Thoughts on an exhibition

Published: 27/11/2021

No photos: we’re Fabergé!


The ‘no photographs’ was liberating in this exhibition, Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution, as the only camera needed was the eye to feast on these wonders of beauty and craftsmanship.

The V&A was true to its word to limit numbers which meant one could amble through the rooms unencumbered and get close to the cases. The story of the workshop, its relationship with the Romanovs, its arrival in London and association with the royal family, its decline and sale of the Bond Street shop as WW1 broke was beautifully told. 

Each room, marking each stage of this journey displayed items rarely seen, some from private collections: miniature pieces of furniture (a grand piano!), animals (yes, a snail), cigarette cases, picture frames, flowers in vases, tiaras, small boxes with famous views painted on so delicately. 

There was also a section on the craftsmen, their tools and techniques and some of the design books were open to reveal dazzling  necklaces. The final room contained the eggs and their contents! To stand in a room of such treasure worth many many millions of pounds, must be a once in a lifetime special. May be the Crown Jewels in the Tower?

I will leave you to decide on your favourite.You can see some examples on the V&A website. For me the icicle egg sitting on a melting icicle won my heart. The Alexander Palace egg’s surprise is a minute model of the Palace, another has a peacock.

In May, we have John Benjamin of the Antiques Roadshow coming to our first, post-lockdown SID day. The subject FABERGÉ! His pictures will be a feast for the eye and he will fill in the story told in the exhibition. Hope you can come but do get to the V and A first!

Debbi Clifton