Three exquisite Fabergé eggs will be among the highlights of this exhibition. Tsar Alexander III first gifted his wife an Easter egg made by Fabergé. On his death, his son Nicolas took up the tradition, gifting his mother and wife specially commissioned eggs every year, giving free-rein to the jeweller, requesting only that the eggs contain a surprise within. One particularly spectacular example to go on display hides a scale model of Alexander Palace.
Left: Romanov Tercentenary Egg, Fabergé. Chief Workmaster Henrik Wigström (1862-1923) 1913 © The Moscow Kremlin Museums. Right: The Alexander Palace Egg, Fabergé. Chief Workmaster Henrik Wigström (1862-1923), 1908 © The Moscow Kremlin Museums.
This exhibition will also include diamond-encrusted tiaras, necklaces and cigarette cases that hint at the opulent, glittering lives lived by their owners. We will also be able to glimpse the personal lives of the Russian imperial family in the shape of figurines commissioned by its members. Look out for the bearded figure of the Cossack bodyguard to the Dowager Empress, who stands seven inches tall. A statuette of another family bodyguard was recently rediscovered in an attic in Rhinebeck, New York. When it was sold at auction, it fetched an eye-watering $5.2m.
Following the October Revolution, the House of Fabergé was seized by the Bolsheviks and Carl and his family were forced to flee Russia. Carl died two years later in Switzerland, reportedly having never recovered from the shock of the revolution and the grisly assassination of the Romanov family. But his unrivalled craftsmanship lives on and this exhibition will provide a window into an era of wealth and opulence in both Russian and Edwardian England.
|What||Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution, exhibition V&A|
|Where||V&A, South Kensington, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL | MAP|
|Nearest tube||South Kensington (underground)|
20 Nov 21 – 08 May 22, 12:00 AM
|Website||Please click here for more information|