ROYAL RUSSIA: News, Videos & Photographs About the Romanov Dynasty, Monarchy and Imperial Russia - Updated Daily
« May 2016 »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
Entries by Topic
All topics
400th Anniversary
A Russian Moment
Alexander I
Alexander II
Alexander III
Alexander Mikhailovich, GD
Alexander Palace
Alexandra Feodorovna
Alexandra Nicholayevna, GD
Alexandra Pavlovna GD
Amber Room
Anna Feodorovna, GD
Anna Ioannovna, Empress
Anna Leopoldovna
Anna Pavlovna, GD
Beautiful Orthodox Churches
Benckendorff, Count Paul
Catherine II
Conspiracy Theories
Constantine Constantinovich, GD
Country Estates
Dmitri Pavlovich, GD
Dmitri Romanovich
Dowager Empress Maria
Eagar, Margaretta
Elena Vladimirovna, GD
Elizabeth Feodorovna GD
Elizabeth Petrovna, Empress
Faberge  «
Frederiks, Count Vladimir
Ganima Yama
George Alexandrovich, GD
Grand Duchess Xenia Alexa
Grand Duke Mikhail Alexan
Grand Dukes
Holy Royal Martyrs
Imperial Russia
Ivan IV, Tsar
Kazan Cathedral
Kerensky, Alexander
Kolchak, Admiral
Konstantin Nikolayevich, GD
Maria Alexandrovna
Maria Feodorovna, Empress
Maria Pavlovna, Senior
Maria Vladimirovna GD
Marie Georgievna, GD
Mikhail Nikolayevich, GD
Nevsky, Alexander
Nicholas Alexandrovich GD
Nicholas I
Nicholas II
Nicholas Mikhailovich, GD
Nicholas Nicholayevich, GD
Nicholas Romanovich
Oleg Konstantinovich, Prince
Olga Alexandrovna GD
Olga Konstantinovna GD
Olga Nicholayevna GD
Paley, Princess Natalia
Paul Alexandrovich, GD
Paul Gilbert
Paul I, Emperor
Peter and Paul Fortress
Peter II
Peter III
Peter Nicholayevich, GD
Peter the Great
Prince Michael of Kent
Romanov Descendants
Romanov Family Album
Royal Russia
Russian Art
Russian Church
Russian Cuisine
Russian Film
Russian History
Russian Imperial House
Russian Monarchy
Russian Orders
Russo-Japanese War
Sergei Alexandrovich GD
St. Petersburg
St. Theodore's Church
State Hermitage Museum
Stieglitz, Alexander
Stolypin, Pyotr
Tauride Palace
Tsarevich Alexis
Tsarskoye Selo
Vera Konstantinovna, Princess
Vladimir Alexandrovich, GD
Vyrubova, Anna
Winter Palace
Witte, Sergei
World War I
Wrangel, Pyotr
Yelagin Palace
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
You are not logged in. Log in
Thursday, 19 May 2016
Sotheby's Displays Magnificent Faberge Cigarette Case in Moscow
Topic: Faberge

Imperial Presentation Fabergé jewelled gold and enamel cigarette case made for the Romanov Tercentenary, Moscow, 1913
Photo © Sotheby's London
Sotheby’s has brought to Moscow for pre-auction display on 19th May, the top lots from the upcoming Russian Works of Art, Fabergé & Icons auction to be held in London on June 7. Currently on display in Moscow in the decorative and applied arts section is a rare and magnificent Imperial Presentation Fabergé jewelled gold and enamel cigarette case made for the Romanov Tercentenary, Moscow, 1913. The last Russian Emperor, Nicholas II gave it as a gift to Lieutenant-General Miliy Milievich Anichkov (estimate 180,000 — 250,000  GBP = 253,044 - 351,450 USD). 


A rare and magnificent Imperial Presentation Fabergé jewelled gold and enamel cigarette case made for the Romanov Tercentenary, Moscow, 1913

rectangular, the lid chased and repoussé with an Imperial eagle, its crown and shield set with circular- and pear-cut rubies within rose-cut diamonds, above a cartouche painted en plein with a view of the Moscow Kremlin, within stylised flowers and scrolling leaves, the lower register with dates 1613-1913, the ground of matte finish green enamel, cabochon ruby thumbpiece, polished gold sides and base, struck KF and K.Fabergé in Cyrillic beneath the Imperial Warrant, 56 standard, scratched inventory number 4389
length 9.5cm, 3 3/4 in.


As noted in the ledgers of the Imperial Cabinet and the Fabergé invoice, this object entered the Cabinet's stock as item number 467 on 25 March 1913, the cost recorded as 650 roubles.  It was released on 14 May 1913 "on the occasion of Their Imperial Majesties' travels around Russia" and thereafter presented to Lieutenant-General Miliy Milievich Anichkov, probably in Moscow on 24-27 May 1913.  The recipient returned the object to the Cabinet for its cash value on 11 November 1913, the payment authorised on 15 November 1913.

