Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts New Faberge Exhibition

Here are the details of the upcoming major exhibition at the VMFA, as reported on the Museum's web site:
Jul 09, 2011Oct 02, 2011    NewMarket Gallery
The name Fabergé is synonymous with refined craftsmanship, jeweled luxury and the last days of the doomed Russian imperial family. The array of enameled picture frames and clocks, gold cigarette cases and cane tops, hardstone animals and flowers in rock crystal vases, and ruby encrusted brooches and boxes continue to fascinate viewers as they did when first displayed in the windows of Fabergé’s stores in St Petersburg, Moscow and London.

In summer 2011, VMFA will feature the largest collection of Fabergé in the United Sates. The exhibition, Fabergé Revealed, includes more than 500 objects and will be at VMFA July 9 – October 2. The Russian jeweler Karl Fabergé crafted objects for the Russian imperial family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including specially commissioned Easter eggs. VMFA’s collection, the largest public collection of Fabergé outside of Russia, includes five of the thirteen Russian imperial Easter eggs that are in the United States.

In addition to showcasing VMFA’s extensive Fabergé collection, the exhibition will feature loans from three important private collections. The collection of Matilda Geddings Gray of Louisiana has loaned its rare Napoleonic Egg and its celebrated Imperial Lilies of the Valley Basket. More than twenty noteworthy loans from the Arthur and Dorothy McFerrin Foundation Collection include the elegant Nobel Ice Egg and the spectacular Empress Josephine Tiara. Additionally, in a complimentary exhibition of the Hodges Collection, more than 100 pieces will come from the family collection of Virginia-born Daniel Hodges, including the historic Bismark Box and the monumental Coiled Serpent Paperweight.
Napoleonic Egg

Christel McCanless, noted Fabergé author, is arranging a special preview on July 8.  Please see our "favorite links" section to contact Ms. McCanless about this event.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Closed Edition Alert!

Tercentenary Egg
For those few fortunate collectors who purchased Theo Fabergé’s Tercentenary Egg, the edition is now officially closed with all 15 pieces being made.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this spectacular creation, the egg was designed by Theo in honor of St. Petersburg’s 300th anniversary of founding.  The first egg was presented to this Russian city as a gift from the Fabergé family with St. Petersburg Collection Chairman Philip Birkenstein participating in the ceremony. 

Philip Birkenstein with the Tercentenary Egg at Peterhof Palace, St. Petersburg

The piece is on permanent rotating exhibition in the palace museums of St. Petersburg, the same ones depicted in hand-carved intaglios on the egg’s crystal shell.  The official description of the Tercentenary reveals its uniqueness.

In 1993 Theo Fabergé the only surviving grandson of Russian Imperial jeweller Carl Fabergé, promised Mayor Sobcheck of St Petersburg, that as long as the city remained free of developers, he would bring a visiting group of his friends and collectors of the ST PETERSBURG COLLECTION each subsequent year.  The year 2003 thus marked St Petersburg Collection’s eleventh visit to the former Russian capital. More importantly, it marked the 300th anniversary of the city’s foundation by Peter the Great.
Theo has designed the Tercentenary Egg to celebrate the establishment of this most beautiful of the world’s cities. The crystal Egg is mouth-blown and hand-engraved with images of the nine major palaces of St Petersburg.  Alongside each palace appears the profile of the Tsar or Tsarina with whom it is most associated.  Atop the Egg stands the triple headed eagle in token of the finial on Peterhof Palace. The fluted gold and silver base is set on a hand-sculpted foot of rare marble. Open the Egg to reveal the surprise; Peter the Great, founder of St Petersburg, modelled astride his magnificent horse and set on a guilloché base.
Theo Fabergé‘s Tercentenary Egg is a glorious tribute to the magnificent capital in which his illustrious grandfather Carl held the warrant for the Imperial Court and created the most fabulous objets d’art and jewellery in the history of the civilised world. This echo of three hundred years’ history and culture is expressed in timeless style, and rendered by the Fabergé family’s renowned craftsmanship.  
The overall height of the egg is 30 cms and is engraved with the following:

Peterhof, Grand Palace  - Peter the Great
Catherine the Great’s Palace, Tsarskoye Selo - Elizabeth
Chinese Palace, Lomonosov - Catherine II
Grand Palace, Pavlosk - Paul I
Alexander Palace, Tsarskoye Selo - Alexander I
Cottage Palace, Peterhof - Nicolas I
Private Summer Palace Residence - Alexander II
Gatchina Palace - Alexander III

Detail from Tercentenary Egg