Tsar Alexander III and Marie
Tsar Nicholas II and Alexandra
Collectors: An Almanach de Fabergé
Henry Charles Bainbridge (1873/74-1954), manager of the London Fabergé branch, in his autobiography shares his efforts to know his shop’s clientele – royalty or commoner – and how to give each of them special service in selecting Fabergé objects made in St. Petersburg, Russia:
“And worse still, one had to know who had arrived. Almost an impossibility, you say. Yes, it was almost, but not quite. I got over the difficulty to a large extent by keeping a sort of Almanach de Fabergé and against each name, I put a photograph if I could get one, and any other useful information I managed to collect, such as their particular like and dislikes, whether they preferred yachts to steam engines, the names of their friends, when they travelled and where they were likely to stay. It helped me enormously.” (Twice Seven, 1933, 161)
This compilation of a modern-day Fabergé almanac includes those who have gone before and those connoisseurs who still appreciate the art of Fabergé.
Fascinating stories about Fabergé collectors beginning with Tsars Alexander III and his consort Marie Fedorovna and Tsar Nicholas II and Alexandra Fedorovna, can be gleaned from these reference tools:
Selected Fabergé Bibliography (1930 to the present)
McCanless, Christel Ludewig. Fabergé and His Works: An Annotated Bibliography of the First Century of His Art, 1994. Art history reference book of 1772 comprehensive journal citations arranged chronologically with annotations in English.
Lowes, Will and Christel Ludewig McCanless. Fabergé Eggs: A Retrospective Encyclopedia, 2001. Monograph gives comprehensive information about 66 Fabergé eggs divided into four categories – Tsar Imperial, Imperial, Kelch and Other. Technical descriptions, all known public exhibitions and auctions through 1997, and reference citations (books, journals, newspapers, and miscellaneous sources) covering the literature of nine countries are given for each egg. Who’s Who in the House of Fabergé profiles 500 artisans and companies who worked for or with Fabergé.
von Habsburg, Géza, et al. Fabergé in America, 1996. Details the history of the House of Fabergé in Russia and the legacy of the Tsars, and is followed by the histories of five major American collectors: Matilda Geddings Gray, India Early Minshall, Lillian Thomas Pratt, Marjorie Merriweather Post, and Malcolm S. Forbes. The list of American customers at Fabergé’s London shop (1907-1917) have been added to the almanac below.
de Guitaut, Caroline. Fabergé in the Royal Collection, 2003. catalogue raisonné of the English Royal Collection. The British, Danish, and Russian royal families had close personal ties and often exchanged Fabergé gifts before the October 1917 Revolution.
The essay, Authentic Fabergé, Fauxbergé … What Is It? gives several important guidelines before becoming a collector.
Dates in red are links to the Fabergé Research Newsletter.
(GvH #) Biographical data published in Habsburg, Géza von, et al. Fabergé in America (1996), Appendix II: Acquisitions by Americans at Fabergé’s London Shop, 1907-1917, pp. 339-355. Entries in the monograph are supplemented with the name of the object, a brief description, inventory number, and cost.
Alexei Alexandrovich, Grand Duke (1850-1908), Admiral General of the Russian Imperial Fleet (Fall 09)
Astor (IV), Mrs. J.J. Ava Lowle Willing (1869-1958) of Philadelphia married John Jacob Astor IV (1864-1912) in 1891. She was active in New York and London society and entertained Edward VII and members of the British nobility in her country house and in Mayfair. In 1910 she divorced Astor, who two years later died in the sinking of the Titanic. In 1919 she married Lord Ribblesdale (d. 1925). The mother of William Vincent Astor (1891-1959) and Ava Alice Astor (1902-1956), she was noted for her beauty and ability as a sportswoman. (GvH 340)
Astor (V), Capt. J.J., and Mrs. John Jacob Astor V, Baron Astor of Hever (1886-1971), was born in New York. He was the son of First Viscount William Waldorf Astor (1848-1919) and Mary Dahlgren Paul of Philadelphia (1853-94) and the younger brother of Waldorf Astor. The Astor’s established residence in England in 1890. He is listed in the Fabergé Sales Ledgers as living at St. James Square, London, in 1916; also the year of his marriage to Lady Violet Mary Elliot Mercer Nairne, daughter of the Earl of Minto and widow of a fellow officer, Major Lord Charles Mercer Nairne. Astor was brought up as an Englishman and with his brother attended Eton and Oxford. He was wounded in World War I, was chairman of The Times (London) for many years and served as a member of Parliament. The wife of John Jacob Astor V is listed in the sales ledgers as Mrs. J.J. Astor and also as Lady Violet Astor. (GvH 340)
Second Viscount Waldorf Astor (1879-1952) was the eldest son of First Viscount William Waldorf Astor (1848-1919) and his Philadelphia-born wife Mary Dahlgren Paul (1853-94). Astor was born in New York, but by 1890 his family had settled in England. In 1906 he married Nancy Langhorne Shaw, an American divorcée. The couple entertained Edward VII and his mistress Mrs. Alice Keppel, at Clivenden in Buckinghamshire, the country estate given to them by his father. From 1910 to 1918 Astor was a member of Parliament for Plymouth, and on the death of his father he became a peer. In the 1930’s Clivenden was the gathering place of the pacifist and pro-Hitler “Clivenden Set”. (GvH 340-1)
Astor, Mrs. W. (Waldorf) Nancy Witcher Langhorne (1879-1964) of Virginia married Robert Gould Shaw in 1897. She divorced Shaw in 1903 and moved to England. In 1906 she married Waldorf Astor, heir to the $110 million Astor fortune. John Singer Sargent’s 1907 portrait is well-known, as are the images of her sister, Irene, the model for the Gibson Girl. Known for her energy and sharp tongue, Lady Astor had an international reputation as a hostess and was the first woman to serve in the House of Commons (1920-45), where she championed the rights of women and children. (GvH 341)
Jules S. Bache (1861-1944) was born in New York to Semon Bache and Elizabeth von Praag of Nürnberg, Germany. He entered the banking house of Leopold Cahn & Co. in 1880 and became its head in 1892. The bank, which had branches in London and Mexico City, was renamed J.S. Bache & Co. He married Florence Rosalee Scheftel in 1892. The Bache collection of old masters was given in 1940 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. (GvH 341)
Actress Elizabeth Balletta of the Imperial Mikhailov Theatre in St. Petersburg owned a carved agate Fabergé dog with a gold collar and a golden bell inscribed Cody. Av. Bosquet 9 (Madame Balletta’s address in Paris). He sold at auction for SFr 65,000 (Christie’s, Geneva, November 19,1974, lot 282; Sotheby’s New York, June 28-29, 1979, lot 405, passed in or withdrawn). (Fall 09 | Spring 10)
Miss Barnes (Mildred Barnes Bliss, ca. 1880-1969) born in New York City, was the daughter of Demas Barnes (d. 1888) and his second wife, Anna Dorinda Blaksley, who subsequently married William H. Bliss. Educated in Paris, Mildred married her stepfather’s son, the diplomat Robert Woods Bliss (see R. Woods Bliss) in 1908. She probably made her Fabergé purchases in the spring of 1908, when she returned from abroad. In a 1914 settlement she received over $4 million of the family fortune, made from her father’s patent medicine. Bliss was a noted horticulturist, collector, patron of the arts and generous philanthropist. (GvH 341)
Bennett, Gordon (James Gordon Bennett, Jr., 1841-1918), was the son of New York publisher James Gordon Bennett and Henrietta Agnes Crean from Ireland. Brought up in Europe, he entered the U.S. Navy in 1861. After the Civil War he managed his father’s newspaper, the New York Herald. In 1867, he founded the Evening Telegram and in 1887 established the Paris edition of the New York Herald. He maintained three homes, in France and in America, including a villa in Newport, Rhode Island, and spent much time on his yacht, Lysistrata. He was involved in both the world of sports and European society. In 1914, in Paris, he married the former Maud Potter of Philadelphia, widow of Baron George de Reuter. Among his known peculiarities was his love of owls. His only purchase from Fabergé was an owl. (GvH 341)
Daniel Bibb, lender of Fabergé silver and other art objects to the New Orleans Museum of Art, is also an icon enthusiast. On his website he has a slide show of the Windows of Heaven exhibition at the museum. (Winter 08-09)
Bliss, Mrs. Woods see Miss Barnes
Bliss, R. Woods (Robert Woods Bliss, 1875-1962), the son of William H. Bliss, was born in St. Louis. A career diplomat, he was secretary to the embassy in St. Petersburg in 1904, an aide at the embassy in Paris in 1905-6 (both posts under Ambassador R.S. McCormick), and secretary to the American legation in Brussels in 1908, the year he married Mildred Barnes. Later postings included The Hague, Stockholm, and Buenos Aires. The Blisses collected Byzantine and pre-Columbian art of the Americas. Dumbarton Oaks, their historic Washington (DC) home, was given to Harvard University in 1940. (Gvh 341)
Boris III (1894-943), King of Bulgaria, the eldest son of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria and Marie Louise. In 1896, Tsar Nicholas II gave a portable Fabergé triptych in the Byzantine style to his godchild Boris on the occasion of his baptism into the Orthodox Church. (Habsburg, 1987, 147-8). He died in 1943, shortly after a stormy interview with Adolf Hitler, and it is not known if the cause of death was a heart attack or an assassination.