CATALOGUE NOTE (Courtesy of Sotheby's London)

The Imperial Cabinet’s meticulous planning for the 300th anniversary of Romanov rule in 1913 began three years prior and included placing orders for commemorative objects with court suppliers Tillander, Hahn, Bolin and of course Fabergé.  Intended to be given to courtiers and other officials, foreign dignitaries, members of the clergy, and ordinary citizens, these objects consisted mostly of small pieces of jewellery.  The Tercentenary objects produced by Fabergé included most famously the Imperial Egg inset with portrait miniatures of all eighteen Romanov sovereigns, which Emperor Nicholas II gave to his wife for Easter that year, now at the Kremlin Armoury.

The culmination of the 1913 Tercentenary celebrations occurred in Moscow in May, following visits by the Imperial Family to Nizhny Novgorod and Kostrama.  The formal procession into Moscow was led by the Emperor riding alone, sixty feet ahead of his Cossack escort.  He dismounted in Red Square and walked through the gates of the Kremlin.  The Empress and Tsarevich rode in an open car; the eight-year-old boy was ill and had to be carried by a Cossack into the Kremlin.  The present lot was presumably given to General Anichkov during this visit to Moscow, given that it was released from stock the day before the Imperial journey began, and of course given its decoration.  (Anichkov is also recorded as having also received a silver inkwell by Grachev; please see U. Tillander-Godenhielm, The Russian Imperial Award System, 1894-1917, Helsinki, 2005, p. 235.)  His decision to return the object to the Cabinet for its cash value is in keeping with his sensible and economical approach to his professional life detailed below.  There was no sense of affront attached to the selling-back of Imperial gifts, the system having been set up as a tasteful way for the Emperor to remunerate people for their service to the State.  

Lieutenant-General Miliy Milievich Anichkov (1848-after 1917) was born into an old Russian family, formerly called Onichkovy, with strong ties to the Court, the military, and the city of St Petersburg.  After serving in the Russian-Turkish War of 1877-1878, he ran the palace and park at Tsarskoye Selo from 1882 to 1883.  A contemporary remembered him from this time as “small, puny, smart, has undeniable comic talent and a large Russian shrewdness” and praised his manner of working: “In a short time Anichkov became acquainted with the running of the Tsarskoye Selo palace, he visited everywhere, climbing on roofs and basements, and made friends with all the staff.  Once settled into his position of Little Captain he began to rule the roost, he delved into every little thing.… He did not hesitate to openly ask the advice of the experienced, intelligent subordinates, be it even a park guard or an upholsterer. The lively, energetic activity of the cheerful manager fell on the souls of his staff, and talk of him spread.”  He was appointed Assistant Chief of Palace Administration in 1883, and the following year promoted to Head of the Imperial Residence at Gatchina, Emperor Alexander III’s primary residence.  Another contemporary recalled: “Alexander III, who was fond of Gatchina and his palace, could not miss how everything came to life, smartened, and yet was done economically, domestically. The Emperor invited Anichkov to see him and thanked him.”  His loyal and valued service continued into the next reign, as Head of the Gofmarshalskoy department for Nicholas II.  As a Lieutenant-General, a rank he attained in 1906, Anichkov was Level III on the Table of Ranks and therefore received one of the most expensive Tercentenary cigarette cases; individuals of Levels I and II were given objects with the sovereign’s portrait which were not strictly speaking Tercentenary in design.

Writing years later of the Tercentenary, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna stated, “Nobody seeing those enthusiastic crowds, could have imagined that in less than four years, Nicky’s very name would be splattered with mud and hatred.”  General Anichkov was there to witness the downfall, one of a handful of loyal generals struggling to protect the Imperial Family during the final days of the dynasty.  During the February Revolution of 1917, with chaos raging in the streets of Petrograd, amid cries of “Down with the Tsar!”, Count Paul Benckendorff recalled, “During the night of the 27th-28th February, General Khabalov… telephoned to me that he was holding the Winter Palace with such troops as had remained faithful, that these troops were dying of hunger, and he implored me to help them in providing him with Court provisions which he thought were at the Palace…. I rang up General Komarov on the telephone in order to tell him to give General Khabalov and General Anichkov all the provisions that they could collect.”  In fact, there was almost nothing left to give.  Three days later, on 2 March, Emperor Nicholas II abdicated, ending 304 years of Romanov rule. 
© Sotheby's London / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 19 May, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:12 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 19 May 2016 6:29 AM EDT
Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, 9 May 2016
FABERGE: The Tsar's Jeweller and the Connections to the Danish Royal Family
Topic: Faberge

Photo: The museum’s patron, H.R.H Princess Benedikte, with her egg-shaped cigarette lighter in bowenite with gold, diamonds and rubies. Created in the Fabergé workshop by workmaster Michael Perchin. St. Petersburg before 1899.  Photographer: Torben Djenner Fotografi. Courtesy:  Museet på Koldinghus
On Thursday, 12 May, Museet på Koldinghus in Jutland, Denmark opens the special exhibition ‘FABERGÉ – The tsar’s jeweller and the connections to the Danish royal family’. This is the first time, the Fabergé objects belonging to the Danish royal family have been on display side by side in a single exhibition. 

Carl Fabergé (1846-1920) was court jeweller to the Russian tsar and best known for the extravagant, diamond-encrusted Easter eggs he created for the tsar and his family from 1885 until the Russian revolution in 1917. Fabergé’s first imperial egg was inspired by an older gold egg, a gift from the Russian tsar to his Danish-born wife, Empress Dagmar.

