Voydite! An exhibition of rarely seen Fabergé treasures at the new A La Vielle Russie

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff Art

Image

(Left to right) A La Vieille Russie. Photo Credit Poul Ober. Fabergé Cigarette Case, c. 1910. Gold, enamel, rose diamonds


The storefront at the southwest corner of the Sherry-Netherland Hotel, at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street in Manhattan, is covered by a construction shed just now. Whatever is built there will seem weird because whatever it is won’t be A La Vielle Russie.

A La Vieille Russie. Photo Credit Poul Ober

A La Vieille Russie. Photo Credit Poul Ober.


Another victim of today’s rebarbative New York real estate practices, the venerable gallery of Russian antiques and art was priced out of the space it had called home since 1961. Fortunately, since last November, ALVR and its owners, the Schaffer family, have enjoyed a comfortable—and decidedly brighter—new commercial home a block away at 745 Fifth Avenue, above the Bergdorf-Goodman annex.

Image

A La Vieille Russie. Photo Credit Poul Ober.


Even more fortunately, all the hallmarks of the old ALVR are intact, from the splendid jewels and silver to the mind-bogglingly intricate and sometimes strange bibelots that were the presents and playthings of the imperial Russian court.

Image

A La Vieille Russie. Photo Credit Poul Ober.


From May 1 to the 18th, ALVR will hold their inaugural exhibition in the new digs: an array of rarities recently on loan for the Royal Fabergé show that closed in February at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich, England. The objets de vertu on view include the diamond-studded cigarette case shown above, a silver elephant-shaped “stamp moistener,” and—our favorite—a gold-mounted agate box in the form of a potato.

Click through the slideshow to see these and other treasures on exhibit at ALVR.

  • Fabergé Cigarette Case
    c. 1910. Gold, enamel, rose diamonds.

  • Fabergé Box Modeled as a Potato c. 1890. Agate, gold fleur-de- lis

  • Fabergé Panagia, or icon pendant c. 1910. Gold, diamonds, sapphires, pearls, enamel

  • Fabergé Gold & Translucent Enamel Egg
    Fabergé two-color gold and translucent enamel egg-form hanging bell push. St. Petersburg, ca. 1915

  • Fabergé Miniature Waste Basket. Rose and yellow gold, set with enamel half ruble coins of Empresses Elizabeth and Catherine St. Petersburg, ca. 1900

  • Fabergé Lapis Lazuli Desk Seal Lapis lazuli desk seal set with diamonds, the translucent enamel featuring musical devices, and with lapis lazuli sealstone. St. Petersburg, ca. 1900

  • Fabergé Princess of the Sea Silver bell-push depicting the Princess of the Sea character from the Rimsky-Korsakov opera Sadko, set with a ruby headband and four cabochon emeralds.
    Moscow, ca. 1900

  • Fabergé Elephant Stamp Moistener
    c. 1895
    Silver

  • Fabergé Stamp Moisteners Gold-mounted pink and green guilloche enamel stamp moisteners, with green and blue chalcedony finials. By Fabergé, workmaster H. Wigstrom
    St. Petersburg, ca. 1905 Height: 1 ¾ inches