The late David A. Braver, an avid collector of Fabergé frames, has left his collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Winter 08-09)
Miss Brice was probably Helen Olivia Brice (d. 1950), the daughter of Senator Calvin Brice (1845-98) and Katherine Olivia Meily. Her father, a railroad lawyer and entrepreneur, was elected senator from Ohio in 1890 and upon retirement moved to New York. She is listed in the New York Social Register of 1908 as residing at 693 Fifth Avenue with other members of the family. She died unmarried at her home at 960 Fifth Avenue. (GvH 341-2)
Mary Lyman Morgan (1844-1919), the sister of J. Pierpont Morgan, Sr. (1837-1913), married in London in 1897 Walter Hayes Burnes (d. 1897) of New York. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Walter Burns helped to receive and entertain Morgan’s guests in London. On March 7, 1908, Queen Alexandra, her daughter Victoria, the Princess Royal, and her sister Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna were received by Morgan and Mrs. Burns at Prince’s Gate. She had a son, Walter, and a daughter, Mary, later Viscountess Harcourt. (GvH 342)
Prince Alexander von Battenberg (Lord Alexander Mountbatten), born in 1886, was the first son of Prince Henry of Battenberg and Queen Victoria’s youngest child, Princess Beatrice. He changed his name to the less Germanic-sounding Mountbatten on July 17, 1917, and the following day became Marquis of Carisbrooke, Earl of Berkhamsted and Viscount Launceston. The title Marquis of Carisbrooke became extinct with his death in London in 1960.
Chen (Sinclair & Raye Heather) Russian Collection (Fall 08)
Churchill, Lady Spencer see Cornwallis-West, Mrs. G.
Miss Cornelia Martin, daughter of the wealthy New Yorkers, Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Martin, married the Fourth Earl of Craven in 1894. As a widow, she was a patron of the arts and in the 1950’s donated many works of art to public institutions. Cornelia, Countess of Craven also had a noted jewelry collection (Sotheby’s London, November 30, 1961). She died May 19, 1961. Her Fabergé collection was sold by the executors of her estate three days prior to the jewelry auction.
Mrs. G. (George) Cornwallis-West, née Jennie Jerome (1854-1921), better known as Lady Randolph Churchill, was the Brooklyn-born second daughter of Leonard Jerome (1817-91) and Clarissa Hall (1825-95). Her father, the financial speculator known as “king of Wall Street” and “father of the American turf”, organized the grand ball in honor of the Prince of Wales’s visit to the United States in 1860. In 1874, she married Lord Randolph Henry Spencer Churchill (d. 1895), second son of the Seventh Duke of Marlborough. Her first-born son was Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965). After the death of her husband, she married George Cornwallis-West in 1900. They were divorced in 1914. She then reverted to her title, Lady Spencer Churchill, which she retained after her 1918 marriage to Montagu Porch. Many important men were enamored of her, including Edward VII. (GvH 342)
“Colonel” Charles Templeton Crocker (1884-1948) was the son of Charles Frederick Crocker of San Francisco and Jennie Easton. He was the grandson of Charles Crocker, one of the “Big Four” who built the Central Pacific Railroad. Crocker was known as a yachtsman, explorer, author, composer, and patron of the arts. In 1911, he married Hélà Irwin, and the couple (Mr. and Mrs. C. T. Crocker) are thought to have voraciously collected artworks during their two-year honeymoon in Europe. Part of the “ultra-fashionable” class of San Francisco, they took first place as hosts to nobility. Between 1912 and 1917 the Crockers built Uplands, a $1.6 million, thirty-nine room mansion at Rancho Las Pulgas, California, designed by Willis Polk in the neo-Renaissance style. The Crockers were divorced in 1925. (GvH 342)
Cunard, Lady Bache (Mrs. Emerald Cunard). Maude Burke (d. 1948) was born in San Francisco. In 1895, she married the grandson of the founder of the Cunard steamship line, Sir Bache Cunard (1851-1925), a prominent member of the English hunting and polo set. Lady Cunard called herself Emerald, mingled with royalty, and as a popular hostess noted for her wit and exuberance participated in London’s literary and artistic scene. She was a close friend of the Irish novelist George Moore and the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham. (GvH 342-3)
Davis, Florence see Dufferin (& Ava), Marchioness of Dr. George Dean, a family physician, and his wife Vivian, are avid collectors of chess sets. Among their treasures is a Fabergé set shown in the 2003 Art of Chess venue at the Gilbert Collection in London, and it was the feature selection in the “Ultimate Gifts Guide” of The Robb Report, December 2004. Provenance: The chess set was commissioned as a gift to the recipient during the ill-fated invasion of Manchuria in 1904, and is inscribed, “To warmly beloved and dear Commander General Adjutant Alexei Nikolaevich Kuropatkin in memory of Manchuria 1904-05 from those devoted and grateful to him.”
Dr. Dean enjoys telling about the purchase of this set from the late A. Kenneth Snowman in 1977. It seems the set had just been placed in a display case at Wartski, the adverts were ready to appear in two distinguished art journals (Apollo and Connoisseur, December 1977, ad pages 105 and 11, respectively) … and to this day the Fabergé set has been the pride and joy of these two collectors, along with a multitude of tearsheets from the two journals. Dr. Dean states that much to his dismay unauthorized reproductions made in Paris are on the market for $25,000. (03.08 | Summer 10)
Sir Esler Dening (1897-1977) had a long and distinguished career as a diplomat, and was the first post-war British Ambassador to Japan (1951-57). He wrote extensively on Asia, and particularly on Japan.
Mrs. J.W. Dixon was possibly Charlotte Hopkins (d. 1957), the wife of Joseph W. Dixon, chairman of the executive committee of the American Securities Corporation and national vice president and director of the American Voluntary Services in New York. (GvH 343)
Sir Charles (Edward) Dodds (1899-1973) was a pioneer in medicine and biochemistry, President of the Royal College of Physicians and medical advisor to King George V and his daughter, Princess Mary.
