Newsletter 2014 Spring

Spring 2014
Fabergé News from Around the Globe
Russia

Third International Fabergé Symposium

The World of Fabergé in St. Petersburg 100 Years Ago

Join Fabergé Enthusiasts October 2-5, 2014

Fabergé Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Two days of lectures by leading Fabergé specialists culminating in a tour of “The Link of Times” Collection in the new St. Petersburg Fabergé Museum, tours of the Hermitage Museum, Peterhof (both with Fabergé collections), Pavlovsk Palace, Tsarskoye Selo’s Catherine Palace including the Amber Room, and sight-seeing in St. Petersburg with in-depth tours of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Yusupov Palace, Vladimirs’ Palace, and more …
Plaster Bust of Carl Fabergé by Joseph Limburg (1874-1955) (Collection Tatiana Fabergé)
Plaster Bust of Carl Fabergé
by Joseph Limburg (1874-1955)
(Collection Tatiana Fabergé)
Austria
1891 Memory of Azov Egg by Fabergé (Photograph Courtesy of State Kremlin Museum)
1891 Memory of Azov Egg by Fabergé
(Photograph Courtesy of State Kremlin Museum)

February 18 – May 18, 2014 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria The World of Fabergé

The Moscow Kremlin Armory Museum, together with the Fersman Mineralogical Museum, is jointly showing a selection of their treasures in an exhibition entitled The World of Fabergé at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna until May 18, 2014. This event forms part of a two-year long cultural exchange between the two countries and marks the 90th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic ties between the young USSR and Austria following the fall of the Romanov and Habsburg monarchies.

The catalog illustrates 164 exhibits, of which approximately half are by the House of Fabergé. From among its ten remaining Imperial Easter eggs, the Armory has lent the 1891 Memory of Azov, the 1900 Trans-Siberian Railway, and the 1906 Moscow Kremlin Easter eggs, while the Fersman Museum has sent its re-discovered fragmentary 1917 Constellation Egg. The theme of this exhibition is the “Art of Giving”, of which Fabergé was the prime exponent and beneficiary. His objects were deemed to be the most ideal gifts at all levels, for events as diverse as State Visits, regimental “thank yous”, tokens of affection between Royals, and of esteem among those who formed part of an enchanted inner “circle”, akin to “Mrs. Astor’s 400” which represented the epitome of New York Society during the last quarter of the Gilded Age.

If you happen to be in Vienna on May 12, 2014, you are invited to attend a round table discussion sponsored by the Dorotheum auction house and hear a lecture (in German) on “Fabergé and the Art of Giving” by Dr. Géza von Habsburg, President, International Friends of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Dr. Elisabeth Heresch, author of the introductory essay in the exhibition catalog, Die Welt von Fabergé, will present two lectures in German – Fabergé and the Court of the Tsars on April 1, 2014, and The Egg in the Russian Tradition on April 8, 2014.

Press Coverage: Lane, Mary, “Jewelers to the Czars”. Wall Street Journal, February 15-16, 2014, C14. Article reprinted with corrections and others news stories online in the Royal Russia blog for the dates: January 25, 2014 (press release), February 14, 2014 (Lane article), and February 20, 2014 (Russki Mir).

Canada

June 13, 2014 Dr. Géza von Habsburg, Fabergé Guest Curator, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, lectures in English and French on the Fabergé Revealed exhibition.

June 14 – October 5, 2014 Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada
Fabergé Revealed from the Collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Traveling Fabergé exhibition from the Richmond, Virginia, museum will be shown.

Denmark
June 2014 Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers, Copenhagen Fabergé, Russian Art, Silver, Porcelain and Collector’s Items
Gold Cup by Henrik Wigström (Courtesy Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers)
Gold Cup by Henrik Wigström
(Courtesy Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers)
Estonia
March 3, 2014 Unveiling in Parnü, Estonia, of a memorial plaque on the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Gustav Fabergé (1814-1893), jeweler and father of Carl Fabergé (1846-1920). Initiators of the project are members of the Pärnu Society of Fabergé. (Information courtesy of Paul Kulikovsky)
Dr. Valentin Skurlov Examining the Gustav Fabergé Plaque
Dr. Valentin Skurlov Examining the Gustav Fabergé Plaque

Dr. Valentin Skurlov Examining the Gustav Fabergé Plaque

Germany

April 10, 2014 Dr. Fischer Kunstauktionen, Heilbronn, Germany Russian Art and Icons is the first sale in a new location.

