Catherine the Great in Georgia

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Censer, Russian, late seventeenth century. Silver and parcel gilt. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, Washington, D. C. Crowned empress of Russia in 1762, Catherine II was determined to change the perception through­out Europe that Russia was a cultural backwater. Having lived at court since 1744, when she became engaged to the future Peter III, Catherine had immersed herself in Russian …

Parisian jewelry and American patrons, real and fictional

aroseshapiro Art

By SHIRLEY BURY; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, April 1992. The formidable skill of Parisian jewelers in interpreting the work of innovative designers was the prime cause of their international popularity. Although craftsmen elsewhere practiced the late eighteenth-century technique of open-backed, or à jour, setting, which allowed light to refract and reflect through the stones, greatly enhancing their brilliance, the contrast …

The jewelry of René Lalique

aroseshapiro Art

By GEOFFREY C. MUNN; from The Magazine ANTIQUES, June 1987. Even if the word genius was used as sparingly as it should be, the late nineteenth- and early twentieth century jeweler René Lalique would always be so described. Rather than a craftsman with a leaning toward the artistic, he was an accomplished artist who chose to express himself primarily in …

Glittering competition: the rivals of Faberge

Editorial Staff Art

To many collectors of nineteenth-century silver and objets de vertu, imperial Russia is the fount of Europe’s most exotic work. And even for those who can only dream of its legacy de luxe, mention of Mother Russia immediately triggers thoughts of one name, Fabergé. Coffeepot marked by Antip Ivanovich Kuzmichev (active c. 1856-1900), Moscow, c. 1890. Stamped “Made for Tiffany …