Posts Tagged ‘Fabergé’

Know Your Legion of Honor Faberge Eggs: #8, the Kelch Rocaille

Friday, May 8th, 2009

The fantastic Artistic Luxury exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum continues. Read all about it here and here.

But what about the Faberge Eggs? Here’s one from 1902: the Kelch Rocaille:

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Currently it’s owned by FAMSF Board of Trustees President Diane B. “Dede” Wilsey, but let’s not forget about its history:

“When the wealthy Russian heiress Varvara Bazanova married cash-poor nobleman Nikolai Ferdinandovich Kelkh (also spelled Kelch) in 1892, she obtained a noble title and he obtained access to her money. When Kelkh died two years later, the heiress married Nikolai’s younger brother, Alexander.

The Kelch Rocaille Egg, made by Faberge in 1902, was one of a series of seven ostensibly bought by Alexander as a gift for his wife, but in truth paid for with her money.”

Rocaille means “rococo” – and this thing certainly is rococo a gogo, quite ornate it is. And this could be your last chance to see it for a while ’cause the expiration date for all the famous Faberge eggs as well as the entire show is May 31, 2009.

Eggs, precious eggs!

Know Your Legion of Honor Faberge Eggs: #7 Pansy Egg

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

The fantastic Artistic Luxury exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum continues. Read all about it here and here.

But what about the Faberge Eggs? Here’s one from 1899: The Green Eggs and Ham. Oops, how about the Pansy Egg (aka the Spinach Jade)? It’s your stereotypical Fab Egg, just begging to be opened:


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The heart surprise inside is made of varicolored gold, diamonds, rose-cut diamonds, pearls, strawberry enamel, white enamel and mother of pearl. It is a gold tripod on which is located an heart lined in diamonds and surmounted by the imperial crown with eleven scarlet medallions decorated with monograms. By pressing a button the tiny medallions are all opened, and portraits of each member of imperial family become visible.

And here it is – lots of little portraits:

Don’t look for Anastasia, as she was born a few years later in 1901.

Reading vertically, those in the front row are: Tsarevich George Alexandrovich, younger brother of the Tsar, and Grand Duke Alexander Michailovich, husband of the Grand duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, the Tsar’s sister. In the second row are: Tsar Nicholas II and Princess Irina, daughter of Grand Duke Alexander Michailovich and Grand Duchess Xenia. In the third row are: Grand Duchess Olga Nicolaievna, the first daughter of the Tsar and Tsarina, Grand Duchess Tatiana Nicolaievna, their second daughter, and Grand duke Michael Alexandrovich, the youngest brother of the Tsar. In the fourth row are: The Tsarina and Prince Andrew Alexandrovich, brother of Princess Irina. And in the fifth row are the Grand Duchesses Olga and Xenia Alexandrovna, sisters of the Tsar.


Eggs, precious eggs!

Know Your Legion of Honor Faberge Eggs: #6 Red Cross Triptych

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

The fantastic Artistic Luxury exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum continues. Read all about it here and here.

But what about the Faberge Eggs? Here’s one from 1915, the time of the Great War: The Red Cross Triptych:

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When World War I broke out in 1914, the trouble that had loomed at the edge of the Romanov’s awareness began to penetrate the protective shell of imperial privilege. In response to the suffering of their people, and in an attempt to present an image of patriotism and concerned involvement, Alexandra enrolled herself and her older daughters in nurses’ training and had the palaces converted into provisional hospitals to care for the increasing number of wounded.”

Needless to say, there weren’t too many Imperial Faberge eggs delivered after this one, what with the Feb Rev just a couple of years away. 

Nevertheless, eggs, precious eggs!

Know Your Legion of Honor Faberge Eggs: #5 Kelch Bonbonnière Egg

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

The fantastic Artistic Luxury exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum continues. Read all about it here and here.

But what about the Faberge Eggs? Here’s one from 1903: The Kelch Bonbonnière Egg:

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It looks as if it could be an Imperial Egg, the likes of which were given to royal family members back in the day, but it’s a Kelch Egg. The unseen initials B.K. (no, not Blood Killas, nor British Knights, nor Berkelium, nor Burger King) tell the story – they stand for Barbara (aka Varvara) Kelch:

Every year from 1898 until 1904 Alexander Kelch ordered an Easter egg from Fabergé, modeled on the Imperial series, as a present for his wife, who no doubt also paid for them. No doubt, too, that the Kelch eggs cost them considerably more than those made for the Imperial family, given the parsimony of the Romanovs and the generosity of the nouveaux riches. The seven Kelch eggs are as fine, if not even more sumptuous, than those in the Imperial series.”

Mmmmm… sumptuous.

Eggs, precious eggs!

Know Your Legion of Honor Faberge Eggs: #4 Blue Serpent Clock

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

The fantastic Artistic Luxury exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum continues. Read all about it here and here.