Dr. Alexander von Solodkoff contributed an essay entitled “Jean-Pierre Ador and Russian Gold Boxes” to, the book, Going for Gold, The Craftsmanship and Collecting of Gold Boxes edited by Tessa Murdoch and Heike Zech. Sussex Academic Press, 2014, pp. 134-146. Jean-Pierre Ador (1724-1784) was court jeweler to Catherine the Great and active in St. Petersburg from about 1762-1784. Ador’s jeweled and enameled snuffboxes were of the highest quality and kept in the treasury of the Winter Palace where Carl Fabergé most certainly examined and handled them. Not only is the exquisite workmanship in gold, enamels, and jewels a common link between Ador and Fabergé. Ador’s workshop and premises were located in St. Petersburg on Bolshaya Morskaya No. 24, the address which was mentioned in the city register of 1774. Surprisingly, Fabergé acquired a building in the same location and in 1900 moved into a new building built by the architect Carl Schmidt. It included a retail space, jewelry workshop areas, and the family’s residence on the top floor.

Enameled Cigarette Case by Mikhail Perkhin (Courtesy Dr. Fischer Kunstauktionen)
Enameled Cigarette Case by Mikhail Perkhin
(Courtesy Dr. Fischer Kunstauktionen)
(Courtesy Sussex Press)
(Courtesy Sussex Press)
Sweden
Ericson, Claes. Det 19:e Fabergeägget (The 19th Fabergé Egg), Lind & Co., 2014.
Historical novel about a young servant in St. Petersburg who gets involved in the revolution and the civil war, and carries the 1903 Danish Jubilee Egg with him. The vast majority of historical persons, events and places depicted in the book are real. In Swedish.
The 19th Fabergé Egg
The 19th Fabergé Egg
1903 Danish Jubilee Egg by Fabergé is still missing in 2014 (Courtesy Wikipedia)
1903 Danish Jubilee Egg by Fabergé
is still missing in 2014
(Courtesy Wikipedia)
Thailand
Newsletter readers who read the feature story, “Fabergé in the Court of Siam” (Fabergé Research Newsletter, Winter 2013), will be pleased to know the Orthodox Church in Thailand will install a monument in Bangkok to Emperor Nicholas II and King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) of Siam. (Courtesy Royal Russia, February 8, 2014). The Memory of Azov Egg relating to this event in the life of Nicholas II is currently on view at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, in Vienna, Austria.
United Kingdom
1910 Colonnade Egg (Courtesy Royal Collection)
1910 Colonnade Egg
(Courtesy Royal Collection)
(Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens Archives/Art Library)
(Courtesy Hillwood Estate,
Museum and Gardens Archives/Art Library)

Publications from the Antique Collectors’ Club:

Munn, Geoffrey, “The 1910 Colonnade Egg: A Possible Source Is Proposed.” Antique Collecting, February 2014, 14-17. Reprint of an essay which first appeared in the Fabergé Research Newsletter, Summer 2013.

Sparke, Cynthia Coleman, Russian Decorative Arts, May 2014. A guide to Russian decorative arts and their historical provenances includes a chapter on Fabergé introducing the techniques, specific Russian characteristics, and an overview of the principal makers.

Film: Fabergé: A life of Its Own (Courtesy Mark Stewart Productions, London)
Film: Fabergé: A life of Its Own
(Courtesy Mark Stewart
Productions, London)
Admiralty Clock (Courtesy A La Vieille Russie)
Admiralty Clock
(Courtesy A La Vieille Russie)
Wigström Cigarette Cases (Courtesy Wartski)
Wigström Cigarette Cases
(Courtesy Wartski)
Enameled Frame by Viktor Aarne (Bonhams, London The Russian Sale, June 4, 2014)
Enameled Frame by Viktor Aarne
(Bonhams, London The Russian Sale, June 4, 2014)

North American premiere (April 6, 2014 Cinemark Palace in Boca Raton, Florida @ 4 pm, and April 8, 2014 Muvico Parisian at City Place in West Palm Beach, Florida @ 6:30 pm) of Fabergé: A Life of its Own, a film four years in the making, is an Official Selection at the Florida Palm Beach International Film Festival. A feature length documentary tracing the story of the House of Fabergé from Carl Fabergé in 1880s St. Petersburg to the present day is a glittering story filled with jeweled objects and spectacular craftsmanship, but it also encompasses elements of romance, tragedy, greed and pure kitsch. From the Bolshevik Revolution and the cold-blooded slaughter of the Imperial Romanov family to the appearance of a mass-market scent called ‘Brut by Fabergé’, and from star-crossed lovers to James Bond, the Fabergé name has indeed acquired ‘a life of its own’. (Summary courtesy of Patrick Mark)