The exhibition at Koldinghus presents 100 items borrowed from members of the Danish royal family, who have inherited numerous Fabergé objects via their family ties to the Russian tsar. The exhibits include bejewelled eggs, letter openers and large champagne coolers but none of the imperial eggs. The exhibits have only rarely been put on public display, because they are in private ownership and are still used by the members of the Danish royal family.
The Fabergé workshop turned out many other types of objects besides the famous Easter eggs. Fabergé captured contemporary tastes, and with his sense of detail, his inventiveness and his ingenious creativity, he was able to turn royal and imperial living rooms into magnificent treasure troves. Cigarette lighters featured tiny nature-like deer’s hooves and ribbons of diamonds and rubies, while picture frames for family photographs 
were adorned with silver and gold foliage and colourful enamelwork. 
Fabergé was not the only supplier of fine arts objects and jewellery to the court of the Russian tsar and other princely houses in Europe. Jewellery houses outside Russia, such as Cartier, satisfied another contemporary trend, which focused on the more subtle elegance of the French tradition. In the exhibition, the small and large Fabergé objects that are in the possession of the Danish royal family today are thus presented alongside works with a royal or imperial provenance that were created by Russian masters such as Ovchinnikov and Khlebnikov and the French jewellery house Cartier.

The exhibition falls into three sections. One focuses on Fabergé’s jeweller’s art, featuring utilitarian objects and works of art, including little boxes, cigarette cases and pen trays decorated with precious and semi-precious gemstones and gold-mounted rubies and diamonds. The second section presents large official works by Fabergé presented to members of the Danish royal family in connection with coronations, anniversaries or royal weddings. This includes a large gilt champagne cooler, a gold wedding anniversary for King Christian IX and Queen Louise in 1892, that was also in use a hundred years later at the silver wedding anniversary of Denmark’s current royal couple. The third section focuses on close relations and private gifts, such as jewellery and picture frames. With a family photo, the frames made a highly personal gift for storing shared memories. An introductory film and an animated genealogical table tells the story of the close personal ties between the two families, and visitors can mount their own portrait or a family photo in a Fabergé frame.  

The exhibits are kindly lent to the exhibition by H.M. Queen Margrethe II, H.R.H. Prince Henrik, H.R.H. Princess Benedikte,  H.M. Queen Anne-Marie, H.H. Princess Elisabeth, Count Ingolf and Countess Sussie of Rosenborg, Det Kongelige Løsørefideikommis, Den Kongelige Livgardes Officerskorps Fond, The Royal Danish Collection Amalienborg and The Cartier Collection.
A catalogue with dual Danish and English text will be published in connection with the exhibition. 

The exhibition ’FABERGÉ – The tsar’s jeweller and the connections to the Danish royal family runs from 13 May – 25 September 2016 at Museet på Koldinghus in Denmark.
To review some of the exhibits, please refer to the Royal Russia Facebook page, which includes 14 colour photographs. 
© Museet på Koldinghus. 9 May, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:18 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 10 May 2016 11:56 AM EDT
Permalink | Share This Post
Friday, 8 April 2016
Faberge Treasures Coming to Beijing
Topic: Faberge

A representative from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts examines an enamel bowl that once belonged to
the Russian royal family on Wednesday at the Palace Museum in Beijing. (Photo: Cui Meng/GT)
Note: this article has been edited and updated from its original by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia

An exhibition featuring over 200 pieces of Fabergé artworks from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) will be on display from April 15 to July 17 at the Palace Museum in Beijing's Forbidden City.

The exhibition, which will be officially opened next Saturday, is the fruit of collaboration between the Palace Museum and the U.S.’s Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. A precious treasure trove, VMFA's Fabergé collection is the largest outside of Russia. 

Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé (1846-1920) was famous for making Easter eggs inlaid with gemstones and precious metals for the Russian imperial family. His revolutionary jewellery designs led to the Fabergé name being equated with exquisite craftsmanship and luxury Russian jewellery. 

“This is not the first time that our museum has hosted a foreign exhibition. Since 2004, we’ve held foreign exhibitions, like those from France and Russia,” said Song Haiyang from Exhibition Dept. of Palace Museum.
“This time around, the exhibits are from the U.S. This is probably the first exhibition on loan from the U.S.”

Karl Gustavovich Faberge was born in 1846 and died in 1920. He is the world’s most renowned goldsmith from Russia. His most outstanding achievement were the 50 Imperial Easter Eggs he made for the Russian emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II. He was honoured by the Tsar as an exclusive jewellery artist for the court. As well as the Easter Eggs, the exhibition will also display diamond brooches, photo frames, pins, tableware, umbrella handles, among other items.

The egg shaped art pieces are made out of gems and enamel, and ornated using precious metals. They are regarded as the classic of jewel art. Karl Gustavovich Faberge, the person who gave birth to them, has now become a synonym of Russian royal treasures. Visitors who hold tickets for the Palace Museum can see the exhibition for free. 
© CCTV, and Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 08 April, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:04 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 8 April 2016 7:53 AM EDT
Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, 9 January 2016
State Hermitage Museum Opens Carl Faberge Memorial Rooms
Topic: Faberge

The Carl Fabergé Memorial Rooms located in the General Staff Building offer visitors a permanent exhibit of 110 items
displayed in two halls, and an additional hall for temporary Fabergé exhibitions. Photo © State Hermitage Museum
On 29 December 2015 the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg opened the Carl Fabergé Memorial Rooms – a new permanent display in the General Staff Building.