But what about the Faberge Eggs? Here’s one from 1895: The Blue Serpent Clock Egg:

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This egg spent a good part of its life with Grace Kelly:

The Egg entered the Princely Collection of Monaco in 1974, as a gift to Prince Rainier III in honor of his Silver Jubilee — the 25th anniversary of his accession to the Grimaldi throne. The Blue Serpent Egg quickly became one of Princess Grace’s most treasured possessions, according to his Serene Highness Prince Albert II, son of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. She adored it and kept it on the desk in her private study. After her tragic death in 1982, Prince Rainier sealed her suite, preserving the room as a memorial and thereby keeping the Blue Serpent Egg from public view.

But it’s on display now. Check it out, while you can.

Eggs, precious eggs!

Know Your Legion of Honor Faberge Eggs: #3 Lapiz-Lazuli

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

The fantastic Artistic Luxury exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum continues. Read all about it here and here.

But what about the Faberge Eggs? Here’s one with a clouded history: the Lapis-Lazuli Hen Egg, complete with yellow enamel yolk:

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“Not much is known about the backgrounds of this Egg. Maybe it was made for one of the other members of the Imperial Family and maybe the future shall place this Egg in the category “Imperial Eggs” like the Resurrection Egg and the Spring Flowers Egg.”

Eggs, precious eggs!

Know Your Legion of Honor Faberge Eggs: #2, Rose Trellis

Monday, March 30th, 2009

The fantastic Artistic Luxury exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum continues. Read all about it here and here.

But what about the Faberge Eggs? Here’s one from 1907, the Rose Trellis Egg:

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There’s a bit of mystery to its history:

The egg was created by Faberge’s workmaster, Henrik Wigström (Russian, 1862-1923) and is crafted of gold, green and pink enamel in various shades, portrait diamonds, rose-cut diamonds and satin lining. This Egg is enameled in translucent pale green and latticed with rose-cut diamonds and decorated with opaque light and dark pink enamel roses and emerald green leaves. A portrait diamond is set at either end of this Egg, the one at the base covering the date “1907”.

Originally the Egg contained an oval jeweled locket in which contained a hidden surprise, which is now lost. Only an impression on the satin lining now remains. This is considered the last of the opulent Easter eggs made without the constraints of a menacing outside world.

Eggs, precious eggs!

Know Your Legion of Honor Faberge Eggs: #1, Danish Palaces

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

The fantastic Artistic Luxury exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum continues. Read all about it here and here.

But what about the Faberge Eggs? For starters, here’s the Imperial Danish Palace Egg from 1890:

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The surprise inside this egg was made for a home-sick princess:

“The egg opens to reveal a folding ten-panel screen, depicting palaces and residences in Russia and in Princess Dagmar’s motherland Denmark. Maria Fyodorovna was before her marriage to Alexander III in 1866, the Danish Princess Dagmar.”

Eggs, precious eggs!

“Artistic Luxury: Fabergé, Tiffany, Lalique” Continues at the Legion of Honor Museum

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Here are some more shots of the fantastic Artistic Luxury exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum.

Read all about it.

Fabergé Imperial Lilies-of-the-Valley Basket, St. Petersburg, 1896. Yellow and green gold, silver, nephrite,pearl, rose-cut diamonds:

That was the Best in Show. Here are some more objets:


Coming up next – eggs, precious eggs, about eight or so…

See you there!

Fantastic New Exhibition at the Legion – Artistic Luxury: Fabergé, Tiffany, Lalique

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Have you gotten a chance to get up to San Francisco’s Legion of Honor Museum to see the new show Artistic Luxury: Fabergé, Tiffany, Lalique.

You ought to. It’s fantastic.

See you there!

Kremlin Clock Tower, c. 1913, House of Fabergé Click to expand

Artistic Luxury: Fabergé · Tiffany · Lalique

Opens February 7 at the Legion of Honor

Exhibition Dates:   February 7 — May 31, 2009
SAN FRANCISCO (Feb 6, 2009) — At the end of the 19th century, three ateliers in New York, Paris and St. Petersburg were preparing the final touches on spectacular examples of decorative objects and jewelry for an event with global implications – the 1900 International Exposition in Paris, which would be attended by over 50 million visitors.  There the work of three artists, Peter Carl Fabergé, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Rene Lalique, would be exhibited at the same venue for the first and only time. Artistic Luxury: Fabergé, Tiffany, Lalique returns to that historic moment and explores the master techniques and artistry of the three prominent designers ― and the rivalry between them.  The exhibition is organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and will be on view from February 7 through May 31, 2009, at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.
 Artistic Luxury: Fabergé, Tiffany, Lalique brings together nearly 250 objects from more than 40 international lenders including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco, as well as institutions and private lenders in London, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, and across the United States.
Exhibition highlights include:
· Seven Easter eggs by Fabergé, including Imperial examples such as the Imperial Blue Serpent Egg Clock owned by Princess Grace of Monaco, one rare Imperial Easter egg by Cartier, and the Imperial Basket of Flowers by Fabergé, as well as bibelots and jewelry designed for the Russian Tsars and their family and later sold by the Bolsheviks. 
· The United States debut of the Magnolia Window by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios.  This stained glass window was purchased in Paris in 1901 for the collection of Baron Stieglitz, a close courtier of Tsar Nicholas II in St. Petersburg, and has only recently been exhibited in Russia.
· Major examples of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Favrile glass including vases and a large selection of his incomparable glass lamps.
· Spectacular jewelry featuring diamonds and rare gemstones by Tiffany & Co.
· René Lalique’s extraordinary Art Nouveau designs for artistic jewelry incorporating stylized insects and birds, plant forms, mythical creatures, and idealized female figures. Lalique’s glass will also be featured, including his Frogs and Lily Pads Vase.
· Stylized bronze sculptures of women metamorphosing into butterflies that decorated Lalique’s booth at the 1900 Exposition.

