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08 June 2017 – 08 September 2017

Stone Carving and Jewellery History Museum, Yekaterinburg

Organized by:
Stone Carving and Jewellery History Museum 
Stone Carving and Jewellery History Museum (Yekaterinburg), the Moscow Kremlin Museums, Fersman Mineralogical Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow), the Ural Geological Museum of the Ural State Mining University (Yekaterinburg), the United Museum of Ural Writers (Yekaterinburg), family archive of Yu.V.Usoltsev, grand-nephew of A.K.Denisov-Uralsky, Private Foundation MOMARTFOUNDATION (Yekaterinburg), Perm State Art Gallery (Perm), Kushva Regional Museum (Kushva, Sverdlovsk region)

10# BroochThe Moscow Kremlin Museums participate in the exhibition held at the Stone Carving and Jewellery History Museum in Yekaterinburg, which marks the 25th Anniversary of the Museum. Chamber and refined exposition is dedicated to the art of Russian jewellers and stone-carvers of the 19th – early 20th century, which is admired by worldwide.

This display is a significant event in the museum life. It is for the first time when the exposition presents sketches of lapidary works by the Yekaterinburg Imperial Lapidary Manufactory (from the collection of the Yekaterinburg museum) alongside the artworks created under those sketches, from the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums.

Cigarette case and cufflinks carved from rhodonite with a relief opaque monogram of Emperor Alexander III are perfect examples of fruitful cooperation between the two famous companies. They were made by Yekaterinburg carvers in 1891. Then Eric August Kollin, goldsmith and principal Fabergé master till 1886, attached a mounting and gold buckles to them.

In 1896, the Yekaterinburg Imperial Lapidary Manufactory was commissioned to execute a small and restrained saltcellar from bright pink rhodonite, which now is in the collection of the Armoury Chamber, and a luxurious rhodonite dish for the rite of bread and salt for the coronation day of Nicholas II. Afterwards, the dish was sold at the antiquarian market, but fortunately, the saltcellar has been preserved in the Kremlin Museums’ collection. Another exquisite dish of Kalkan jasper, made jointly by craftsmen of the Yekaterinburg Imperial Lapidary Manufactory and the Fabergé firm in 1888, is the adornment of the exposition as well.

Of much interest is a magnificent golden smoky quartz – an exclusive item in the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, created by the renowned artist, stone-carver and jeweller Alexey Denisov-Uralsky. The artisan worked upon the rare mineral, having discovered its best qualities and highlighted its original form and size. According to the legend, this quartz belonged to the Russian Emperor Nicholas II who liked to be surrounded by works of art made of stones, and gems itself.

The Moscow Kremlin Museums demonstrate unique seals of the Romanov House. There is a desk seal of Emperor Alexander II, made of umber onyx and decorated with precious stones by a famous Petersburg master Samuel Arndt, and a marvellous golden topaz seal in gold mounting, bearing an imperial crown on its handle by Wilhelm Reimer, which belonged to the governor-general of Moscow, Grand Prince Sergey Alexandrovich.

The House of Fabergé and other Russian jewellery and stone carving manufactories produced both exceptional and unique items commission by the Emperor’s family, and inimitable works from the objets de fantaisie series, as well as utilitarian objects made thoroughly like genuine pieces of art.

The Art Nouveau style is represented by a silver cigarette case adorned with relief oak branch bearing a carnelian cabochon, from the Kremlin Museums’ collection. It has a mark of Johan Victor Aarne – a Petersburg workmaster, Finnish by descent, who worked exclusively for the Fabergé from 1891 to 1904.

Visitors to the anniversary exhibition have a rare opportunity to see the jewellery pieces from the collection of the Kremlin Museums; moreover, some of them are exhibited for the first time. Two refined ladies’ brooches decorated with lilac chalcedony cabochon and studded with smallest rose-cut diamonds were acquired not long ago. They were executed by one of the leading jewellers of the Fabergé firm – Alfred Thielemann.

The oldest Russian firm – House of C.E. Bolin – founded in Petersburg as early as 1796, was the factory producing luxurious jewellery pieces which were particularly esteemed in Russia. The brooch with a large-scale golden citrine created by Sophia Schwen, who was a court jeweller to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, is an excellent example of it. Another example is a large-scale brooch in the shape of a bouquet inlayed all over by Ural demantoid – minerals of Russian art nouveau.

The display uniting masterpieces of different types and genres, made at the leading Russian manufactories throughout half a century, is a remarkable event in the Ural region famous for its wonderful traditions of stone carving and jewellery.