The rooms present the legacy of one of Russia’s foremost jewellery firms, founded by the famous Carl Fabergé, and show the subsequent development of the art of jewellers and stone-cutters, the achievements of contemporary specialists. The two halls allotted to the permanent display contain 110 items, while in the third room, for temporary exhibitions, the exhibition “Fabergé and the Great War” opened (running until 26 June 2016).

Carl Fabergé’s firm is one of the most famous in the history of jewellery-making and silversmithing in this country. Its craftsmen produced outstanding pieces of decorative and applied art, working to commissions from the Russian imperial house and European monarchs, as well as the most prominent members of aristocratic families and the grande bourgeoisie. The Fabergé name became synonymous with fine taste and the highest craftsmanship.

The Hermitage possesses several emblematic works by the firm: a copy of the Russian imperial crown jewels, a monumental silver clock (a silver anniversary gift to Alexander III and Maria Feodorovna), the Rothschild clock egg – a gift from President Vladimir Putin for the Hermitage’s 250th anniversary, a rock crystal presentation dish and decorative bouquets of flowers. Among them are items from the Winter, Anichkov and Alexander Palaces: presentation dishes, parts of dining services, vases and cigarette cases created by the firm’s leading jewellers: Mikhail Perkhin, Feodor Afanasyev, Henrik Wigström, Johan Victor Aarne, Anders Nevalainen and Julius Rappoport.

In the period when industry was developing apace and a large stratum of customers was appearing, the number of workshops, firms and factories producing objects for the mass market grew steadily. Artistic trends were, however, dictated by major craftsmen and artist-designers.  This is illustrated by the activities of Ignaty Sazikov and his sons, whose family firm had branches in St Petersburg and Moscow. By winning a gold medal at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, followed by commissions from abroad, they introduced Russian jewellers into European society.

It is indicative that at the factory of which he was the owner from 1830 Ignaty Sazikov organized as early as 1845 one of the first schools in Russia to train specialists in the different crafts involved in jewellery-making.  In addition to this, he invited prominent artists to produce designs and models. Among them were the sculptor Ivan Vitali and the architect and draughtsman Mikhail Bykovsky. The Sazikovs made active use of new Western techniques and purchased modern equipment. Much of what would develop so successfully in Russia’s greatest firm, the House of Fabergé, had its origins at the Sazikovs’ factory in the middle of the century.

The silversmiths produced pieces stylized in imitation of the works of 17th-century Russian craftsmen. That is how the Neo-Byzantine and Neo-Russian styles emerged. His Imperial Majesty’s Cabinet commissioned such items, mainly bratiny (loving cups) and kovshy (drinking scoops) as diplomatic gifts. The chief supplier of such items was the Moscow manufacturer Pavel Ovchinnikov, who in 1873 opened a branch in St Petersburg. He was a major businessman with at times up to 400 people working at his factory, which also had a special school to train up craftsmen. Designing and making models for him he had such eminent artists as Yevgeny Lanceray, Ippolito Monighetti, Feodor Solntsev and A. Zhukovsky. Apart from old shapes and types of ornamentation that they carefully studied from original works of Early Russian art, the craftsmen revived the making and use of coloured enamel on filigree and on a carved ground, painted and cloisonné enamels.

The finest articles created in the Neo-Russian style at Ovchinnikov’s factory and also those of Ivan Khlebnikov, Orest Kurliukov and Feodor Rückert are attractive for the high quality of the execution of the enamels, the rich palette, the bold combination of contrasting colours and the originality of the pattern decorating the body of the piece – especially those in the style of the Abramtsevo  and Talashkino  artists.

Russian jewellers also had a good command of the so-called classic styles. The display includes items in Neo-Baroque, Neo-Classical and Neo-Grecian styles that supplement the Hermitage’s collection of Fabergé creations. They fit into the general picture of the development of Russian jewellery-making and silversmithing, allowing visitors to trace the characteristics of styles, technical and artistic innovations.

The display has been prepared by the State Hermitage’s Department of Western European Applied Art. Its curator is Marina Nikolayevna Lopato, Doctor of Art Studies, head of the Sector of Artistic Metal and Stone.

© State Hermitage Museum. 09 January, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:59 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 9 January 2016 8:31 AM EST
Permalink | Share This Post
Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Exhibition: Faberge in the Great War
Topic: Faberge

Note: this article has been edited from the original by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
On 30 December 2015, the exhibition “Fabergé and the Great War” opened in the Fabergé Rooms of the General Staff Building of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

The display, which contains 43 items, introduces visitors to unusual products of the House of Fabergé. The unique collection has been provided by the ZAO Russian National Museum in Moscow.

On the eve of hostilities in 1914, around 600 people were working in Fabergé’s workshops. The outbreak of the First World War cut back production, but the firm adapted its workshops to the needs of wartime and began to manufacture items intended for the front. The exhibition presents various types of pieces of this sort – copper and brass field samovars and kettles, saucepans and washstands, a lighter and a spirits cup. The firm produced medical syringes and containers in which they could be sterilized. Of particular historical value is a sterilization vessel included in the exhibition that bears the inscription “Infirmary named after the Heir and Grand Duke Alexei Nikolayevich in the Winter Palace” along with the monograms of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and her elder daughters, Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatyana, all three of whom served as nurses in the hospital that was set up in the state rooms of the Winter Palace. Another rare item is the basin inscribed “Field Hospital Train" –143 named after Her Imperial Majesty Empress Alexandra Feodorovna”.