 Artistic Luxury takes a critical look at the development, design, and marketing of each artist and explores how Fabergé, Tiffany, and Lalique responded to the demand for luxury decorative objects at the turn of the 20th century. Although all three designers competed for the same commissions and customers – royalty, political leaders, actors, and captains of industry, each was known for his own characteristic style, which will be displayed through separate galleries devoted to each designer.  In the end, the three artists were united by a common purpose: to elevate the mundane object (umbrella handles, lamps, inkwells, etc.)  into the most luxurious and artistic creations imaginable for their illustrious clientele. Their work became the ultimate status symbol of the Gilded Age.
 The three designers drew inspiration from both historicism, reviving popular motifs from the past, and new currents in design such as Art Nouveau and Modernism.  Fabergé, who catered primarily to the tastes of the Russian and British royal families, was the most conservative in design of the three. Tiffany had the broadest range of customers and gained a reputation for providing the most extraordinary objects of personal adornment.  Lalique pushed the boundaries of his artistry towards the avant-garde and attracted the patronage of influential members of the artistic and literary circles. All three are credited with the elevation of indigenous multi-colored gemstones, in contrast to the profusion of white diamonds and pearls favored by the world’s aristocracy.  Likewise, the use of humble materials such as horn, ivory, glass and hard stones enabled the designers to spotlight their natural colorations and concentrate on the sculptural possibilities inherent in the material.

The 1900 Paris International Exposition
From April through November of 1900, over 50 million visitors attended this international world’s fair where nearly 60 countries presented 85,000 exhibitions of the best of their art and culture, scientific innovations and manufacturing accomplishments.  Visitors were wowed by innovations such as the escalator, the moving sidewalk, the wireless telegraph, the first projected sound films and the world’s most powerful telescope.  The Exposition’s legacy included many grand Parisian buildings that were constructed as venues for the Exposition such as the Grand Palais, the Gare de Lyon, the Gare D’Orsay (now the Musee D’Orsay), the Pont Alexander III and the Petit Palais. The second Olympic Games were held in Paris during five months of the Exposition and included the first female athletes.

Artistic Luxury:  Fabergé Tiffany Lalique is organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Credit Information
The San Francisco presentation is made possible by Major Patrons John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn, Lead Sponsor William Fries II, and sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Richard W. Goss, II, Mr. and Mrs. Scott Gross and Diana Dollar Knowles.   Generous support was provided by Mr. and Mrs. Adolphus Andrews Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Phillip E. Bowles, Mr. and Mrs. Staffan Encrantz, Mrs. George Hopper Fitch and the Fifth Age of Man Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Clare C. McEvoy Charitable Remainder Unitrust and Jay D. McEvoy Trust, Hurlbut-Johnson Charitable Trusts, and through bequests from Alfred H. Peet, the Evelyn A. Westberg Trust, and the Michael J. Weller Trust.

A catalog, Artistic Luxury: Fabergé, Tiffany, Lalique by Stephen Harrison, Emmanuel Ducamp and Jeannine Falino with contributions by Christie Mayer Lefkowith, Pilar Velez, Catherine Walworth and Wilfried Zeisler (Cleveland Museum of Art in association with Yale University Press, 2008) accompanies the exhibition. 

Visiting the Legion of Honor
The Legion of Honor displays a collection of over 4,000 years of ancient and European art and houses the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts in a Beaux-Arts style building overlooking Lincoln Park and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Address: Lincoln Park, 34th Avenue and Clement Street
  San Francisco, CA 94121, 415.750.3600
Hours:  Tuesday–Sunday, 9:30 am–5:15 pm; closed on Monday
Admission: $20 – adults
 $17 – seniors
 $16 – youths 13–17 and students with college I.D.
  Members and children 12 and under are free.
  ($10 admission for permanent collection only)
General admission is free the first Tuesday of every month ($10 surcharge for Artistic Luxury still applies).