In June 2017 we spent four weeks in Saint Petersburg. We visited three museums – just great. We started with the Fabergé museum and then continued with the Russian Museum and the Hermitage. Let me share some my take aways from the Fabergé museum with you first.
Fabergé (Фаберже) was a clever jeweler and business man from Switzerland – his lucky eggs are now displayed in this former palace on the Fontanka River.
Fabergé and his atelier crafted about 50 jewelery eggs (яйца Фаберже) between 1885 and 1917. The last tsar Nicolas II gave such eggs to his mother and to his wife. Other noblemen from his entourage also ordered such eggs. The eggs carry surprises inside – somewhat like “lucky bags” or “lucky eggs”.
This is the “Chanticleer“. It is an “egg-clock” with a cock on top. Inside there are a red egg and inside the red egg Fabergé hid a hen.
Tsar Nicolas II gave the Bay Tree egg or Orange Tree Egg to his mother. There is a lever disguised as a fruit. When turning it, a songbird starts to sing and move.
This egg – called “Duchess of Marlborough” – has been ordered by the later Duchess of Marlborough after having visited the tsar.
The exhibition shows many such eggs and in addition jewelry used by the tsar and his entourage. Everything has been arranged with much taste and matching colors.
I liked this sledge with the “real” Russians in their winter caps.
The whole palace has been wonderfully restored.
It is a pleasure to simply enjoy the well crafted jewelry in the Fabergé museum. However, the incredible luxury also makes me understand the explosive social situation at that time. After the revolution, Fabergé returned to Switzerland. His factory, a Style Modern Building at Bolshaya Morskaya (Большая Морская), is now a jewelry shop.
In the tastefully decorated modern cafeteria we have some sweets and a coffee.
We finished off the day in the Russian Museum – but about that I will tell later.