After receiving a military order, the Fabergé workshops began to produce percussion tubes, spacing sleeves, grenades and cartridge cases. Fabergé’s Moscow factory was renamed the Moscow Mechanical Works. Fabergé reported to the War Department that “during the war I have opened a mechanical works where some 600 persons are employed, engaged exclusively in work connected with the defence of the state. At the present time, the firm is already completing the first order for 6,500,000 hand grenades, as proof of which I am attaching a notarized copy of the certificate from the Central Military-Industrial Committee with the number 4758.” On 23 March 1917, in a letter to Alexander Kerensky, the Minister of Justice in the new Provisional Government, he wrote that his works was “meeting a large order for the Chief Administration of Artillery for 2,000,000 brass artillery cartridges of the 1915 pattern.” The War Department repeatedly held up the products of Fabergé’s firm as an example of care and precision in manufacturing. Included in the exhibition is the bell that was rung to announce the start and end of the working day at Carl Fabergé’s Moscow Mechanical Works.

At the same time, Fabergé continued to work on commissions for the imperial family. Shortly before the war, for Easter, 6 April 1914, the firm produced a silver Easter egg decorated with the monograms of Emperor Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna that the Empress presented to her husband.

The exhibition curator is Marina Nikolayevna Lopato, Doctor of Art Studies, head of the Sector of Artistic Metal and Stone in the State Hermitage’s Department of Western European Applied Art.
The exhibition “Fabergé and the Great War” runs until 26 June 2016 in the Fabergé Rooms of the General Staff Building of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

© State Hermitage Museum. 30 December, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:32 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 30 December 2015 12:06 PM EST
Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, 22 December 2015
Exhibition: Faberge - Tsar's Court Jeweller and the Connection to the Danish Royal Family
Topic: Faberge

In the spring of 2016, Koldinghus Museum in Kolding, Denmark will present a new exhibition: Fabergé - Tsar's Court Jeweller and the Connection to the Danish Royal Family. Through family connections the jewellery, jewelled utensils and large official gifts from the Fabergé workshop inherited through generations in the Danish royal family will be on display. The exhibition will showcase rarely exhibited Fabergé objects, such as amazing photo frames, fine oil lamps, jewellery and cigarette cases from the collection of the Danish royal family, each with a unique history.

“It is a great honour that as a patron of the museum to open this exhibition on the Russian court jeweller Fabergé," - says HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark - "also, as a lender to the exhibition, it is a particular pleasure to be able to share the stories that relate to the objects with a larger circle of admirers. From my father, King Frederik IX, I and my sisters for example own nice frames and boxes that were created by Fabergé and inherited in the family through my grandmother Queen Alexandrine, whose mother was Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia". HRH Princess Benedikte who officially open the exhibition at Koldinghus on 12 May, 2016.
The exhibition Fabergé - Tsar's Court Jeweller and the Connection to the Danish Royal Family presents about 100 objects with loans from members of the Danish royal family. These works have only very rarely been shown to the public, as they are still used by member of the royal family.

HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark will open the exhibition at Koldinghus on 12 May, 2016
Fabergé is best known for his astonishing and extravagant Easter eggs, which he delivered to the Russian tsar and his family from 1885 until the Russian Revolution in 1917. But the Fabergé workshop's work resulted in much more than eggs.   Fabergé excelled in his attention to detail, his inventiveness and creativity in which he transformed the royal and imperial living rooms to magnificent treasure chambers. Oil lamps wearing small lifelike deer hooves and stomach belts with rubies and diamonds and frames with family photos were surrounded by colorful enamel and foliage of silver and gold. During the exhibit, visitors will have the opportunity to see both private jeweled utensils and official works that were created on the occasion of coronations, anniversaries or royal weddings.

"At Koldinghus we are very proud to have the opportunity to present such a unique exhibition as Fabergé - Tsar's Court Jeweller and the Connection to the Danish Royal Family. The exhibition is intended primarily to give visitors an opportunity to appreciate Faberge's unparalleled craftsmanship and his use of precious stones and metals in the creation of fine jewellery and other objects.” - said Museum Director Koldinghus Thomas C. Thulstrup - “In addition, it is also the aim of the exhibition, to convey the story of two related families: the Russian Imperial Family and the Danish royal family through these breathtaking objects. The objects are unique in their precious materials, admirable technique and ingenuity - but even more interesting is what we in the museum language call provenance: the objects' own history. In this exhibition we show not only museum pieces, some of these things are actually in use. A piece of jewellery that is passed down through generations, a frame with old family photos and a cigarette case, used for festive occasions, says therefore also family and world history and demonstrates that these objects have both sentimental and cultural-historical value. The exhibition can only be realized because we have received crucial support and backing from the Crown and royal family members, as well as the Amalienborg Museum and a number of foundations and partners."

