The exquisite objects created by goldsmith and jeweler Peter Carl Faberge and his studio in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for the aristocracy and nobility of imperial Russia are considered to be some of the most refined examples of the jeweler's art of any age. Of greatest fascination are the extraordinary Easter eggs created as special commissions for the Russian imperial family and other notable patrons - works that remain unparalleled in their ingenuity of construction and sheer beauty.
Accompanying a major exhibition "Faberge Revealed" represents a landmark for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and for Faberge scholarship. The essays by Geza von Habsburg and other scholars present new findings on Faberge, his workshops, and the creation of these extraordinary objects. For the first time all items by or attributed to Faberge in VMFA's collection are documented along with the museum's significant holdings of other Russian decorative arts. Also included is a section on forgeries that bravely confronts this vexing question. Every object has been splendidly re-photographed for this book - and the detailed photography alone should provide inestimable value for future Faberge scholarship.
Richly illustrated with some 600 photographs, the volume documents an important collection bequeathed in 1947 to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts by Lillian Thomas Pratt, of Fredericksburg, Va., the wife of General Motors executive John Lee Pratt. Her collection, assembled between 1933 and 1946, comprised several hundred creations by the Faberge workshops and by other Russian imperial jewelers. These exquisite, marvelously crafted objects, range from the majestic jeweled imperial eggs to delicate jeweled flowers in vases to diamond-encrusted icons and tiaras, to animal figures nimbly carved from precious stone.
Introduction by Geza von Habsburg
Chapter 1: The House of Faberge/by Geza von Habsburg
Chapter 2: Behind the Scenes at Faberge: The St. Petersburg Workshops/ by Ulla Tillander-Godenhieim
Chapter 3: Faberge and His Russian Competitors/ by Geza von Habsburg
Chapter 4: Faberge and His Foreign Competitors
Chapter 5: Mrs. Pratt's Imperial Easter Eggs / by Carol Aiken
Chapter 6: The Zarnitza Sailor and His Place in History / by Christel Ludewig McCaniess
Chapter 7: Faberge and Grand Duchess Vladimir / by Alexander von Solodkoff
Chapter 8: Lillian Thomas Pratt and A La Vieille Russie: A Personal Relationship/ by Mark Schaffer
Chapter 9: Fauxberge / by Geza von Habsburg
Catalogue: Faberge/Other Makers/Forgeries"
Rizzoli International Publications, Incorporated
At the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts