Friday, July 19, 2013

Faberge and more at PEM

The Peabody Essex Museum was showing a large collection of Faberge materials from a museum in Virginia.  The workmanship was fabulous, even though I was disappointed that there weren't actually more "eggs."  The lighting was also rather dim, and full of reflections... so apologies for the quality of some of the pictures.  I was grateful photographs were allowed, so don't get me wrong... but I never thought of bringing a tripod.
This was the quintessential piece on exhibition.  There were three other eggs, but their display lighting was out.  Rats!  I might have to go back!
At Easter, the Tsar would give a kiss and an egg to his family/friends/supporters.  I'm sure they were sized according to the recipient's influence.
 Modern souvenirs!

 There was a very annoying, determined woman standing in front of the information card on this piece (even though she was listening to the audio tour) so I'm not positive what story this box illustrates.  It seems as though it could be Norse/Slavic legend.
 There were several extravagant serving "bowls".  The one below was especially for serving caviar.  I don't think the fish-guts reminder would make it any more appetizing, personally.

 This one celebrates Russian/Norse warriors.  The sides are bas relief, but the front shows them in full dimensionality.  Click to embiggen and see the fierce visages.

Da bear on da prow of da bowl!

 A tankard with a cover (beautifully enameled and bejeweled and a silver A tankard with a cover (beautifully enameled and bejeweled) and a silver repousse rabbit pitcher.  I added an arrow where his head lifts off! rabbit pitcher.  I added an arrow where his head lifts off!
 They were big on picture frames, but the frames were (mostly) tiny.  Some held actual photographs and others were painted portraits.  Definitely early 1900's mentality... reminded me of my grandparents house that had framed photographs (with or without dust) EVERYWHERE!

I think this was an oil lamp or incense diffuser.  Not sure.  But the portrait of "the man of the house" is quite impressive.  Perhaps I should paint my hubby on our next pair of candlesticks... ya think?
Below is a "coffee" set.  Apparently they had about the same ratio of coffee:cream:sugar as my husband and I do.

The globe and stand below is only about 2 1/2 INCHES tall.  Petite and amazing.  The continents are etched into the surface.  I wish I could have captured them more clearly.
There was a case full of icons.  I took this picture because it shows the "Transfiguration"... which was the name of my former parish in Texas. 
This bos is about 3 inches in diameter.  The elephant was very detailed in the carving. I hadn't realized how many objects Faberge made that were NOT eggs!  One part of the exhibit showed a hunk of rock, then two smaller chunks, then roughed out pieces and then two carved hippos.  Did they have Dremel tools then? 
Apologies, again, for the fuzzy photo.  The yellow box is a candy box and seemed only "pill box" sized to me (about 1.5 inches in diameter.)  But on the other hand, the daisy and ring ARE made with diamonds... and the moire pattern in the enamel was dazzling.  There was another display that illustrated how they could do undulating waves, zig zags, rays and other designs.  I would gladly have an Altoid or two out of one of these.
This vase was alternately enameled, jeweled and overlaid with various metals.  I cannot imagine putting flowers in it, because it is so beautiful on its own.
Dachshunds were apparently very popular.  These are carved from quartz with jeweled eyes and colors.  Don't you love the back-fat wrinkles on the light colored one?  The little frog is actually a button with which the owner could ring for the servants.  (Sigh.)

I think they said this was a bowl for loose change.  I don't know about you, but MY loose change goes into a metal gift can that used to have candies in it.  Hubby's change goes into a tin bucket from Home Depot.  We are SO low rent!
Another dachshund, a bulldog, goose and bird... The goose was less than 3 inches tall. 
A carved quartz, lapis lazuli, and onyx sailor.  Love the pose!
And finally, one other object I think I covet:  An ink well.  Malachite, gold, and enamel. 
There were other old fossils there besides the Faberges and us.

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