Fabergé at the Court of the Tsar
Wednesday 5 February 2014 at 2.00 pm
Nicholas Merchant’s career has mirrored his abiding interest in antiques. He has worked for some of the major auction houses in London as well as running his own book business devoted to the decorative and fine arts. His particular interest is English 18th century furniture and country houses. He lectures extensively in the USA, South Africa, Europe and UK, including the Victoria and Albert Museum. He is the Art Fund’s West Yorkshire Representative. He arranges specialist short breaks for collectors and a range of prestigious clients including NADFAS societies.
No jeweller since the time of Benvenuto Cellini in the 16th century has captured the imagination of the cultivated world like Peter Carl Fabergé. Taking over his father’s somewhat hum-drum jewellery business at an early age, he created a reputation which, within a very short period, made his wares some of the most desirable known to the fashionable world in the last years of the 19th century. His reputation rested on the quality and ingenuity of his works. Unlike some of his contemporaries, Fabergé sought to create objects which would delight and amuse the eye of his blasé and spoiled clientele. The size of the stones was of secondary importance in creating confections which by their novelty and style were in a different league to other craftsmen working at the time. This lecture looks at some of the works created by this genius, which range from personal jewels such as tiaras, through hardstone figures, cigarette cases, and writing accessories to the Easter Eggs which were created in the main for the Imperial family.