The Faberge Museum in St Petersburg has a world-class collection of Russian decorative / applied and fine arts, which as of today contains more than 4,000 works and in terms of size and superlative quality has become one of the best in the world.
This privately owned museum was opened in November 2013 in the Shuvalov Palace on the Fontanka River Embankment and was founded by the “Link of Times” Cultural Historical Foundation, established by Russian entrepreneur Viktor Vekselberg in 2004 with a purpose of repatriating lost cultural treasures to Russia; actually the foundation tracked the emergence of Russian masterpieces and jewelry in Europe, Asia, and North and South America over the course of ten years: as a result of this work the Foundation managed to make an outstanding collection of Faberge Masterpieces (including 14 Easter Eggs and numerous objets de virtue and objets de fantaisie ), a collection of gift boxes (decorated with enamel portraits of almost all the Romanov family) , and unparalleled collection of Russian enamels and many more invaluable pieces of art.
The collection is situated in 9 beautiful rooms of Shuvalov Palace (which was restored at the expense of Mr. Vekselberg’s foundation).
Military Memorabilia Art — Special attention should be paid to the unique silver kovsh (ladle) made by Yury Rappoport and weighing 10 kilograms. Yuri was an outstanding craftsman at the House of Faberge, and the ladle was given by Prince V.S Obolensky to the officers of his regiment in 1891.
Russian Silver — The Sazikov factory is the oldest jewelry company in Russia; contemporaries of Ignaty Sazikov always used the word “first” constantly in relation to the jeweler: do not forget to look at his original Russian style tea set made in 1848 to honor the marriage of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich Romanov.
Faberge Easter Egg Masterpieces — There are 14 Faberge Easter Eggs on display (out of a total number of 50 made by the company — the biggest collection in the world), including 9 Easter Imperial Eggs made by the Faberge Company by orders of two last Russian Tsars — Alexander III and his son, Nikholas II, as well as a surprise from the Egg of 1885 year, which was lost. It took Faberge one year to make each egg and it was personally delivered (with rare exception) by Faberge either to Alexander III or Nikholas II.
Gifts from the Tsar — «objets de fantaisie» made by Faberge masters and gold presentation boxes. Tobacco boxes remained one of the most popular gifts in the court; they could be decorated both in national symbols and in the monograms of the Royal Family as well as with portraits of Tsars from Peter the Great to Nikholas II — they very different and are exceptionally elegant and beautiful. One of the main areas of artistic activity for Faberge’s company was making so-called objets de fantaisie jewelry, that often didn’t have any practical purpose; the most precious and rare works of that kind on display are poly-stone sculptures of common people, flowers, and miniature furniture.
Jewelry, Precious Goods, Accessories and Clocks — Carl Faberge was very well educated to run his own family company, learning fine arts and business in Europe: we believe he was talented in marketing policy, making both unique, single copy works as well as mass-produced goods which were designed for all social classes, but his brilliant jewelry –crafting skills, original ideas, wonderful sense of style, and exquisite materials went unchanged (look at numerous cigarette cases, a collection of ladies’ belt buckles, handles for umbrellas, brooches, frames for photos, desktop clocks decorated with famous Faberge enamels — more than 144 colors – the secret of making of many of them was lost).
The White and Sky Blue Rooms
Russian Porcelain of the XIX Century — Works with enamel from the leading Russian firms (silver items made by P. Ovchinnikov and I. Khlebnikov’s factories, which were Imperial Court suppliers, are among many extremely beautiful items on display in this room).
Stone Cutter Pieces by the House of Faberge and His Contemporaries — Russian paintings from the XIX century including unsurpassed seascape painter Ivan Aivazovsky and Konstantin Makovsky (for his “The Judgment of Paris”, for which he was awarded the Grand Gold Medal and the Order of the Legion of Honor at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1889). The Faberge Museum also gives you an idea of the high level of Russian stone carving at the turn of XIX-XX centuries: jade, Ural jasper, agate, malachite, and unique Sedelnikov rhodonite were used for clocks, barometers, belts, trays, and cigarette cases. Originally this field was secondary at the house of Faberge, but as popularity of such products grew, it came to the forefront.
Russian Icons — The beautiful Russian icons were made using various jewelry techniques such as embossing, engraving, filigree, granulation, blackening, enamel etc.
Upper Dining Room
Russian and European Paintings — A collection from the XIX and XX centuries (including Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Louis Valtat, Henri Martin, Konstantin Korovin and more).