W. (William) Earl Dodge IV (d. 1924) was the son of William Earl Dodge III (1858-86) and Emeline Harriman (d. 1938). Dodge, who married Jessie Sloan, was a scion of the Phelps-Dodge family of New York, whose worldwide metal and copper mining interest created vast fortunes. His grandfather, William E. Dodge, Jr. (1832-1903), was one of the founders of the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, both in New York City. (GvH 343)
Colonel Anthony (Joseph) Drexel, Jr. (1864-1934) was the son of Anthony Joseph Drexel (1826-93) and Ellen Rozet (1832-91) of Philadelphia, and grandson of Francis Martin Drexel (1782-1863), the Austrian-born portrait painter and banker who founded the firm of Drexel & Company. In 1886 he married Margarita Armstrong, who divorced him in 1917. Much of his time was spent abroad, and he was well acquainted both King Edward VII and Kaiser Wilhelm II. Princess Daisy of Pless in her diary records a visit to St. Petersburg in 1901 while traveling on Drexel’s steam yacht Margaretta, named for his daughter. He also owned the yachts Sayonara and Aloma. (GvH 343)
Drexel, (Jr.), Mrs. Anthony. Margarita Armstrong (1869-1948) of Philadelphia married Anthony Drexel, Jr., in 1886. For many years they resided in London, where they were popular in court circles. The Drexel’s had four children. Their daughter Margaretta married Viscount Maidstone in 1910 and became Countess of Winchelsea and Nottingham. After her divorce from Drexel, Margarita married Lieutenant Colonel Brinsley of the British Army. (GvH 343)
Drexel, A.J. (Jr.) Anthony Drexel (1887-1946), the son of Anthony Joseph Drexel, Jr., and Margarita Armstrong, and also referred to as Jr., was born in Philadelphia and educated in England. In 1910, he married Marjorie Gwynne Gould (d. 1955), daughter of George Jay Gould and granddaughter of the financier Jay Gould. Her father spent $200,000 on her coming-out party in 1909. The Drexels had homes in Philadelphia and abroad. A partner in the brokerage firm of Ligget & Drexel, Anthony Drexel had a seat on the New York Stock Exchange until 1918. He was the owner of the 238-ton steel yacht Queen of Scots. (GvH 343-4)
Dufferin (& Ava), Marchioness of. Florence Davis (1867-1918) was the daughter of John H. Davis, a New York banker, and Theresa Sievwright, residing at Washington Square. In 1893, she married the Second Marquis of Dufferin and Ava, Terance Temple-Blackwood (b. 1866), the ambassador to Russia, Turkey, Italy, and France. In 1910 they resided at Cadogan Square, London. The Marchioness was prominent among American society in London. (GvH 344)
duPont, Miss (Amy du Pont). Listed in the London Sales Ledgers as Miss Dupont, she was probably Amy du Pont (1880-1962) of Wilmington, Delaware. She was the daughter of Eugene and Amelia du Pont and a great-granddaughter of Eleuthére Irénée du Pont (1771-1834), founder of the E.I. du Pont de Nemours chemical business. A noted equestrian and horse breeder, Amy du Pont was a sponsor of the national horse show in New York. One of the wealthiest women of her era, she was a generous philanthropist and patron of the arts. (GvH 344)
Ferdinand I (1861-1948), King of Bulgaria, fifth and youngest son of Prince Augustus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Clementine, daughter of Louis-Philippe of France. In 1893, he married Marie Louise (1870-99), eldest daughter of Robert, Duke of Parma. The king adhered to the Roman Catholic faith in which he had been brought up, but his son and heir, the young Prince Boris, was changed to the Orthodox Greek Church in 1896 for political reasons. In 1908 Ferdinand married Eleanor (1860-1917), a princess in the house of Reuss. Later that year Ferdinand I proclaimed the independence of Bulgaria.
A Fabergé Imperial presentation table snuff box with the cipher of Tsar Nicholas II first shown in an 1975 advertisement for Wartski (London) is accompanied with the often-repeated interchange between King Ferdinand, one of Fabergé great patrons, and Henry Charles Bainbridge, London Fabergé representative: ‘My dear Fabergé’, said King Ferdinand, ‘if you were in Bulgaria I would make you my minister’, and the reply ‘No, no, your Majesty, not politics, I beg of you; but minister of the goldsmith’s art, why yes, Sire, if you will it.’ (Bainbridge, 1949, 27)
Later auction catalogs state that Tsar Nicholas presented the snuffbox to a Bulgarian diplomat for services leading to the declaration of Ferdinand I, King of Bulgaria. Fabergé used muted colors of the Bulgarian flag in the enamel on the box, and it sold for SFr 85000 (Christie’s Geneva, May 11, 1982, lot 340) and again a year later, for SFr 55000 (Sotheby’s Geneva, May 11, 1983, 315).
He abdicated in favor of his son Boris in 1918, and left for Coburg, Germany, where he died in 1948. After retiring from the frenzied diplomatic arena where he had earned the soubriquet ”Foxy Ferdinand” due to his political and diplomatic skills, he enjoyed his passion of horticulture, ornithology and hunting. During this long exile he spent time with his niece Margarete, wife of Albert, Prince of Thurn und Taxis. A Fabergé miniature stand with a portrait miniature of Ferdinand sold for SFr 66600 in the Thurn and Taxis sale. (Sotheby’s Geneva, November 17, 1992, lot 135; in 1996 the same piece did not sell at auction).
Forbes Magazine Collection Based on reminiscences by Christopher Forbes, son of Malcolm Forbes in Fabergé and Forbes: A Personal Perspective London, 1960. Malcolm Forbes, editor-publisher of Forbes Magazine, purchased a Fabergé cigarette case for less than $1,000 on New Bond Street, London, and gave it to his wife Bertie as a Christmas present.
New York, 1965. The Duchess of Marlborough Egg was purchased at auction for $50,000; the Orange Tree Egg was acquired privately.
New York, 1967. To mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Forbes Magazine the existing Fabergé collection was displayed in the lobby of No. 60 Fifth Avenue, the home of the magazine, in New York City.
New York, 1972-73. First catalogue raisonné included 72 pieces, and they were shown at the New York Cultural Center during the Easter season.
New York, 1985. The Forbes Magazine Galleries with a collection of 215 pieces opened to the public on Fifth Avenue. The Cuckoo Egg, his 11th Fabergé egg, was added to the collection at a cost of $1.6 million plus a 10% buyers’ premium.
San Diego and Moscow, 1989-1990. Spearheaded by Malcolm and Christopher Forbes 26 Fabergé eggs were reunited from Russia and the West for an exhibition in California; later shown in the Kremlin, the first Fabergé loan exhibit since the 1917 Revolution.
New York, 1990. The Forbes Magazine Collection totaling 318 pieces, and traveled to exhibitions worldwide. Death of Malcolm Forbes, the most enthusiastic Fabergé collector in the West.
New York, April 19, 2002. Christie’s auction house sold 55 lots from the Forbes Magazine Collection.
January 8, 2004. Sotheby’s New York announced the April 20-21 auction of 12 Fabergé Easter eggs and more than 180 other dazzling Fabergé creations for an estimate of more than $90 million.
February 4, 2004. Russian industrialist Viktor Vekselberg, Chairman of the Executive Board of Tyumen Oil Company (TNK) and Vice-President of TNK-British Petroleum, bought the entire Forbes Fabergé collection privately for an undisclosed sum. Unconfirmed guesses have ranged from $90-120 million.
April 22, 2004. Forbes Magazine is launched in Russia on the anniversary of Lenin’s birth. During the 40 years of Communist rule the late Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990), and his son Christopher ‘Kip’ Forbes collected these historical collection treasures for the Forbes Magazine Collection, shared them with audiences worldwide, and promoted an appreciation of the work of Russian court jeweler Carl Fabergé (1846-1920) and his workmasters. The nonprofit Link of Times Foundation was set up by Mr. Vekselberg to repatriate historic Russian treasures for future generations in Russia and abroad.
