The firm of Fabergé, jeweler to the Russian court, was founded in St. Petersburg in 1842. Expanded by the founder’s son, Peter Carl Fabergé (1846–1920), the firm became one of the most famous jewelers of the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. Major American collectors, such as Marjorie Merriweather Post, played a significant role in Fabergé’s success after the fall of the imperial regime, and her mansion at Hillwood in Washington, DC now has a collection of about ninety pieces, including two imperial Easter eggs, various works of art of imperial provenance, silver, jewelry, hardstone, and religious items.
Recent research on Fabergé, revelations from the Russian public archives, and the discovery of objects thought to be lost have brought to light new information about Fabergé’s career and his creations, including material on several of Hillwood’s Fabergé items.
With fabulous new photography, exquisite works of art, and illuminating focus spreads by Fabergé experts, this new volume presents the firm in the broader history of nineteenth to twentieth century jewelry and goldsmithing, documents new attributions and provenances, and examines our continuing fascination with Fabergé’s remarkable work.
Wilfried Zeisler is curator of Russian and 19th-Century Art at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, Washington, DC. Zeisler received his doctoral degree in art history from Sorbonne University, Paris, with a dissertation on "The Purchases of French objets d'art by the Russian Court, 1881-1917," offering a dual perspective on French and Russian decorative arts in the context of political, commercial and artistic interactions of the time. He has also been a research lecturer at the École du Louvre on the subjects of French decorative arts from the Middle Age to Art Nouveau, French 19th-century art, French jewelry, 18th to 19th-century Russian art, Fabergé, and the history of Russian palaces from 1825 to 1925.
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