Interviewees: Olga Vaigatcheva, Dr. Rosamund Bartlett, Dr. Géza von Habsburg, Tatiana Fabergé, Miranda Carter, John Webster Keefe, Hon. Simon Howard, André Ruzhnikov, Alice Milica Ilich, Peter Schaffer, Mark Schaffer, Edward Kasinec, Christopher “Kip” Forbes, Anne Odom, Prince Albert of Monaco, Steven Kirsch, Dr. Dan Hodges, Artie McFerrin, Pierre Mirabaud, Caroline de Guitaut, Dr. Ulla Tillander-Godenhielm, Christian Bolin, Alain Cartier, John Andrew, Katharina Flohr, Simon Benney, Mark Shand, Dr. Marina Lopato, Tatiana Muntian, Sarah Fabergé, Stephen Bayley. 82 minutes, English language with English sub-titles. Writer & Director: Patrick Mark with co-producers: Alice Milica Ilich and Ludovic Lindsay. Produced by Mark Stewart Productions, 2014.

June 26 – July 2, 2014 Fabergé dealers A La Vieille Russie, New York, and Wartski, London, will be exhibiting at Masterpiece 2014 | London

United States
Korkow, Cory. “Old Faces, Fresh Perspectives: Portrait Miniatures at the Cleveland Museum of Art.” Magazine Antiques, January/February 2014, 220-225. Article includes a triangular Fabergé frame with nine miniature portraits from the India Early Minshall Collection (Ed. Note: Shown in a 1943 Hammer Galleries Sales Brochure, Item C., price: $2680).
(Courtesy of the Fan Association of North America)
(Courtesy of the Fan Association of North America)
Diamond Trellis Egg (Courtesy McFerrin Collection)
Diamond Trellis Egg
(Courtesy McFerrin Collection)

McCanless, Christel Ludewig, and Annemiek Wintraecken, “The Art of the Fan in the McFerrin Collection.” FANA Journal (Fan Association of North America), Fall 2013, 4-11, reprinted through the courtesy of Dorothy McFerrin from her book, From a Snowflake to an Iceberg: The McFerrin Collection, 2013).

April 7, 2014 Houston Museum of Natural Science, Texas
Presentation with a book signing by Dorothy McFerrin entitled The Splendor Fabergé Eggs.

Auction Highlights:

Kalgan Jasper Model of an Elephant and Castle Price Realized: £290,500, $470,610 (Christie’s London, November 25, 2013, Lot 216)
Kalgan Jasper Model of an Elephant and Castle
Price Realized: £290,500, $470,610
(Christie’s London, November 25, 2013, Lot 216)

——————————————————————————–

April 8, 2014 Sotheby’s New York Russian Works of Art, European Silver, and Vertu
Auction lots with provenances of legendary American collectors Millicent Rogers (1901-1953), Lansdell K. Christie (1903-1965), mining magnate and philanthropist, and a lapis lazuli seal belonging by tradition to Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich (1856-1929).

April 9, 2014 Christie’s New York Russian Works of Art
More than 30 lots from the Property from the Descendants of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna (1875-1960), and three other fresh-to-the-market private collections include a cigarette cases collection from a Cumberland Island, Georgia, collector.

Nephrite Photograph Frame by Mikhail Perkhin from the Rogers Collection (Sotheby’s New York)
Nephrite Photograph Frame by Mikhail Perkhin
from the Rogers Collection
(Sotheby’s New York)
Enameled Frame by Viktor Aarne from Descendants of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna (Christie’s New York)
Enameled Frame by Viktor Aarne
from Descendants of Grand Duchess
Xenia Alexandrovna
(Christie’s New York)
Russian Works of Art (Jackson’s, Cedar Falls, Iowa World of Treasures, June 3-4, 2014)
Russian Works of Art
(Jackson’s, Cedar Falls, Iowa World of Treasures, June 3-4, 2014)
A Look Back at the 1980’s – A Banner Decade

(Source Material: McCanless, Christel Ludewig, Fabergé and His Works: An Annotated Bibliography of the First Century of His Art, 1994. Numbers after each entry refer to the McCanless bibliography.)

