The Faberge Museum is a relatively new museum in St Petersburg. It was opened five years ago, and since then it has met many residents and guests of the city, who admire the beauty of the exhibition and the decoration of the museum building.
The Faberge collection is housed in one of the most beautiful buildings located on the Fontanka Embankment – restored Shuvalov Palace. Most of the exhibits are stunning masterpieces of jewellery, and the main value of the collection is the Faberge workshop eggs, created in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition, the Faberge Museum displays many other works of art.
The history of the museum began in the XXI century when Viktor Vekselberg bought the richest collection of Faberge eggs from the Imperial series. Previously, they were owned by US billionaire Malcolm Forbes, thanks to whom a huge number of Faberge works were collected in one place. He searched and bought back jewellery, carefully keeping them for many years.
The creators defined their position: the museum was created not for money, but for returning the lost works of art to Russia
The Faberge Museum was created on the basis of this collection. The Shuvalov Palace was chosen to host it. The palace was restored with private funds for seven years.
In addition to the exhibition, the museum regularly hosts exhibition activities and a research centre. Thanks to this, city visitors and local residents can learn more about the Faberge master, Russian art and its history.
The Grand Staircase leading to the main rooms of the palace greets visitors of the museum. Everyone can decide where to begin the observation of the exposition. Carl Faberge’s Easter eggs are displayed in the Blue Room which is located in the centre of the building. The excursion route, however, begins with the right door – the Knight’s Hall.
The Knight’s Hall is not connected with the social life of the Petersburg elite, and its interior refers us to the theme of the medieval tournament. All exhibits are devoted to military themes. There are stunning silver bowls and dishes here. Each item of silverware is decorated with the emblem of the Russian Empire.
One of the hall doors leads into the Beige Room. You can find the exhibits showing the unique technique of Russian enamel, made by the court firm of Pavel Ovchinnikov here. The Red Room is also devoted to Russian silver, where you can see the incredible beauty of works of jewellery companies that supplied silver to the Imperial Court.
After the Red Room, visitors finally get into the heart of the museum – the Blue Room. The most important jewels of the entire collection, Carl Faberge’s Easter eggs, are carefully kept here. After that, you can go to the Golden Room, where the works of the jewellery house for the Romanov family are located: snuff boxes, jewellery and gifts.
The next room on the tour will be Avant Hall. It is filled with stunning enamels that captivate with their colour depth and grace. The museum creators have collected daily use items of the Russian tsar’s family. There are precious watches, field glasses and powder boxes, manicure sets, and much more.
Today the collection of the museum includes more than four thousand various exhibits. There are not only famous Easter eggs among them but also other jewellery that represents a unique value:
- religious artefacts
- silverware of the imperial family
- jewels created by Faberge house
Carl Faberge created 71 Easter eggs. 52 of them belonged to the imperial family, but only 47 eggs have survived to this day. The museum presents 11 of them.
Jewelled Hen Egg
The first imperial adornment in the form of an egg was created in 1885, it received the name “Hen”. It was ordered by Alexander III, who wished to present as a gift to his wife, Empress Maria Feodorovna. In the process of creating his work, Faberge was guided by similar jewellery, already produced by European masters.
The decoration impressed the spouse of Alexander III so much that the emperor appointed Faberge as the Court supplier who had to fulfil an order for the emperor every year.
The egg, stunning in its beauty and luxury, is the last gift of Alexander III to his wife. Faberge created an agate egg-box, and the frame was made of gold with polychrome enamel.
Above the decoration worked one of the masters of the company, which took as a basis the principles of the creation of the Dutch masters. On top of the box, you can see the date of creation of jewellery, lined with diamonds.
When Emperor Alexander III died, his son, Nicholas II, preserved the tradition of his father to give his wife a special piece of jewellery made by the Faberge for Easter. The emperor gave Alexandra Feodorovna an egg called “Rosebud” in 1895. It is believed that, therefore, he expressed a declaration of love for the Empress.
This adornment is one of the most famous Faberge items. It was dedicated to the coronation of the emperors and presented to Alexander Feodorovna. There is an absolute copy of the coronation carriage, which was created under Catherine II inside it.
The model is decorated with symbols of the imperial family and the diamond crown, and the egg is covered with enamel and branches of gold.
Individual tours are held every hour in the museum, however, it is worthwhile to purchase tickets with excursions in advance. For the convenience of visiting the museum in the Red Room, you can use a large scheme, which contains all the information on the location of the halls and exhibits located in them. In addition, you can use the museum guide free of charge.
Ticket price in 2019
- Full-price entry – 450 rubles
- Guided tour to Fabergé Museum – 700 rubles
- Private tours for groups up to 15 people – 15 000 rubles
- Audio guide – 250 rubles
Fontanka Embankment, 21
- Gostiny Dvor
How to get