Foster, Philip. A Mr. Philip Lawrence Foster of West 44th Street, New York, is listed in the New York Social Register as being abroad in 1908. (GvH 344)
A Fabergé diamond tiara made in 1895 sold for £1.05 million to an anonymous buyer at Christie’s in London on June 13, 2007. It was among £1.7 million of jewelry sold by Princess Maria Gabriella of Savoy, 67, the daughter of the last king of Italy, Umberto II. The tiara known as the Empress Josephine tiara contains a pear-shaped or teardrop diamond given by Tsar Alexander I to the Empress Josephine. Pre-sale estimate £390,000. The Times (London), June 5, 2007, 41 and The Times (London), June 14, 2007, 29. (Winter 09-10)
Charles T. (Tuller) Garland (d. 1921), the son of James A. Garland and Anna Louise Tuller of New York, married Margaret Williams (d. 1918). He resided in 1908 at Moreton Morell, Warwickshire, England. A millionaire, sportsman, and racehorse owner, Garland became a British citizen in 1914, the year of his Fabergé acquisition. (GvH 344)
John Work Garrett (1872-1942), the son of T. Harrison Garrett (1848-88) and grandson of Baltimore & Ohio Railroad president John Work Garrett (1820-84), was born into a wealthy Baltimore banking family but preferred a diplomatic career. He was an avid coin collector and ardent bibliophile. In 1908 he married Alice Warder (d. 1952) of Washington (DC). Garrett was appointed first secretary to the American embassy in Rome, where in 1910 he made the Fabergé purchases recorded in the London Fabergé Sales Ledgers under “Rome Trip”. Twenty years later he returned to Rome as ambassador. The Garretts’ Baltimore home, Evergreen House, was left to Johns Hopkins University with its art collection and rare book library. (GvH 344)
Gibbes, Charles Sydney (1876-1963), English language teacher from October 1908, who during his ten years with the Imperial family became very fond of his pupils, also followed the family into exile. Returning to Great Britain in 1937, he was established as perhaps the first English 0rthodox Abbot – he took the name Father Nicholas in honor of the former Tsar – in a parish in London. A chapel known as Saint Nicholas House in London (now part of the Wernher Collection in Greenwich) contains several icons and mementos of the Imperial family which he brought from Ekaterinburg. Based on personal papers of Gibbes the book, A House of Special Purpose: An Intimate Portrait of the Last Days of the Russian Imperial Family (1975), was published twelve years after his death. (Spring 10)
Gilliard, Pierre (1879-1962), French teacher from 1905 and a Swiss academic, recorded his time with the Imperial family in the book Thirteen Years at the Russian Court. He followed the Imperial family into exile to Tobolsk, Siberia, but was not allowed to see his pupils after May 1918 when they were moved to Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg before their execution. In 1925, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia, sister of Tsar Nicholas II, asked Gilliard to investigate the case of the American Anna Anderson, who claimed to be Grand Duchess Anastasia. (Spring 10 | Summer 10)
Goelet, Mrs. Ogden. Mary R. Wilson (1855-1929) was the daughter of Southerners Richard T. Wilson and Melissa Clementine. In 1878, she married Ogden Goelet (d. 1897), a scion of the old New York multimillionaire real estate family. Her sister Grace Wilson became Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt III (which see). Another sister, Belle, married Sir Michael Herbert, a British ambassador to the United States. Mary was the mother of Robert Goelet and of Mary (called May), Duchess of Roxburghe (which see), who paid for her acquisitions at Fabergé. The Goelets, who entertained lavishly in London and Newport, Rhode Island, and aboard their yacht, included among their distinguished guests Edward, Prince of Wales, and Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich of Russia. Mrs. Goelet once paid Yvette Guilbert £600 to break a contract in Paris and come sing for Edward VII in Cannes. (GvH 344-5)
Goelet, Mrs. Robert. Harriet Louise Warren (d. 1912) in 1879 married Robert Goelet III (1841-99), brother of Ogden Goelet. She lived on Fifth Avenue in New York City and traveled extensively on board her yacht Nahma, on which she entertained Kaiser Wilhelm II and King Edward VII. She was the mother of Beatrice (d. 1902), immortalized by John Singer Sargent in his canvas Child with a Parrot. At the time of her Fabergé purchases, the two main branches of the Goelet family together held one of the largest real estate fortunes in the world. (GvH 345)
Adulf Peter Goop, a Russophile and resident of Vaduz, Liechtenstein, donated his collection of eggs, including the Apple Blossom Egg to the Liechtensteinischen Landesmuseum in May 2010. The egg was made by Fabergé in 1901 for the Russian industrialist Alexander Kelch as a gift for his wealthy wife Barbara. Goop acquired the egg at a 1996 auction. At the museum ceremony he stated his wish was to donate his extensive collection to his country and its citizens for future generations to treasure. (Winter 10-11 | Spring 2011)
Fabergé silver toilet set was most likely a wedding gift in 1904 to Daria Gorchakova (née Bibikova), lady-in-waiting to Alexandra Feodorovna. From the workshop of Julius Rappoport, a supplier of wedding silver and gifts for court weddings. (Sotheby’s New York, April 22, 2009)
G. Gould, Esq. was probably Gerald Blenkiron Gould (1890-1953) of Detroit, married to Leah Curtiss of Tarrytown, New York. He was associated with the Fuel Engineering Company in 1911 and was a member of the American societies of mining, metallurgical, and mechanical engineers. (GvH 345)
R.S. Grant, Esq., was possibly R. Suydam Grant (d. 1912), a stockbroker residing at Gramercy Park, New York. His niece, Adela Beach Grant, was the wife of the seventh Earl of Essex. In 1915, she inherited $591,000 from his estate according to the Earl’s New York Times obituary. (GvH 345)
Mrs. Robert Grant was possibly Priscilla Stackpole of Boston, who had just married her childhood friend Robert Grant, the son of Boston lawyer and author of the same name and Amy Galt Grant. Beginning in 1910, the couple resided in England for 18 years while Robert Grant was a partner in, and the American representative for, the firm of Higginson & Company, the independent English branch of Boston’s Lee, Higginson Company. (GvH 345)
Armand Hammer’s (1848-1990) portrayal of his career begins with his autography, The Quest of the Romanov Treasure (1932), resumes in an authorized version, Bob Considine’s The Remarkable Life of Dr. Armand Hammer (1975), and culminates in Armand Hammer with Neil Lyndon, Hammer (1987). Critical accounts of his life and dealings are provided in Steve Weinberg, Armand Hammer: The Untold Story (1989), and Edward Jay Epstein, Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer (1996), both works of professional historians. James Cook, “Smoke, Mirrors and Armand Hammer” (Forbes, November 18, 1996) demonstrates the nuanced view that emerged in the years following his death. An obituary is in The New York Times (December 12, 1990). The Arts and Entertainment documentary Armand Hammer (1996) provides a balanced and interesting look at Hammer’s public successes and hidden misdeeds. (Source: Biography Resource Center, see also GvH 56-61)
Hatzfeldt, Princess. Clara Prentice (1862-1928) of Sacramento, California, was adopted by her aunt, the first wife of railroad tycoon Collis P. Huntington (1820-1900). In 1889, she married Prince Francis von Hatzfeldt-Wildenburg, an impecunious nobleman given to extravagance and gambling. Having inherited a fortune of $6 million, she assumed a prominent position in English society. The princess, without her husband, was often invited for dinner with Edward VII. Between 1907-1916, she acquired over 50 pieces of Fabergé. (GvH 345-6)
Dr. D. Lee Hodges, an enthusiastic Fabergé collector, and his family loaned over 100 pieces to the New Orleans Museum of Art. Highlights with historical significance include the Bismarck Box given to the Chancellor of Germany in 1884, a photograph frame with a portrait of Nicholas II purchased from the St. Petersburg shop in 1906 by his mother, Marie Feodorovna, a Nobel brooch, and a serpent about to strike on a piece of Persian turquoise. More details: Arts Quarterly, October, November, December 2008, 1, 6-8.
