BOOK REVIEW: Fabergé Rediscovered

Fabergé Rediscovered

Wilfried Zeisler

ISBN: 978-1-911282-16-7

D Giles Ltd

In association with Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

£35.00

9781911282167_FC

Catherine the Great Egg. Firm of Fabergé, 1914. Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, acc. no. 11.81.1-2. © Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens / Photograph by Alex Braun

 

This new book focuses on the well-known collection of Fabergé at Hillwood and relates how new research and discovery of pieces thought to have been lost impact on items among the ninety or so pieces collected by Mrs Post.

We learn more about Fabergé’s firm in the 19th and early 20th centuries and its place in the world of goldsmithing and jewellery creation at that time.  It is a fascinating and beautifully illustrated study that will appeal to collectors and lovers of social history alike.

fig145_Marjorie-Merriweather-Post-showing-clock-MA jpeg

Fig 143 (page 162) Marjorie Merriweather Post showing her Fabergé table clock to guests at Hillwood, Washington D.C., 1960s © Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens Archives

The chapter on Mrs Post as a collector of Fabergé is revealing and one understands what type of works appealed to her aesthetically and the reasons why some offers were turned down. She certainly had a discerning eye!

 

gilesltd.com

BOOK REVIEW: Spectacular Gems and Jewelry from the Merriweather Post Collection

Spectacular Gems and Jewelry from the Merriweather Post Collection

Liana Paredes

Published by GILES in association with Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
PRICE — UK£29.95 / US$39.95
ISBN — 978-1-907804-92-2

Marjorie Merriweather Post is well-known as a collector of Russian and French Decorative Arts but what is less appreciated is the collection of jewellery she amassed over the decades. This ranges from historic pieces such as the diamond earrings believed to have belonged to Marie Antoinette, a diadem and necklace owned by Napoleon’s wife the Empress Marie Louise and an emerald which belonged to the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico (a carpet thought to have been owned by him adorns the dining room floor at Hillwood). Alongside such gems add pieces by Cartier – she was their best American customer –, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, David Webb and Fulco di Verdura and you get a marvellous insight to jewellery design and fashion in the first six decades of the 20th century. Flowers, birds, figures, domestic objects all provided inspiration for brooches and bracelets – Mrs Post had a diamond-set brooch in the form of her legendary yacht ‘The Sea Cloud’ and another in the form of her turboprop airplane ‘The Merriweather’.

Turquoise, diamond and platinum necklace by Harry Winston 1961

This is a detailed and highly enjoyable look into this outstanding collection of jewellery and is well-illustrated throughout, including designs and pictures of Mrs Post wearing various pieces. It combines jewellery design and social history in a way that emphasises that Mrs Post’s life was indeed spectacular!

An accompanying exhibition is on at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens until 7th January 2018

 

https://www.hillwoodmuseum.org/Spectacular-Gems-and-Jewelry

gilesltd.com

BOOK REVIEW: Wartski – The First 150 Years

Wartski – The First 150 Years

Geoffrey Munn

Antique Collectors’ Club (ACC), £65/ US $125

 Wartski Prelims_Della Grid

This is the story of the internationally known firm from its start in North Wales to its present day incarnation in London’s Mayfair.  It is a remarkable tale adorned with marvellous precious objects, including, of course, works by Fabergé.  Their clientele is wide ranging from crowned heads, writers, stars of stage and screen to notable collectors such as Malcolm Forbes and Marjorie Merriweather Post.

'Apparitions', a gold and enamel brooch by Vever, c 1900

‘Apparitions’, a gold and enamel brooch by Vever, c 1900

It is a vibrant firm which continues to not only sell the past but also encourages contemporary jewellery designers and goldsmiths.  This is a well-illustrated book with images of both the wonderful pieces that have passed through their hands and their glittering array of clients and thus it also becomes a social history.

A Fabergé Aquamarine and diamond brooch bought by Nicholas II for his wife Alix of Hesse three months before their wedding.

A Fabergé Aquamarine and diamond brooch bought by Nicholas II for his wife Alix of Hesse three months before their wedding.

The author is Wartski’s Managing Director, Geoffrey Munn, who will be a familiar face to many of you from his appearances on the BBC Antiques Road Show. He is to be congratulated on this history of the firm and I really don’t think there could be a more fitting way to celebrate Wartski’s first 150 years.

A gold pendant in the form of a Bacchante. Attributed to Castellani or Giancinto Mellilo, c 1870

A gold pendant in the form of a Bacchante. Attributed to Castellani or Giancinto Mellilo, c 1870

 

An Emerald and diamond set Tiara by Evrard & Frédéric Bapst , Originally part of the French Crown Jewels

An Emerald and diamond set Tiara by Evrard & Frédéric Bapst , Originally part of the French Crown Jewels

 

An oval banded onyx cameo of Cupid and Psyche by Tomasso Saulini (1793-1864)

An oval banded onyx cameo of Cupid and Psyche by Tomasso Saulini (1793-1864)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third Imperial Egg by Carl Fabergé. Recently rediscovered and exhibited at Wartski in 2014

Third Imperial Egg by Carl Fabergé. Recently rediscovered and exhibited at Wartski in 2014

 

 

http://www.antique-collecting.co.uk/antique-collectors-club-books/

wartski.com

BOOK REVIEW: Konstantin Makovsky

Konstantin Makovsky The Tsar’s Painter in America and Paris

Wendy Salmond, Wilfried Zeisler and Russell E. Martin

Published by GILES in association with the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

PRICE — UK£29.95/US$45.00

ISBN — 978-1-907804-70-0

9781907804700

 

Konstantin Makovsky (1839-1915) was a Russian artist whose career encompasses late 19th century Imperial Russia, Paris and America.  He is particularly known for three large-scale works which depict the customs of traditional aristocratic Boyar weddings and reflect the interest of the time in the Old Russian Style of pre-Petrine Russia.

