Fabergé Style: Excellence Beyond Time

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The Museum and Exhibition complex ‘New Jerusalem’ will host the opening of a large-scale exhibition, “Fabergé Style: Excellence Beyond Time”. The exhibition will feature more than 400 artworks, many of which have never been shown to the general public before. The Fabergé egg of 1904 stands out among others, not only for its rather large size, but also for the fineness of the artist, who produced six miniatures with portraits of Emperor Nicholas II, his wife and daughters. Its top and bottom is decorated with two large diamonds.

In 1903, for the 10th anniversary of the Imperial wedding, one of the most expensive Easter eggs in the history of the House of Fabergé was ordered. At the end of 1903, the Russo-Japanese War began and the Imperial family decided not to agitate public minds and not make public such expensive gifts. The Egg of 1904 has not been exhibited before, as with the famous Rothschild Egg presented to the Hermitage. “Visitors will be the first to see it,” says Prof. Alexander Ivanov, curator of the exhibition, and founder of the first private Museum in Russia (Russian National Museum) and the Fabergé Museum in Baden-Baden (Germany).

The Egg of 1904
The Egg of 1904

According to archived sources, in 1920 it was transferred to the Moscow Kremlin Armory, and after a while it was sold abroad. Along with other eggs, it fell into the hands of the famous American collector Armand Hammer, who exhibited it with other Fabergé items in department stores as an expensive product for wealthy buyers. In the early 70s it was purchased by one of the collectors in Western Europe and today the Egg remains his property. The Fabergé Museum in Baden-Baden presents the Egg and conducted the search for archived documents, as today its history remains the subject of research.

“Fabergé Style: Excellence Beyond Time” exhibition in Russia will present the full range of activities of the world-famous company. In addition to eggs, jewellery and accessories, the museum ‘New Jerusalem’ presents crystal ware, gift and interior goods as well as medals, lapidary works and works of Fabergé created during the First World War. The independent sections will present tokens, stone- cutting products and works of the Fabergé company also during the period of the First World War. The project will gather the works of the House of Fabergé from the collections of Russian and foreign museums: the Faberge Museum in Baden- Baden (Germany), the state Hermitage Museum (Russia, St. Petersburg) and others.

This is the first such large-scale project that presents not just individual items but tells the story of the development of the House of Faberge’. The extensive exhibition demonstrates visitors not only precious products, but also unique documents that mark the key milestones in the history of the famous brand

says Alexander Ivanov, the curator of the exhibition, professor, founder of the first private Museum in Russia (Russian National Museum) and the Faberge’ Museum in Baden-Baden (Germany).

In addition to jewelry and accessories, the Museum “New Jerusalem” presents crystal ware, gift and interior goods and also medals, lapidary works and works of Faberge’ created during the First World War.

Cigarette case
Cigarette case

Also, at the exhibition it will be possible to evaluate and compare the work style of masters from the different departments of the House – St. Petersburg and Moscow. A special place of the exhibition is the Royal Hall, where unique copies of royal gifts, the famous Imperial Easter Eggs, items from the Cabinet of His Imperial Majesty, decorations of the Imperial Family will be displayed.

Among the key exhibits there are Easter Imperial Egg from Karelian birch (1917), the last Easter Egg, made and presented to the Imperial Family by Faberge’; Easter Imperial Egg “Imperial Blue Tsarevich Constellation Egg” (1917), intended as a gift to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna for Easter 1917; brooch “Butterfly” (1896), presented by Emperor Nicholas II to actress M. N. Y ermolova.

Butterfly Brooch
Butterfly Brooch

One of the halls is recreated as the interior of the office of the chief executive of the Faberge’ firm, where you can see the original writing materials produced by the House of Faberge’ and a phone from the master’s office on Bolshaya Morskaya street in St. Petersburg.

Vodka set of twenty five items
Vodka set of twenty five items

A separate room is dedicated to Faberge’s workshops. Its central installation is a huge table, a stylized version of the jeweler’s workspace with unique tools used at the turn of the century, the original sketches of artists which masters based their work on. Interactive touch panels tell all the information and photos about the features of jewelry techniques that glorified this unsurpassed brand. There is also a separate room for workshops and a projector screen showing a film about the history of the Faberge House.

Presentation snuffbox
Presentation snuffbox

In addition to the works of Faberge’ jewelry house, the exhibition presents works of his contemporaries who imitated or tried to compete with the great master — items by Bolin, Sazikov, Ovchinnikov and Khlebnikov.

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