lapidary workers and stonecutters who would contribute their abilities toward the final Fabergé egg.”

© Russkiy Mir. 01 February, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:49 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 1 February 2013 12:11 PM EST
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Monday, 21 January 2013
Faberge: A Brilliant Vision
Topic: Faberge

 

Simply hearing the name Fabergé evokes the splendor and extravagance of late 19th and early 20th century Imperial Russia. The House of Fabergé designed the renowned Imperial Easter Eggs for the Romanov family, as well as an array of objets d'art, luxurious gifts, and practical items for the wealthy patrons ofEurope.

Visitors can glimpse this grandeur in a special exhibition, Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision , from the McFerrin Collection and hear from more than half a dozen internationally-recognized experts, including Tatiana Fabergé, great-granddaughter of Carl Fabergé, during a special one-day symposium in advance, Jan. 31. The exhibition opens to the public Feb. 1.

Featuring more than 350 objects, highlights include two Fabergé eggs recently added to the collection-the breathtaking Diamond Trellis Imperial Egg and one of the celebrated Kelch Eggs. The exhibition also includes past favorites such as the famed Nobel Ice Egg, the dazzling Empress Josephine Tiara, and the ornate Fire Screen Frame, a gift from Tsar Nicholas II to his mother, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. New additions to the collection include several important Imperial presentation boxes and other objects d'lux.

The McFerrin Collection

In recent years, the McFerrin Collection has become one of the world's most significant private Fabergé collections. Tatiana Fabergé, calls it "one of those rare gems."

"The McFerrin Collection on extended loan will bring such pleasure to the many visitors, both young and old, who again will have the opportunity to dream and imagine the glory of the past," Fabergé said. "This will both educate and enrich the art experience of the American public and allow them to be captivated by the magic of the Fabergé genius so that they can perhaps understand just a little of what has drawn the McFerrins to create such an outstanding collection."

While many pieces in this collection have been featured individually in other exhibitions and publications over the past 60 years, the 2010 exhibition organized by HMNS, Fabergé: Imperial Jeweler to the Tsars marked the first time that the McFerrin Collection was presented to the public.

"We have had the distinct privilege of having ring side seats from which to watch one of the most important private Fabergé collections in the world being built, and then entrusted to our care," said Joel A. Bartsch, president of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. "We are very thankful to the McFerrins' for letting us continue to share these beautiful, masterful and important pieces-many for the first time ever-with the Museum and its 2.5 million annual visitors."

Fabergé Symposium

To celebrate the opening of the McFerrin Collection , the Houston Museum of Natural Science is hosting a Fabergé Symposium featuring leading experts from across the globe: Tatiana Fabergé, Switzerland; Tim Adams, USA; Alice Ilich, Australia; Galina Korneva, Russia; Christel McCanless, USA; Ulla Tillander-Godenhielm, Finland; and Annemiek Wintraecken, the Netherlands.

Full registration also includes specialized tours of the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals and Smith Gem Vault, and a preview of the McFerrin Fabergé collection before it opens to the public. In addition to scholarly lectures and an advance preview of the exhibition, attendees can observe demonstrations of gem-cutting and metalsmithing techniques employed by Fabergé craftsmen. Following the presentations, The McFerrins will give a short presentation about their collecting adventure. Breakfast and lunch are included in the Symposium ticket. Tickets are based on availability.

© Houston Museum of Natural Science. 21 January, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:07 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 21 January 2013 1:12 PM EST
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Monday, 26 November 2012
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna's Faberge Cross Pendant
Topic: Faberge

 

A diamond and topaz platinum mounted Faberge cross pendent purchased by the Tsar Nicholas II and the Empress Alexander Feodorovna in St Petersburg in 1912 bought for the Tsar's sister Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna is seen during a press preview at Christie's auction house in London. It was expected to fetch some 50-70,000 pounds (US$ 79-111,000 , euro 61-86,000) when sold at auction on Nov. 26.

© Christie's (London). 26 November, 2012



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:08 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 November 2012 6:14 AM EST
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Thursday, 4 October 2012
The World of Faberge - Shanghai Museum
Topic: Faberge

 

Memory of Azov Egg presented by Emperor Alexander III to Empress Maria Feodorovna in 1891. Photo Credit: Moscow Kremlin Museum 

One of the most precious Kremlin collections of a great historical and cultural value is the one incorporating pieces of jewellery produced by the famous Faberge firm, the distinguished Russian firms of P. Ovchinnikov, I. Khlebnikov, O. Kurlyukov, G. Klingert, M. Semyonov.

For the first time such a collection of artworks of C. Faberge and other renowned craftsmen from the Moscow Kremlin Museums funds is exposed in the country, which is distinguished by the tradition of jewellery making and art of processing of stones and metal.

Over a hundred high-quality articles are intended to present one of the most flourishing and outstanding periods in the history of the Russian goldsmithery in the epoch, which is called the “Silver Age” of the Russian culture and arts. At the turn of the XIXth century Russian craftsmen invented a new original consummate style, which incorporated a retrospective trend and national traditions along with fashionable utilitarian design, so popular in the modern society. The Faberge’s triumph and “genius”, mentioned by Russian Empress Maria Fyodorovna, has contributed to the development of the Russian jewellery industry and marked a new page in the history of the Russian and foreign industrial art.

The exhibition gives a unique opportunity to observe not only the items from the Armoury collection but also the rarities from the Moscow Kremlin Museums' funds, including religious items and memorabilia, pieces of jewellery and tableware, articles of coloured stones, as well as the Faberge masterpieces – precious Easter eggs, executed for the last two Russian Empresses.

The exhibits reveal the techniques perfected by the distinguished craftsmen of Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and Kiev, such as multicoloured enamel on filigree, highly skilled chasing, genre casting and stone cutting. Composed of the items, produced by various firms and workshops, the exposition explores the main features and mechanism of development of the art of jewellery making at the turn of the century.

The exhibition runs from September 28, 2012 to January 3, 2013 at the Shanghai Museum in Shanghai, China.

© Moscow Kremlin Museum. 04 October, 2012



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:43 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2012 5:46 AM EDT
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Thursday, 13 September 2012
Faberge: The Rise and Fall
Topic: Faberge

 

Imperial Peter the Great Easter Egg (1903). Photo © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 

The Detroit Institute of Arts will host Fabergé: The Rise and Fall featuring more than 200 precious objects from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, home of the largest collection of Fabergé in the United States. The show traces Karl Fabergé’s rise to fame, highlighting his business savvy, artistic innovations, and privileged relationship with the Russian aristocracy. Despite the firm’s abrupt end in 1918, the legacy and name of Fabergé continues to hold a place in popular culture.

Visitors will have the rare opportunity to glimpse imperial Russian treasures made by the House of Fabergé, including jewel-encrusted parasol and cane handles, an array of enameled frames, animals carved from semi-precious stones, and miniature egg pendants. The exhibition features six exquisite imperial Easter eggs. These one-of-a-kind objects, which took at least a year to create, have become synonymous with the name Fabergé. One stunning example is the Imperial Tsesarevich Egg, made of lapis lazuli, diamonds, and gold and opens to reveal a miniature portrait of young Alexei, the heir of Tsar Nicholas II. The objects on view will be exhibited with text, images, and activities meant to help visitors imagine the ways in which such luxury items would have been manufactured in a workshop, displayed in a storefront, and used to adorn the interior of the imperial palace.

© Detroit Institute of Arts. 13 September, 2012



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:52 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 16 September 2012 6:51 AM EDT
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