The London museum have confirmed details of an upcoming exhibition exploring the international prominence of the legendary Russian goldsmith and the importance of his little-known London branch.
Expected to go on display from the 20th November 2021 until the 8th May 2022, Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution will focus on the Russian goldsmith’s Edwardian high society clientele, as well as the global fascination with his creations.
Featuring over 200 objects across three main sections, the exhibition will tell the story of Carl Fabergé, the man, and his internationally recognised firm that symbolised Russian craftsmanship and elegance – an association that was further strengthened by its connection to the romance, glamour and tragedy of the Russian Imperial family. The exhibition will also include three of his famous Imperial Easter Eggs, which will be displayed for the first time in the UK.
Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution will highlight the little known Anglo-Russian nature of his enterprise with his only branch outside of Russia opening in London in 1903. All those in high society flocked
there to buy gifts of unparalleled luxury for each other. Fabergé works were as popular in Britain as
they were in Russia.
The first section of the display will concentrate on the important patronage of the Romanov family. It will capture the goldsmith’s role as official goldsmith to the Imperial family, with its members often giving each
other intimate Fabergé gifts. This section will also touch upon his youth and his travels throughout Europe, and entry into the family firm. It will include objects such as a prayer book gifted by Emperor Nicholas II to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna on his Coronation Day will also sit alongside early photography of the Imperial family with their prized possessions.
Meanwhile, the second section will turn its attention to the story of Fabergé’s time in London, including how
the firm flourished under royal patronage, and how its creations became a social currency for gift
giving and ostentatious displays of wealth, amongst the cosmopolitan elite who gathered in the city.
The final section will celebrate his legacy by displaying the iconic Imperial Easter Eggs. Those on display will include several that have never before been shown in the UK including the largest Imperial Egg – the Moscow Kremlin Egg – inspired by the architecture of the Dormition Cathedral, on loan from the Moscow Kremlin Museums. The Alexander Palace Egg, featuring watercolour portraits of the children of Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra – and containing a surprise model of the palace inside – will also take centre stage alongside the Tercentenary Egg,
created to celebrate 300 years of the Romanov dynasty, only a few years before the dynasty crumbled.
Talking about the exhibition, Kieran McCarthy and Hanne Faurby, Curators of Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution, said: “The story of Carl Fabergé, the legendary Russian Imperial goldsmith, is one of supreme luxury and unsurpassed craftsmanship. Celebrating Fabergé’s extraordinary achievements, this exhibition
focuses on the over-looked importance of his London branch, the only one outside of Russia. It
attracted a global clientele of Royalty, aristocrats, business titans and socialites. Through Fabergé’s
creations the exhibition will explore timeless stories of love, friendship and unashamed social
climbing. It will take the visitor on a journey of sublime artistry and patronage towards the revolution
that tragically closed Fabergé – but will send visitors away on a high, by honouring Fabergé’s greatest
legacy, with a dazzling final display of his iconic Easter Eggs.”
Tickets for Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution will go on sale later this year. The exhibition will run at the V&A from the 20th November 2021 until the 8th May 2022.