Russian gold and silver art pieces comprise one of the Moscow Kremlin Museums' primary collections. It includes about 13200 jewellery pieces dating from the 12th to the 20th century, made mainly of precious metals and stones. The collection, characterized by the variety and outstanding artistic value, demonstrates the development of Russian jewellery art for more than eight centuries. It represents different types of artworks and decoration techniques, giving an opportunity to trace the stylistic evolution in jewellery. Many of the items are memorial, as they are related to eminent state figures, and significant historical events.
The medieval part of the collection consists of the 12th and 13th centuries items, demonstrating a high level of jewellery art in Russia in the pre-Mongol times, as well as precious pieces of the 14th-15th centuries, bearing evidence of the revival of artistic traditions and appearance of new creative impulses in the art of that time. The key artefacts of the medieval collection belong to the 16th and 17th centuries. They were created by the best court goldsmiths in the Kremlin workshops, Gold and Silver Chambers and were used to decorate official court ceremonies and divine services. Being the masterpieces of national art, they have no analogues either in our country or abroad.
Jewellery works from Novgorod, Pskov, Solvychegodsk and towns of the Volga region represent peculiarities of different Old Russian art centers.
The creations of Moscow and Saint Petersburg goldsmiths and the jewellers from local art centers represent jewellery art of the 13th to early 20th century. Their masterpieces show the evolution of art styles from Baroque to Modern. The works by the greatest masters of the 18th century, such as A.Ratkov, A. Polozov, Ya. Maslenikov, J. Pauzié, who often worked by the court orders, vividly illustrate the art of that time. A special place in gold- and silver-smithery of the 19th century belongs to the works of the largest Russian jewellery firms of Khlebnikov, Ovchinnikov, Kurlyukov and Fabergé. The Fabergé Easter eggs with surprises inside have gained the best prominence. Ten of them are preserved in the Kremlin Museum collection.
The collection also comprises designer works of artists jewellers of the second half of the 20th century that represent the development trends of the Russian jewellery at the modern period.
Besides, the Museum's collection includes creations of the Hun epoch and artefacts of Byzantine, South-Slavic and Georgian art, which help understand the origins and interrelations of the Medieval Russian culture.