1949-1950 – Maurice Collis wrote in a London newspaper, “The public taste is incalculable. No one could have foreseen that in November Wartski of Regent Street would draw multitudes to view a Tsarist goldsmith’s work and bring off the most brilliant art exhibition of the season.” (Time & Tide: Independent Non-Party, December 24, 1949) Two weeks later a cartoon appeared in the Evening Standard alluding to the Wartski exhibition of 400 objects in a shop located at number 13. Wartski premises at the time were located at 139 Regent Street, London. (219)

Evening Standard, January 9, 1950
Evening Standard, January 9, 1950
Connoisseur, January 1982, 12
Connoisseur, January 1982, 12
Fabergé Cartoon, May 1988 (no further details known)
Fabergé Cartoon, May 1988
(no further details known)

1980 – Kremlin Fabergé Eggs traveled, first to Paris and then in 1982 to Mexico City, Rome, etc. (Lowes and McCanless, Fabergé Eggs: A Retrospective Encyclopedia, 2001, pp. 259+)

1982 – Michael Folkes (1925-1988), a British illustrator and cartoonist, put his pen to work with the caption, “Goddammit [sic], Smith, only vice-presidents and above have Fabergé inkstands.” (1082)

Sales Ledgers of the London Fabergé branch (October 29, 1906 – January 9, 1917) rediscovered. (1089)
1983 – Hillwood Museum staff traveled to Bangkok to study the Fabergé Collection of the Court of Siam. (1129)

The James Bond 007 movie, Octopussy, premiered with a fictional Fabergé egg at auction. (1130)

The Pratt Collection and the Forbes Magazine Collection exhibited jointly in Richmond, Virginia, February 9 – March 13, 1983. (1135)

Two simultaneous Fabergé exhibitions celebrated “Britain Salutes New York” at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum and A La Vieille Russie in New York City. (1154+)

The Gray Collection traveling since 1972 returned to the New Orleans Museum of Art. (1161) Three stolen Fabergé Easter eggs from the collection recovered. (1183)

The Forbes Magazine Collection traveled to museums in the USA and overseas between 1983 and 1987. (Lowes and McCanless, pp. 260+)

1984 – Russian Archives opened for Fabergé research. (1211)

1985 – Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace re-opened with its first public Fabergé exhibit. (1254)

Cuckoo Egg became the 11th egg in the Forbes Magazine Collection from a Sotheby’s New York auction, $1.76 million plus 8% NY sales tax, with the often-repeated auctioneer’s statement, ‘The score now stands at the Kremlin 10, Forbes 11.’ Malcom Forbes asked after the auction about future purchases stated, ‘Eggs usually come by the dozen’. The Rosebud Egg added in a private exhibitions for an undisclosed sum (1280, 1335, 1338)

The active auction markets, and the sale of prominent collections continued. (1309)

1986 – Pratt Collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts re-opened in a new gallery. (1349)
Munich Fabergé exhibition viewed by over 245,000 visitors, December 5, 1986 – March 8, 1887. (1384)

1987 – Design books (1909-1915) from the Albert Hölmström workshop unveiled at the Burlington House Antique Fair. (1442, 1450)

1988 – A Russian delegation visiting museums in the United States asked to see the Forbes Magazine Collection. According to Christopher “Kip” Forbes, son of Malcolm Forbes and curator of the collection, ‘I can tell you that they were duly impressed.’ (USA Today, March 26, 1988 | 1484)

1989 – The Great Fabergé, the first major Fabergé exhibition in the Soviet Union opened on February 8 – October 1, 1989, at the Elagin Palace Museum in St. Petersburg. (New York Times, January 28, 1989, Sec. A, p. 16 | 1520)

Hillwood Museum in Washington (DC) and the Finnish Oy Ettan TV-Production Company each produced a 30-minute Fabergé video. (1514, 1515)

Twenty-seven Fabergé Easter eggs from private and museum collections re-united for the first and only time at the San Diego Museum of Art, October 22, 1989 – January 7, 1990. Twenty five of the eggs traveled to the Moscow Armory for a reciprocal exhibition, January 20 – March 15, 1990. (Press Kit Courtesy of the San Diego Museum of Art, Fall 1989 | 1562)

1990 – Fabergé Arts Foundation (Washington and St. Petersburg) began its efforts to restore the 1900 historic House of Fabergé, staged an extensive exhibition at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, which then traveled to Paris and London during 1993-94. (1657) …
Russian Cartoon by Yelkin (Courtesy RIA Novosti)
Russian Cartoon by Yelkin
(Courtesy RIA Novosti)
Fabergé! It is Mr. Fabergé himself! O, o, o, I am fanatic about him! I want an egg from him! (Artist Unknown)
Fabergé! It is Mr. Fabergé himself!
O, o, o, I am fanatic about him!
I want an egg from him!
(Artist Unknown)

2004 – Viktor Vekselberg purchased the Forbes Magazine Collection before it was to be auctioned by Sotheby’s New York.

2014 – “The Link of Times” Collection is elegantly displayed in the St. Petersburg Fabergé Museum of the restored Shuvalov Palace, where the Third International Fabergé Symposium will be held October 2-5, 2014. Video with collection highlights narrated in Russian by Vladimir Voronchenko, Chairman of the Board Cultural-Historical Foundation “The Link of Times” and Fabergé Museum Director.