The exhibition Fabergé - Tsar's Court Jeweller and the Connection to the Danish Royal Family will run from 13 May to 25 September, 2016 at the Koldinghus Museum in Kolding, Denmark.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 22 December, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:15 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 22 December 2015 8:43 AM EST
Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, 7 November 2015
Sotheby's London Auction: Russian Works of Art, Faberge & Icons, 1st December 2015
Topic: Faberge

A total of 136 items will be offered at Sotheby’s London on 1st December, 2015. Led by two Imperial presentation boxes which showcase the competition between Carl Fabergé and Carl Hahn for Emperor Nicholas II’s commissions, this winter sale is further embellished by a Private collection of Fabergé, enamel and silverwork. A wide selection of items from the Fabergé workshops includes a number of pieces by Feodor Rückert and the icon section is bolstered by a Private European collection of nineteenth century icons within silver-gilt and enamel oklads. Below, are a mere sample of the Fabergé items offered:

Lot No. 418 - A miniature portrait of Emperor Nicholas II, Johannes Zehngraf (1857-1908), circa 1898
Estimate   3,000 — 5,000  GBP

A miniature portrait of Emperor Nicholas II, Johannes Zehngraf (1857-1908), circa 1898 on ivory, the Emperor depicted wearing the uniform of the Preobrazhenskii Regiment, the sash of the Order of St Andrew, and a range of medals: the badge of the Order of St Vladimir, 4th class (bestowed on him 30 August 1890), commemorative medals of Alexander III's Coronation (1894) and Reign (1896), the badges of the Danish Order of Daneborg (1894) and the Greek Order of the Saviour (1884), signed in Latin 'Zehngraf' centre left
height 3.4cm, 1 3/8 in.

Lot No. 419 -   An Imperial Presentation Fabergé jewelled gold, enamel and hardstone box, workmaster Michael Perchin, St Petersburg, 1899-1903
Estimate  120,000 — 180,000  GBP

Description: circular, carved of nephrite, the hinged lid centred with the rose-cut diamond-set crowned cypher of Emperor Nicholas II on a ground of translucent white enamel over sunburst engine-turning within a diamond-set bezel, the lid border of two-colour gold laurel festoons hung from diamonds, chased leaf rim mount, struck with workmaster's initials and Fabergé in Cyrillic, 56 standard
diameter 8.6cm, 3 3/8 in.

Provenance: Presented by Emperor Nicholas II

Lot No. 420 - An Imperial Presentation jewelled gold and enamel box, Carl Blank for Hahn, St Petersburg, 1899-1908
Estimate  200,000 — 300,000  GBP

Description: oval, the lid applied with the diamond-set crowned cypher of Emperor Nicholas II on a royal blue translucent enamel ground over concentric wavy engine-turning within seed pearls, the scarlet red border applied with diamond-set intertwining gold laurel and ribbon, the sides and base of blue enamel, struck with workmaster's initials and K.Hahn in Cyrillic, 56 standard
width 8.7cm, 3 1/2 in.

Provenance: Presented by Emperor Nicholas II

Lot No. 446 -  A pair of bronze figures, inscribed Fabergé, dated 1912
Estimate  20,000 — 30,000  GBP

Description: cast and cold painted as A.A. Kudinov and N.N. Pustynnikov, personal Kamer-Kazak bodyguards of Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, in dress parade uniforms with badges and medals, the coats trimmed with Imperial eagles, the cockaded fleece hats with gold braid, inscribed in Russian on the heels and soles of the boots 'Kamer-Kazak since 1894/A.A. Kudinov/Fabergé/1912' and 'Kamer-Kazak since 1894/N.N. Pustynnikov/Fabergé/1912'
Quantity: 2
height of both 18.2cm, 11 1/4 in.

Click on the link below to view the 92-page catalogue:

Russian Works of Art, Fabergé & Icons Catalogue 


© Sotheby's / Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 07 November, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:44 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 7 November 2015 9:06 AM EST
Permalink | Share This Post
Thursday, 22 October 2015
Missing Surprise from Faberge Egg Found in British Royal Collection
Topic: Faberge

Copyright Notice: The following article was originally published in the October 19, 2015 edition of Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Anna Romanova owns the copyright of the work presented below. Please note that articles published on this blog are for information purposes only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Royal Russia. 

Scientists preparing a new catalogue for the British Royal Collection have accidentally come across the surprise originally contained in the eighth egg from the Fabergé Imperial Easter Series, which for a long time was considered lost.

The surprise of the egg is a miniature mechanized elephant.

Caroline de Guitaut, Senior Curator of the Royal Collection, the art collection of the British Royal Family, was the first to make the announcement during a scientific conference at the Fabergé Museum in St. Petersburg on Oct. 13.

The eighth egg from the Imperial Diamond Net Series was commissioned by Alexander III as a gifted to his spouse Empress Maria Feodorovna for Easter 1892.

The egg's shell was cut from a semi-transparent apple-green rock with encrusted diamonds in the body. Initially the egg had a silver or golden base with cherubs, considered to symbolize the imperial family's three sons: Nicholas, Mikhail and Georgy.

It is also known that inside the egg there was a surprise in the form of a tiny elephant with a winding mechanism. Its description remained in the Fabergé account books and was translated into English.

After the revolution the egg was confiscated and several years later sold abroad, where it turned up in several private collections, ending up in the McFerrin family collection in the U.S. However, the surprise was lost.

Since British scientists could not prove that the find was precisely the elephant in question, the restorers decided to dissemble the figure.