Fabergé: The Hodges Family Collection, a catalogue raisonné for the Objects of Desire: Fabergé from the Hodges Family Collection was published by the New Orleans Museum of Art. Color images with accompanying text for each object in the collection are supplemented by the following essays: Discovering Historical Connections by Dr. Daniel L. Hodges as told to Christel L. McCanless, Carl Fabergé and Russian Money by Dr. Géza von Habsburg, Fabergé’s Work in Wood by Kieran McCarthy, and Fabergé and His Oeuvre by John W. Keefe.
John W. Keefe in an article in the Arts Quarterly (January/February/March 2010, 15) of the New Orleans Museum of Art discusses the addition of a bronze figure of a horse by Fabergé to the Hodges Family Collection. Persimmon was King Edward VII’s favorite and most successful racehorse, and this only extant statue of Persimmon is one of six commissioned by the King from Fabergé in 1908. (Summer 09 | Winter 09-10 | Spring 11 [Research in this issue redates the Bismarck Box to 1889] | Fall 11)
Arthur Platt Howard, who was married to Annie M. Legg, resided abroad in 1908. He purchased five pieces but returned them all to the London Fabergé store. (GvH 346)
In the 1930’s, Allan Gibson Hughes owned the 1911 Tsar Imperial Bay Tree Easter Egg.
Mrs. Hughes was possibly Mrs. John M. Hughes (Cornelia Hilton), who resided at Harrow Weald Park, England, as of 1901. (GvH 346-7)
Miss Hutton was possibly a daughter of Gaun M. Hutton (1848-1916), resident of Baltimore and Newport, Rhode Island. He was a former American vice-consul in Russia who married Celeste Marguerite Winans, a Baltimore cousin of Walter Winans (see W. Winans). (GvH 347)
Hyde, Mrs. Hazeen. Marthe Leishman (d. 1944) was the daughter of John G. Leishman (d. 1924), an American ambassador to Switzerland, Turkey, and Germany, and Julia Crawford Leishman. In 1904, she married Count Louis de Goutant-Biron (d. 1907). In 1913 in Paris, she became the first wife of James Hazen Hyde (1876-1959), who was the son of Henry Baldwin Hyde, the founder of the Equitable Life Assurance Society. Their one child was named for his grandfather. They were divorced in 1918. A longtime resident of New York, Marthe Hyde died at her home on Park Avenue. (GvH 347)
On May 9, 2009, Alexander Ivanov of Moscow, successful bidder of the 1902 Rothschild Clock by Fabergé for $16.5 million, opened a museum in the resort town of Baden-Baden, Germany. The Moscow Times, April 6, 2009, reports a 19th century four-story building to house the museum was acquired and renovated by Mr. Ivanov. It includes a 1 million security system. (Summer 09 | Winter 09-10)
Mrs. Jay was probably Lucie Oelrichs Jay (1854-1931), the daughter of Henry Oelrichs, a New York shipping magnate. In 1878, she married Colonel William Jay (1841-1915), a Civil War veteran, lawyer, gentleman- farmer and founder of the New York Coaching Club. The family often traveled to London, where they had many friends in the Edwardian social set, including the Duchess of Marlborough (Consuelo Vanderbilt). (GvH 347)
Fabergé brooch worn by Elton John, English pop/rock singer, composer and pianist, in the book by Bobby Miller, Fabulous: A Photographic Diary of Studio 54, 1998, is shown as lot 139 in the Kazan sale at Christie’s New York, April 15, 1997. Further illustrated in Ghosn, Michel Y. Collection William Kazan: Objects de Vertu par Fabergé, 1996, 180, with a detailed provenance.
Johnstone, Lady. Antoinette Eno Pinchot, the daughter of James Wallace Pinchot and Mary Jane Eno of New York, in 1893 married Sir Alan Johnstone (1859-1932), a diplomat. He was the British minister to Copenhagen from 1905 to 1910, and until 1917 represented Britain at The Hague, where he and his wife were particularly popular. Lady Johnstone was the sister of Gifford Pinchot, the governor of Pennsylvania, and of Amos Richards Eno Pinchot (see Mrs. A. Pinchot). (GvH 347)
Helen de Kay (incorrectly cited as deKay), the widow of Sidney Gilder de Kay, vice president, director and general legal counsel of Olin Industries, manufacturers of rifles, shotguns, ammunition, skeet equipment, survived her husband by seventeen years. She was a collector of many interests – jewels, paintings, valuable Chinese jade, coral, carvings and furniture for her two residences in New York City and Greenwich (CT). Her small Fabergé collection of seven pieces was part of a four-day estate sale at Parke-Bernet in early December 1966. The December 7th jewelry sale which included the nuptial crown (not by Fabergé) and a golden chalice realized $1,115,585. Both objects are now in the Marjorie Merriweather Post Collection, Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, Washington (DC). Her articulated female figure of a bowenite magot (female goddess of happiness and good fortune) by Fabergé sold for $35,000 on December 9, 1966. Current whereabouts unknown. (Fall 10)
The Honorable William Kazan was born in Beirut, his family claiming connection with the former Khanate of Kazan in central Russia. Mr. Kazan trained as a jeweler, and became a distinguished diplomat and collector of Fabergé and Islamic coins. catalogue raisonné: Ghosn, Michel Y. Objets of Vertu per Fabergé, 1996.
H. (Helen) M. Kelly (1884-1952) was the former wife of Frank Jay Gould (divorced), of Ralph Thomas (deceased), and of Prince Vlora of Albania (divorced). (GvH 347)
Twenty-six works by Fabergé are included in a selection from the Nasser D. Khalili Collections, whose major collecting emphasis is in Islamic and Japanese art. Highlights of the exhibition curated by Dr. Marina Lopato include a combined timepiece and photograph frame, a fan, several clocks, and cigarette cases. The work of Feodor Rückert, an independent workmaster who regularly supplied Fabergé, is seen in three items. (Winter 09-10)
Joan Kroc (1928-2003), owner of the Fabergé Pine Cone Egg at the time of her death, is the widow of the McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc, leaving her a fortune estimated at one time to be around $1 billion. Since the death of her husband, Kroc has used her fortune to help support causes and organizations promoting peace. After the death of her husband in 1984, Joan Kroc shocked her husband’s former conservative political friends by using the fortune he left for causes that bore all of the traits opposite to what he might have considered appropriate. He had been a major contributor to campaigns against abortion, and in support of Republican presidential candidates; however, Joan Kroc decided to spend the money to promote the peace movement. (Source: Biography Resource Center)
Kudos to classical concert guitarist Christian Thomas Lee, who shares his personal collection of fine art through the Arts in Schools program of the Mercy Foundation. His teaching collection of a silver-gilt enamel Fabergé teaspoon and a modern Rosebud Egg travels to poor inner city and rural schools in the United States where it is studied and enjoyed by children. “Waking up in a house full with beautiful things and sharing with children” is how he describes his passion. A provenance index accompanies his website. (03.08)
Robert M. Lee has been a lifelong enthusiast of fine guns, exploration, conservation and hunting. In 1965, he founded and became owner-President of Hunting World, Inc., ranked among the world’s foremost designers and manufacturers of luggage, sporting clothing, watches and accessories. His expeditions have taken him into some of the most remote areas of the world, and he has long been an advocate of conservation and the sustained use of wildlife and natural resources. Hunting World’s more than 100 retail stores and points of sale are located in North America, Europe and the Far East. Lee is the author of Safari Today and China Safari. He funded the Robert M. Lee Gallery of American Arms at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as the Robert M. Lee Endowment for Graduate Studies in Sustained Yield Wildlife Management at the University of Montana. The Foundation also provides financial assistance to many environmental organizations.
