By Clare Phillips
This is the rescheduled lecture originally planned for March but which was cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions.
Of exquisite design and unfailing ingenuity, the Easter Eggs made by Faberge for the Russian Imperial Family rank amongst the most extravagant and wonderful examples of the goldsmith’s art. Each year, from the mid 1880s to 1917, different events or themes were commemorated in these eggs – from the opening of the Trans-Siberian Railway to the icy beauty of a Russian winter; from the tercentenary of the Romanov Dynasty to the domestic pleasure of petit-point embroidery. Faberge drew on the most skilled designers and craftsmen and worked with an astoundingly wide range of materials. This lecture will be a celebration of these great works and the techniques by which they were created. It will also explore the range of more modest Easter gifts and the wider context of how Easter was celebrated in Orthodox Russia.
Clare Phillips – MA in The History of Design from the Royal College of Art, 1989. Clare is a curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum specialising in the history of jewellery. The V & A’s display of Faberge, including recent gifts from the Kenneth and Sallie Snowman Collection, has a dedicated case in the Jewellery Gallery, and the Museum has hosted two major Faberge exhibitions. Clare was involved with the more recent of these in 1994.
Jewellery from Antiquity to the Present (Thames & Hudson 1996)
Jewels and Jewellery (V & A 2000)
Bejewelled by Tiffany (Gilbert Collection, 2006)