"A fragment of the elephant's turret was lost," said Guitaut. "It seems that it had just fallen off due to the aged metal. Yet as a result, it was possible to look into the foundation of the figure. When we removed the top part of the turret, my heart nearly stopped beating: It contained the Fabergé hallmark! That is how we found the proof of the discovery's authenticity."

Meanwhile, it is still a mystery how the British Royal Collection obtained the figure. One version says that it was acquired by King George V in 1935.

Easter eggs made by Fabergé are a rarity on the auction market and can fetch as much as $18.5 million. That is the sum Russian collector Alexander Ivanov paid for the Rothschild Egg at Christie's in 2007.

© Anna Romanova / Rossiyskaya Gazeta. 22 October, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:31 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 22 October 2015 8:51 AM EDT
Permalink | Share This Post
Sunday, 21 June 2015
Faberge Exhibition Brings Romanov Luster to Oklahoma City
Topic: Faberge


Copyright Notice: The following article was originally published in the June 21st, 2015 edition of NewsOK. The author Michaela Marx Wheatley owns the copyright of the work presented below.

Between 1885 and 1916, Peter Karl Fabergé created fifty lavish eggs as Easter presents for Russia's last two emperors. These supreme examples of jewelers’ art have become symbols of the rise and fall of the Romanov Empire. Oklahomans now have a chance to take a close look at these rare works.

Four Imperial Eggs and nearly 230 other treasures crafted by the House of Fabergé are on view in the special exhibition “Fabergé: Jeweler to the Tsars” at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art through Sept. 27.

“Visitors will experience the wonder of these unique objects, but also have a chance to discover the stories of the people who made them possible, from the Romanov family to Karl Fabergé to the craftsmen themselves,” said Tracy Truels, OKCMOA education curator.

Audio guides designed for children and adults and a hands-on Design Studio, where visitors can create their own Imperial eggs, are available daily. A Gallery Talk Series is scheduled at 1 p.m. on select Sundays throughout the exhibition. Museum staff will discuss a Fabergé topic while touring through the gallery. Each experience is free with paid admission to the Museum.

Introduced to the works of Fabergé at an exhibition in Moscow, Tsar Alexander III appointed Fabergé jeweler and goldsmith to the Russian Imperial Court. Fabergé went on to create hundreds of exquisite objects, including the legendary series of eggs.

 “Hundreds of unique objects, including the famed Imperial Easter Eggs, were commissioned by the Romanovs until the Russian Revolution in 1917. The intertwining relationship between Fabergé and the last Russian dynasty has been a real point of fascination for people over the last century,” Fabergé  curatorial assistant Catherine Shotick said.

Alexander III presented an egg each year to the Empress Maria. The gifting tradition was continued by his son, Nicholas II.

“Peter Karl Fabergé worked very closely with the Imperial family, producing work that would become treasured parts of the Romanovs lives,” added Michael Anderson, special exhibition curator. “Naturally, one sees this in the Easter eggs.”

Each egg on display at OKCMOA tells a story; each one meant something to the Romanovs.

The Imperial Tsesarevich Easter Egg celebrated Nicholas’ son Alexei, who suffered from hemophilia. The boy nearly perished that year. He had been so close to death the court had already written his death notice. Alexei survived, and Fabergé designed a special tribute. It is said that it was Empress Alexandra's most cherished egg.

The Pelican Egg, the first Oklahoma audiences see when entering the exhibition, dazzles in its detail. It’s made of engraved gold, topped by a delicate pelican feeding her young. This egg commemorated the Dowager Empress’ patronage of various charitable institutions, which are depicted on a folding screen in eight ivory miniatures.
The Red Cross Egg signaled that the Romanov's protective shell of imperial privilege had been dangerously cracked by the onset of World War I. Alexandra enrolled herself and her older daughters in nurses' training and converted the Winter Palace into a provisional hospital to care for the wounded. The egg reveals portraits the Romanov women dressed in the Sisters of Mercy uniform.

Also on display is an egg celebrating the 200th anniversary of the founding of St. Petersburg, from which a miniature statue of Peter the Great emerges.

However, the show offers much more than eggs from elegant jewelry to exquisite dishes and ornate frames.

Born in 1846, Fabergé was educated in St. Petersburg and Dresden, where he fell under the influence of Renaissance and Baroque art. He trained with goldsmiths in France, Germany and England, eventually building a business catering to the tastes of Russia’s upper class.

“Fabergé’s workshops were managed by only the most accomplished master metal smiths and jewelers, and great care was taken in the selection of materials to assure the highest quality,” said Shotick.

OKCMOA President and CEO E. Michael Whittington said each staff member has been intrigued by a different piece. For him it’s a small star frame with the photograph of Grand Duchess Tatiana.

“For me, the beauty of this object lies in its simplicity and superb craftsmanship. Its tragic history, however it was included in the inventory of personal effects from the murdered Romanov family makes it endlessly fascinating,” Whittington said.

“For whatever it represented, this object matter dearly to the Romanov family,” Anderson added.

Bringing the exhibition to Oklahoma City is the culmination of years of work, Whittington said, acknowledging the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for their collaboration.

 “It has truly been an exciting international collaboration.”