Leeds, Madam W.B. Nancy Mary (May) Stewart (1873-1923) was the daughter of W.E. Stewart. Her first husband was George Worthington, and her second was William Bateman Leeds (1861-1908), the “tinplate king”, who bought the Vanderbilt mansion Rough Point in Newport, Rhode Island. Celebrated for her extravagance, she used to return to the United States after each visit to Europe laden with trunks full of expensive Parisian dresses. As a widow, she resided at Grosvenor Square in London and entertained royalty. Her social sponsor was Lady Paget (which see). She made an $80,000 contribution to the great Shakespeare ball, at which Prince Felix Yusupov, Anthony Drexel (see above) and Lady Paget took part, and at which Mrs. Leeds danced as a Cleopatra in a costume sewn with rubies, emeralds, and diamonds. Her portrait was painted by Giovanni Boldini. She lost a much publicized lawsuit with U.S. Customs concerning a pearl necklace acquired in Paris, which she declared at $220,000, but which had cost her $340,000. She tried to import the necklace as “loose stones” at 10 percent duty to avoid the 60 percent duty due. In 1920, she married Prince Christopher of Greece (1888-1940). Leeds was one of the Fabergé’s most important clients in London, having acquired 65 Fabergé pieces, chiefly between 1915 and 1916. Her son, William B. Leeds, Jr., in 1921 married Princess Xenia of Russia, daughter of Grand Duke Georgi Aleksandrovich. (GvH 348-9)
Leslie, Mrs. John. Leonie Blanche Jerome (1859-1943) was the youngest daughter of Leonard Jerome (1817-91) and Clarissa Hall (1825-95), and sister of Lady Randolph Churchill (Jennie Jerome, see Mrs. George Cornwallis-West). She married Lieutenant John Leslie of the British grenadier guards. The Leslies were listed at London addresses in 1908 and 1917. (GvH 349)
Linsky, Jack and Belle “Some great collections are built by art advisors, others by learned connoisseurs. Belle Linsky just bought what she likes.” (Connoisseur, June 1983, 87, GvH 191-2)
Uppsala Auktionskammare, Sweden (December 1, 2009 auction), included a silver-mounted crystal vase marked Fabergé. Provenance: Knut Henrik Littorin employed by the Nobel family’s Branobel oil business, the largest oil company in Europe based in Baku (now Azerbaijan), Russia. Littorin advanced to become a member of the board of directors. A Fabergé brooch depicting the company’s most successful logistic inventions, a railway oil carriage (left) and the oil tanker Zoroaster (right) was also sold. In the middle of the brooch is a golden oil-drilling rig, topped by an oil cistern decorated with the Russian double-headed eagle, and on the reverse, a miniature portrait of Ludvig Nobel (1831-1888), who is credited with creating the Russian oil industry of the time. (Winter 09-10)
Loelia, Duchess of Westminster. Born Loelia Mary Ponsonby on February 6, 1902, she was the third wife of Hugh Richard Arthur Grosvenor, Second Duke of Westminster. The Grosvenors are among the richest landowners in England, owning large tracts of London’s exclusive Mayfair and Belgravia. The Duchess died in London on November 1, 1993.
Manchester, Duchess of. Helena A. Zimmerman was the daughter of Eugene Zimmerman (1845-1914), railroad mogul of Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1900, she married William Angus Drogo Montagu, ninth Duke of Manchester. (GvH 349)
Wartski’s of London on its web page showcased a well-documented Fabergé bulldog sold to Mrs. J. A. Mango in London on November 16, 1916, at a cost of £90, and described in 2009 as ‘one of the best Fabergé animals’. The features of the Mango bulldog appear to be quite similar to Cody belonging to Mme. Balletta. They are both 9 cm (3½ inches) tall, the first made out of petrified wood with eyes set with two large old brilliant-cut diamonds, and the second carved from bowenite with gold-mounted cabochon ruby eyes, dated ca. 1910. (Fall 09 | Spring 10)
The Manolo March Collection from Son Galcerán, Mallorca, included four cigarette cases and an antique silver coffee service. Christie’s London, October 28-29, 2009 (Fall 09)
Marina, Duchess of Kent, born in 1906, she was the daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia. In 1934, she married Prince George, first Duke of Kent. She died at Kensington Palace in London in 1968.
Martin, Mr. and Mrs. Bradley. Cornelia Sherman (d. 1920) was the daughter of Isaac Sherman of Buffalo, whose fortune was made in lumber and barrel staves. She married Bradley Martin of New York (1841-1913). The Martins became part of the “ultra fashionable” class in New York. In 1897, they gave the notorious masquerade ball at the Waldorf Astoria, at which Cornelia wore a stomacher that had belonged to Queen Marie Antoinette (illus. GvH 32). The ball, which cost over $350,000, and the publicity surrounding it, raised their real estate taxes so high that they took up permanent residence in Britain. They rented the Seafield Estate Balmacaan in Scotland, where they entertained up to 70 guests at a time during the shooting season. Their daughter, Cornelia, married the Earl of Craven in 1893, thus assuring them of a social position in London. (GvH 349)
Harold Fowler McCormick (1872-1941) of Chicago was the son of Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809-84), who invented the reaping machine that revolutionized farming. In 1895, he married Edith Rockefeller (d. 1935), daughter of John D. Rockefeller; they were divorced in 1921. McCormick married Ganna Walska in 1922, who acquired the Duchess of Marlborough Easter Egg in Paris in 1926. (GvH 349-50)
The Artie and Dorothy McFerrin Collection shown in its first venue during 2009-10 at the Houston (Texas) Museum of Natural Science includes the Empress Josephine Tiara, Nobel Ice Egg, fire screen frame and other outstanding objects. Permanent exhibition opened to the public at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on February 1, 2013. (Winter 09-10 | Winter 10-11 | Summer 11 | Summer 11 Special Edition | Fall 11 | Winter 11-12 | Winter 12-13)
Meade, Miss was a shopping companion of Walter Winans (which see). (GvH 350)
Moore, Mrs. (Ada). Ada Waterman Small (ca. 1859-1955) was married to William H. Moore (1848-1923) in 1879. In a long, spectacular career in corporate organization, he amassed millions, which enabled his wife to travel, collect, and endow. Her bequests included $500,000 and a collection of Chinese art to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and works of art valued at $92,000 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She made her Fabergé purchases in Cannes. (GvH 350)
John Junius Morgan (d. 1942) was the son of Reverend John B. Morgan and Juliet Pierpont Morgan (b. 1847), and the nephew of the financier J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913). He lived in Paris with his father in 1908, the year he made his Fabergé purchases. (GvH 350)
Mountbatten, Lord Alexander see Carisbrooke, Marquis of
Munn, Mrs. C.A. Mary Astor Paul (1889-1950) was the daughter of James William Paul, Jr. (1851-1908) and Frances Drexel (1852-92), and the granddaughter of financier Anthony Joseph Drexel, Sr. (1826-93), all of Philadelphia. Her expensive 1906 debut, the “butterfly ball” was remembered as a disastrous affair. In 1909, she married Charles Alexander Munn of Radnor, Pennsylvania. They were divorced in 1930, and in 1934, she married Jacques Allez. A resident of France from 1922 until her death, she was awarded the American Medal of Freedom and the French Legion of Honor for her work with the French Resistance during World War II. In 1969, her daughter-in-law, Dorothy Munn, daughter of Alma Spreckels of San Francisco, donated to the California Palace of the Legion of Honor a Fabergé tea table and tea service. (GvH 350; illus. 55)
“On June 21, 1904, the New York Stock Exchange was presented with a resplendent gift from the Imperial Russian Government: a stone and silver urn crafted by Carl Fabergé …” so begins the history of this approximately six foot tall gift on display in the Board Room of the NYSE. It is carved from red malachite, trimmed with silver and sits on a pedestal of green malachite. The urn was a token of appreciation from Tsar Nicholas II to this American financial institution “for its help in floating a $1 billion loan in 1902 to the Russian government, a large amount for its time”.
