Feature Story: Third Fabergé Enthusiasts Gathering: A Resounding Success
Unable to travel to Houston, Texas, to see The Artie and Dorothy McFerrin Collection of more than 350 objects at the Houston Museum of Natural Science? Join us for an “arm chair travelers” adventure through 53 pages of photographs selected from the collection to learn about gems and minerals used in Fabergé objects. A 12-page glossary divided into organic materials from trees and the oceans as well as gems and minerals mined from the earth, the latter arranged in the Mohs Scale of Hardness, complete the reference tools shared here through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. McFerrin.
Diamond Trellis, Nobel Ice and Rocaille Eggs in the McFerrin Collection
(Photo Collage by Annemiek Wintraecken)
Third Fabergé Enthusiasts Gathering: A Resounding Success
Two hundred twenty individuals from nine foreign countries and 15 states gathered on January 31, 2013, at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in Texas to hear Dr. Ulla Tillander-Godenhielm (Helsinki, Finland) talk about the Russian Imperial Awards System and Imperial Presentation Gifts
. In a second presentation she shared stunning slides with commentary from her new book, Jewels from Imperial St. Petersburg
. Tatiana Fabergé, great granddaughter of Carl Fabergé, discussed The Dresden Influence on the Artistry of Fabergé
. Her recent book with Eric-Alain Kohler and Valentin Skurlov is entitled, Fabergé: A Comprehensive Reference Book
. Dr. Galina Korneva (St. Petersburg, Russia), author of Russia and Europe: Dynastic Ties – Second Half of the 19th through the Beginning of the 20th Centuries
with her sister, Tatiana Cheboksarova, presented research on Rediscovered Heirlooms of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna and Grand Duke Vladimir
Christel McCanless (USA), Annemiek Wintraecken (The Netherlands), and Tim Adams (USA) in their Power Point Presentation set the stage for an afternoon of learning about Gems and Minerals in the McFerrin Collection. Their study with Fabergé examples from the McFerrin Collection is accompanied by a gem and mineral glossary.
Attendees viewed demonstrations of gem and mineral processing techniques and enjoyed tours of the Cullen Hall of Gems & Minerals and the Smith Gem Vault given by the Volunteer Guild and Master Docents, Houston Museum of Natural Science. Tours of the Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision exhibition on extended loan to the museum concluded the information-rich day.
Our special thanks to Artie and Dorothy McFerrin, the most generous Fabergé enthusiasts and charming hosts as well as the hard-working staff and the enthusiastic volunteers of the host museum for assembling such an outstanding event. Many new friendships were made, and much information was exchanged. The Fabergé enthusiasts are interested in meeting again somewhere in the world for another gathering, a tradition began with nine enthusiasts meeting in London for the Rothschild Clock Egg auction in 2007, and repeated in Richmond and Washington (DC) in 2010 with 55 enthusiasts.
Symposium Presenters and Gem & Mineral Demonstrations, Houston Museum of Natural Science
Informative Tours Led by Dedicated Volunteers
Studying the Collection and Autographing Books
Fabergé Enthusiasts Posing for the Camera
(Courtesy of Fabergé Enthusiasts)