Whittington is excited people are taking note of Oklahoma as an art destination with institutions like the OKCMOA, the Gilcrease and Philbrook in Tulsa, and the Fred Jones Museum of Art in Norman.  

 “Fabergé: Jeweler to the Tsars builds on the already strong reputation of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art in showcasing major exhibitions. Later this summer, we’ll be announcing an even more ambitious exhibition and partnership with one of the world’s leading art museums,” Whittington said.  

Buy tickets online at or at the Museum’s admission desk. Audio guides are available for adults and children to immerse visitors in the artwork and mystery of the Romanov dynasty. 

© Michaela Marx Wheatley / NewsOK. 21 June, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:11 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 22 June 2015 9:16 AM EDT
Permalink | Share This Post
Sunday, 14 June 2015
Faberge Jewellery Manufacturers Had no Equals in Europe
Topic: Faberge

Portrait of Carl Fabergé. Artist: Unknown
The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library in St. Petersburg continues to investigate the contribution of Russian businessmen, merchants and patrons of the arts in the country's development. Its collections include a book by Tatiana Muntyan "Fabergé: Jeweller of the Romanovs", which reveals the causes of global recognition of Carl Fabergé’s jewellery. His name is inseparable from the image of imperial courts of Russia and Europe of the late 19th - early 20th century. Emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II often used the products of the master to strengthen political, economic and military relations within the country and abroad.

The launch of Fabergé company refers to 1842, when the 2nd guild merchant Gustav Fabergé opened in the Admiralty part of St. Petersburg a modest shop with a workshop of gold and diamond items. By origin, Fabergé family represented French Protestants (Huguenots) who immigrated first to Germany and then settled in Livonia. Like many jewellers of the time, Gustav Fabergé rushed to the jewellery Mecca of the empire - St. Petersburg. It was there that his son Peter Carl (1846-1920) was born, under whom the company earned a well-deserved worldwide fame and popularity, becoming a powerful business enterprise "producing jewellery, silver, and other products of metal and stones."

In his work Carl Fabergé demonstrates a wide palette of styles - from the "Art Nouveau" to "Art Deco", dominated by modernism and the "Russian style." More than two hundred works and historical documents that are included in the above publication, illustrate the wide range of his talent in using a variety of techniques and materials for the realization of the infinite variety of subjects. The magic touch of the master’s hand transformed diamonds, Ural gems, enamel, crystal and precious metals into magnificent decorations, Easter eggs, flowers, animal figures and many other unusual items.

Splendid Easter eggs make up the smallest part of what the company had created during the time of its existence. But when we say "Fabergé" we imagine primarily these brilliant works, the creation of which the great jeweler devoted more than thirty years of his life. Special recognition of connoisseurs was given to the eggs named "Constellation of the Tsarevich" and "Coronation" - with a miniature coach inside. Description of such a magnificent egg in the bill was laconic: "Egg of yellow enamel and a coach." The price: 5500 rubles. The "Coronation" egg reminded the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of the great event when she contracted "a mystical marriage with Russia," as it is written in the book of A. Bohanov "Nicholas II».

The House of Fabergé building at 24 Bolshaya Morskaya Ulitsa in St. Petersburg, as it looks today
Initially, Peter Carl "was attached to the family and the capital of his father", but in 1872 he headed the business. Thanks to fastidious taste in art and astonishing energy of Carl Fabergé, the company became the largest jewelry enterprise in Russia with a large staff of craftsmen and artists (more than five hundred people) and modern equipment. The company had branches in Moscow, Odessa, Kiev and London.

The book by I. Zimin and A. Sokolov, "Jewellery treasures of the Russian imperial court", which is also held by the Presidential Library, describes the activities of foreign representative offices of the Russian jewellery company: “Among the personal orders coming directly from members of the imperial family, a significant part covered the gifts to European relatives. ...For example, when preparing a trip of the Empress Maria Feodorovna to Denmark, the imperial family ordered the items with the total cost of 4, 464 rubles: three elephants, a mushroom, two cups with the eagles." At that time it was a considerable sum of money.

The main jewellery production, the main shop and office were located in the house of Carl Fabergé, built in 1900 in the aristocratic district of St. Petersburg, on Bolshaya Morskaya Street designed by architect Karl Schmidt. The house had a safe-lift, which delivered items from the workshops to the selling area on the ground floor.

Many representatives of St. Petersburg elite, such as the prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theatre Matilda Kshesinskaya, kept their jewellery in Fabergé’s house. In the book cited in this publication, Kshessinskaya says that she did not take her jewellery when going to a tour abroad: Fabergé’s company insured them and transported abroad itself. Arriving abroad, Kshessinskaya just mentioned the number of the time by telephone (for purposes of secrecy), and the agent detective brought the needed jewel in the hotel or theatre, while remaining close to it all evening.

In 1885, Carl Fabergé was allowed to be referred to the Supplier of the Imperial Court, and five years later he was bestowed the title of the Appraiser of the Office of His Imperial Majesty - Fabergé was invited to the palaces for the accurate evaluation of quality and value of the stones.

By all accounts, gold and silver, and jewellery that Fabergé so ably represented at home and abroad, was the sector of industry in which the Russians had no equal in Europe.

© Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library and Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 14 June, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:05 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 14 June 2015 8:18 AM EDT
Permalink | Share This Post

Newer | Latest | Older