Olsen kovsh (now in the Khalili Collection) was initially given to Hans ‘I.O.’ Olsen, head of domestic and foreign trade of the Nobel ‘Nafta Company’ (oil company) from 1894-1908, by the firm of Nobel Brothers in 1908. Hans Olsen returned to Norway with his family in 1908 and then lived in Sweden. He was married to Ludvig Nobel’s daughter Mina (1873-1929). (Winter 09-10)
Fabergé Buddha sold for $2,487,931 (estimate $500,000 – 690,000) at the Christina Onassis Jewels Sale (Christie’s London, June 11, 2008) to Alexander Ivanov of the Russian National Museum, who previously acquired the Rothschild Fabergé Clock for $18.5 million. (05.08 | Fall 08 | Summer 11 Special Edition)
Otway- Smithers see Smithers, Peter Otway
Paget, Lady Arthur. Mary Fiske Stevens (b. 1853), known as Minnie, was the daughter of Paran Stevens (d. 1872), a wealthy Boston hotelier, and his second wife Harriet Reed (d. 1895). The family moved to New York in the 1860’s. Edward, Prince of Wales, who stayed at the Stevensens’ Fifth Avenue hotel on his visit to America, entertained Minnie and her mother at Sandringham and Marlborough House when they took up residence in England after her father’s death. In 1878, she married Arthur Henry Paget of the Scots guards, who was later knighted. The Prince of Wales was godfather to one of their three sons. As Lady Paget, Minnie was very much at the center of Edwardian and Anglo-American society. As one of Fabergé’s first patrons in London, she arranged an exhibition of his wares at a bazaar held at Albert Hall on June 21-23, 1904, in aid of the Royal Victoria Hospital for Children. Queen Alexandra attended the bazaar and purchased a jade scent bottle and an enamel and diamond cigarette holder at Lady Paget’s stall of Fabergé objects. In 1910, the Pagets resided at Belgrave Square in London. Some 30 purchases appear in the London Sales Ledgers under her name. (GvH 350-1)
Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (1854-1920), wife of Grand Duke Vladimir, brother of Tsar Alexander III, and the ‘Queen of St. Petersburg’ Society in pre-revolutionary Imperial Russia, fled to France in 1920, where she died a short while later. (Fall 09 | Winter 09-10)
Pinchot, Mrs. A. Gertrude Minturn, of New York, was the daughter of Robert Bowne Minturn and a Miss Shaw. In 1900, she married Amos Richards Eno Pinchot (1873-1944), a grandson of a captain in Napoleon’s army. He was a well-known political activist and a founder of the Progressive Party. His sister was Antoinette Eno Pinchot (see Lady Johnstone). The couple had two children and lived on Park Avenue. In 1919 they were divorced. (GvH 351)
Polignac, Princess E. (Eugenie) de. Winarette Eugenie Singer (1865-1943) was born in Yonkers, New York. She was the daughter of Isaac Merritt Singer (1811-75), the sewing machine manufacturer, and his second wife, Isabelle Boyer Summerville. Brought up in England and France, “Winnie” was a musically gifted patroness of young composers and writers. A marriage to Prince Louis de Scey Montbeliard was annulled. In 1893, she married fifty-nine-year-old Prince Edmond de Polignac (d. 1901), who shared her interest in modern music, art and literature. The composers Gabriel Fauré and Claude Debussy and the young writer Marcel Proust frequented their salons. (GvH 351)
Polovtsov, Alexander, a Russian émigré who settled in Paris, acquired two Imperial Fabergé eggs, the 1901 Gatchina Palace Egg and the 1907 Rose Trellis Egg. In 1930, he sold both to agents of the wealthy Baltimore art collector, Henry Walters.
Portanova, Enrico and Alessandra. “Baron” Enrico (Ricky) was a grandson of Texas oil millionaire, Hugh Roy Cullen, and owned opulent estates at Acapulco, Mexico, and River Oaks in Houston, Texas. Ricky and his brother Ugo were the sons of Cullen’s second child, Lillie Cranz Cullen who, in the early 1930’s married a bit actor and promoter in California, Paolo di Portanova. He claimed to have noble Italian ancestry and occasionally used the title “Baron”. The marriage failed and Paolo took the boys back to Italy. When Hugh Roy Cullen died in 1957, Ricky and Ugo began receiving monthly payments of $5,000 from the Cullen estate. Protracted legal negotiations against the estate began, which ended in 1968 with the monthly payments raised to $1 million. The settlement and another lawsuit in 1980 against the Cullen family, led to an estrangement between the Cullens and the di Portanovas. Ricky estimated to be worth $50 million in the 1980’s, led a jet-setting life, entertaining the rich and famous. He died of throat cancer, aged 66, on February 28, 2000. Auction: Christie’s New York, October 25, 2000
Reid, Mrs. Whitelaw. Elizabeth Mills (1858-1931) was the only daughter of Darius Ogden Mills (1825-1910) and sister of Ogden Mills. She and her brother inherited equal shares of the $50 million fortune their father left. After her marriage in 1881 to the newspaper publisher and diplomat Whitelaw Reid (1837-1912), she became a well-known hostess in London’s Edwardian society and New York’s political and publishing circles. She was an active philanthropist and distinguished humanitarian and served as chairperson of the American Red Cross in Britain during World War I. Her husband was special ambassador at the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902 and ambassador to the Court of St. James, 1905-12. The couple entertained at Dorchester House on an unprecedented scale. (GvH 351-2)
“Fabergé and the Rothschilds” by Kieran McCarthy in The Rothschild Archive: Review of the Year, April 2004 to March 2005, 34-41. (Summer 09)
The Russian art collection of the late cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and his wife, soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, was bought privately by the Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov for reportedly more than the $20 – 40 million it was expected to fetch at auction. The Washington Post (9/20/07) states “he will turn over the entire purchase to the (Russian) state.” Included in the sale of 450 objects were a cut-glass decanter and punch bowl by Fabergé.
Roxburghe, Duchess of. Mary (May) Wilson Goelet (1879-1937) was the daughter of Odgen Goelet (see Mrs. Odgen Goelet). May had been a bridesmaid at the marriage of Consuelo Vanderbilt to the Duke of Marlborough in 1895, and in 1903 she married Henry John Innes-Ker, eighth Duke of Roxburghe (1876-1932), in the same Fifth Avenue church. She became one of the leading hostesses of London and a friend of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, and of King George V and Queen Mary. Her only child, Alastair Robert Innes-Ker, the Marquess of Beaumont, was born in 1913. (GvH 352)
James C. Russo, a New Jersey native and former record-label promoter, ”has a new passion: helping educate needy children around the world, … sparked by a 2006 visit to Thailand with his partner Tony Cointreau, of the Cointreau liqueur family”. His collection of royal artifacts, including an Imperial Russian Fabergé Alexander III Wedding Anniversary Desk Clock, is being offered at auction on April 24, 2008, to support his enthusiasm. Cantu, Hector. “Gentle Mission”, Heritage Magazine for the Intelligent Collector, No. 2, Winter 2008, cover, 55-57, 70-72. (02.08)
Safra, Edmond J. and Lily Collection. Edmund J. Safra was a Lebanese-born reclusive banker and philanthropist who founded the Republic Bank of New York. Days before his death on December 3, 1999, Safra, who had Parkinson’s disease, completed a deal to sell his bank for $3 billion to the British bank HSBC. Aged 67, he died in a fire in his Monte Carlo penthouse set by one of his nurses. The nurse, Ted Maher, a former Green Beret, was jailed for 10 years. Lily Safra is also a noted philanthropist, patron of the arts and advocate for the socially disadvantaged. Auction: Sotheby’s New York, November 3-4, 2005, included frames, table decorations, cigarette cases. (Fall 11)
Maurice Yves Sandoz (1892-1958) over a period of 22 years acquired a collection of automatons created by late 18th and early 19th century goldsmiths and watchmakers, and Fabergé in the beginning of the 20th century. Videos in 2D and 3D depicting the movements of the automatons accompanied the exhibition as well as contemporary interpretations by the watchmaker/restorer Parmigiani Fleurier. The firm did the conservation and restoration work of the Yusupov Egg in 2007 and the Peacock Egg two years later. The multi-volume catalogue raisonné, Montres & Automates: La Collection Maurice Sandoz, will be presented for the first time along with an exhibition catalog by A La Vieille Russie. Source: Magazine Antiques, September / October 2011, cover illustration, 33, 106-113. (Fall 09 | Fall 11 | Winter 11-12)
Singer, Winarette Eugenie ‘Winnie’ see Polignac, Princess E. (Eugenie) de
Smithers, Peter Otway, Esq., M.P. (also cited as Otway-Smithers) May be Commander Sir Peter Otway Smithers, who was associated with the Royal Navy Intelligence during World War II.
Grand opening of the William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London displaying 3,500 jewels with a strong emphasis on 800 years of European jewelry making. The renovation project was made possible with a £7 million gift and took four years to complete. Fabergé enthusiasts will enjoy viewing nine objects and sixteen animals from the collection formed by A. Kenneth Snowman (1919-2002), Fabergé scholar, dealer, and a generous ally of the V&A for more than 50 years. (05.08)
The Cleveland Museum of Art has added a Fabergé cat, three goldfish in an original box, and an agate and gold cigarette case from the Howard and Cara Stirn Collection of European Decorative Arts.
Count Louis Szechenyi (d. 1938) in 1908 married Gladys, daughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt II (1843-99) and Alice Claypoole Gwynne. (GvH 352)
Taylor, Elizabeth, actress and friend of Malcolm Forbes (Winter 11-12)
Thompson, Mrs. Payne. Edith Blight (d. 1941) in 1897 married at Newport, Rhode Island, Virginia-born sportsman William Payne Thompson (1872-1922). They lived at Longfields in Westbury, Long Island, and were abroad in 1912. Edith was an artist who painted under her maiden name. She later lived in England. (GvH 352)
Thormeyer, Ferdinand, French tutor to Crown prince Nicholas and his brother George Alexandrovich (Winter 11-12)
Sotheby’s London, November 24, 2008 Imperial and Royal Presents auction included presents from HIH Maria Fedorovna, Empress of Russia to her sister HRH Thyra, Duchess of Cumberland, Princess of Denmark. (Fall 08)
Edward Tuck, Esq. (1842-1938) was a banker and philanthropist. He was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, the son of Congressman Amos Tuck. In 1872, in Paris, he married Julia Stell (d. 1929) of Baltimore. They settled permanently in Paris in 1890. His gifts to France included an art collection valued at $5 million, hospitals, schools and parks. Edward and Julia Tuck were showered with high honors and special awards by the French government. Tuck established the business school at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, that bears his father’s name. He died in Monte Carlo where he had made his purchases. (GvH 352-3)
Bartow W. van Voorhis lived at the Union Club in New York in 1908. In the years of Voorhis’s purchases at Fabergé, a Mrs. Bartow W. Voorhis is listed care of the Rothschilds, Paris. (GvH 353)
Vanderbilt, Mrs. Cornelius. Grace Wilson (1870-1953) was born in New York of Southern parents. In 1896, she married Cornelius Vanderbilt III (1873-1942), against the wishes of his parents, Cornelius Vanderbilt II (1843-99) and Alice Claypoole Gwynne. Grace became a famous hostess in New York and Newport, Rhode Island, and was said to have entertained more members of European royal houses than any other woman in the United States. Her nephew was R. Thornton Wilson (GvH 66-7). One sister, Mary married Odgen Goelet (see Mrs. Ogden Goelet), another, Belle, married Sir Michael Herbert, brother of the Earl of Pembroke. Grace Vanderbilt’s niece, Mary, married the Duke of Roxburghe (see Roxburghe, Duchess of). The Vanderbilts resided at Beaulieu, their Fifth Avenue mansion in New York City, kept a home in Newport, and traveled on their yacht, North Star. (GvH 353)
Vanderbilt, Mrs. William K. Virginia Graham Fair (d. 1935) was born in San Francisco, the daughter of millionaire James Graham Fair (1831-94), one of the original discoverers of the Comstock Lode, a major U.S. deposit of silver ore. ‘Birdie’ married William K. Vanderbilt II (1878-1944) in New York in 1899. His sister Consuelo had married the Duke of Marlborough in 1895. The Vanderbilts separated in 1909 and were divorced in 1927. A noted hostess, Virginia Vanderbilt maintained a Gothic-style residence on Fifth Avenue and owned an important racing stable. She purchased a hard stone figure, Uncle Sam in 1909. (GvH 353)
Vekselberg, Viktor, owner of “The Link of Times” Collection, purchased the Forbes Magazine Collection. Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990) was America’s foremost Fabergé collector. (Summer 09)
At least nineteen Fabergé eggs given to the Empresses Maria Feodorovna (1847-1928) and Alexandra Feodorovna (1872-1918) by Emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II were loaned to the Exhibition of Objets d’Art and Miniatures, March 9-15, 1902 (Old Style) in the Baron von Dervis Mansion on the Angliskaia Naberezhnaia (English Embankment), St. Petersburg, Russia. No known exhibition catalog or checklist exist, however, scholars have identified the eggs from photographs published in 1993. For biographical details of the Baron, his family, and the exhibition see Fabergé, Tatiana, Proler, Lynette G. and Valentin V. Skurlov, The Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs, 1997, 52-57. The Third Imperial Egg was seen again in public 112 years later – in 2014 – in London. (Summer 14)
Ward, Mrs. Jn. (John) Jean Templeton Reid (1884-1962) was the only daughter of Whitelaw Reid (1837-1912), editor of the New York Tribune and ambassador to the Court of St. James, 1905-12, and Elizabeth Mills Reid (see Reid, Mrs. Whitelaw). In 1908, in a London wedding attended by royalty, she married John Hubert Ward (d. 1938), the second son of the Earl of Dudley, equerry in ordinary to Edward VII and later equerry to Queen Alexandra. He was knighted in 1917. (GvH 353)
One of the most spectacular objects with a flower theme designed by the original House of Fabergé is the cyclamen tiara currently owned by the Duke and Duchess of Westminster. (Spring 13)
W. (Walter) Winans (1852-1920) was born and educated in St. Petersburg. He was the son of the American William Louis Winans, one of the founders of the Moscow-St. Petersburg Railroad. Winans was an author, sportsman, sculptor, horse exhibitor, and world champion rifleman. He apparently visited the United States once in 1910 for the national horse show in New York. He married Miss Belcher of Hove, England. His shopping companion at Fabergé was a Miss Meade (which see). Winans resided at Surrendam Park, Kent, from 1907-1910. (GvH 354)
Wortley, Mrs. Stuart. Virginia Schley was the daughter of Admiral Winfield Scott Schley of the U.S. Navy (1839-1909) and Ann Rebeccah Franklin. In 1891, Miss Schley married Ralph Granville Montague-Stuart-Wortley (d. 1927). (GvH 354)
Zimmerman, Helena see Manchester, Duchess of