Konstantin Makovsky Imperial Dinner Table in the Palace of Facets 1883

Konstantin Makovsky
Imperial Dinner Table in the Palace of Facets
1883

The three paintings that are central to this fascinating book are A Boyar Wedding Feast (1883) which hangs in the Pavilion at Hillwood in Washington DC, Choosing the Bride (1887), and The Russian Bride’s Attire (1889).  The book reveals that as well as pictures such as these Makovsky also painted Orientalist pictures while in Paris.

This is a beautifully illustrated book which deservedly celebrates the colourful world of this talented artist. A visual treat in every way.

Konstantin Makovsky A Boyar Wedding Feast 1883

Konstantin Makovsky
A Boyar Wedding Feast
1883

The exhibition Konstantin Makovsky: The Tsar’s Painter runs at Hillwood Museum 13th February – 12th June 2016

 

http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

http://www.gilesltd.com

BOOK REVIEW – Ingenue to Icon

Ingenue to Icon70 Years of Fashion from the Collection of Marjorie Merriweather Post

Howard Vincent Kurtz. Edited by Trish Donnally. Introduction by Nancy Rubin Stuart

9781907804403 Published by GILES in association with Hillwood Museum and Gardens Foundation, Washington, DC

PRICE — UK£29.95/US$45.00

ISBN — 978-1-907804-40-3

 

This book takes us on a fascinating journey through Mrs Post’s life as a philanthropist, art collector and a director of General Foods.  It is told over a seventy year span by her clothes and accessories, including shoes, fans, handbags and parasols.  Many of her clothes were especially chosen to complement her magnificent collection of jewellery.

Marjorie Merriweather Post Davies in the Russian Room at Tregaron, Washington DC, c1950 Yousuf Karsh

Marjorie Merriweather Post Davies in the Russian Room at Tregaron, Washington DC, c1950
Yousuf Karsh

She had a distinctive style and this was created for her by both American and European designers. The book is lavishly illustrated throughout with not only images of the costumes but also of Mrs Post wearing them.  She is caught either by the camera or on canvas by leading exponents of these disciplines such as Yousuf Karsh and Frank O. Salisbury.  It is a celebration of both personal style and the changing world of fashion and is a must-have volume for those interested in fashion and social history or indeed in Mrs Post herself.

Marjorie Merriweather Post 1905

Marjorie Merriweather Post 1905

This book accompanies the major exhibition Ingenue to Icon: 70 Years of Fashion from the Collection of Marjorie Merriweather Post, Hillwood Museum & Gardens, Washington, DC, until 17th January 2016

Marjorie Merriweather Post at the Saratoga Races, 1930

Marjorie Merriweather Post at the Saratoga Races, 1930

gilesltd.com

Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1928

Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1928

 hillwoodmuseum.org

Portrait of Mrs. Post (Davies), 1952, By Douglas Chandor

Portrait of Mrs. Post (Davies), 1952, By Douglas Chandor

 

Mrs Post's Closet in her bedroom suite at Hillwood.

Mrs Post’s Closet in her bedroom suite at Hillwood.

NEWS UPDATE: CARTIER II – MARJORIE MERRIWEATHER POST

NEWS UPDATE: CARTIER II – MARJORIE MERRIWEATHER POST’S DAZZLING GEMS, Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, Washington DC

Marjorie Post and Daughter Nedenia Hutton, 1929 Giulio de Blaas, Italy In this portrait, Post wears the Cartier emerald and diamond pendant brooch. Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens.

Marjorie Post and Daughter Nedenia Hutton, 1929
Giulio de Blaas, Italy
In this portrait, Post wears the Cartier emerald and diamond pendant brooch.
Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens.

Further to my blog of December 22nd- it has  been announced that the exhibition will now close on January 11, 2015, rather than on December 31st 2014. So still time to visit it!

 

http://www.HillwoodMuseum.org

Cartier II – MARJORIE MERRIWEATHER POST

CARTIER: MARJORIE MERRIWEATHER POST’S DAZZLING GEMS, Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, Washington DC, until December 31, 2014

Portrait of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1946 Frank O. Salisbury England Post wears Cartier diamond and sapphire Art Deco necklace  Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Portrait of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1946
Frank O. Salisbury
England
Post wears Cartier diamond and sapphire Art Deco necklace
Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Although there are two factors that suggest that I should not write about this – one the distance from London and two the fact that it is nearly over – I will still mention it in association with my Cartier book review.

Necklace, 1936/1937 Centerpiece by Cartier, New York Sapphires, diamonds, platinum Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Necklace, 1936/1937
Centerpiece by Cartier, New York
Sapphires, diamonds, platinum
Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

While many of you will know of Mrs Post’s collections of French and Russian decorative arts (the latter is considered the best outside of Russia) she was also a serious collector of jewellery of the highest quality and ranks among the great American Cartier patrons. This exhibition which combines Hillwood’s own holdings of her jewellery and some of the jewellery she donated to the Smithsonian in 1964 reflects her taste and style. Among the loans is the Maximilian Emerald ring, named after the ill-fated Mexican Emperor, which she wore when presented at the English Royal court in 1929. She also had a French carpet that belonged to the Emperor in her Hillwood dining room.

Photograph of Marjorie Post taken at the time of her presentation of the Court of St. James’s in 1929. Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Photograph of Marjorie Post taken at the time of her presentation of the Court of St. James’s in 1929.
Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Nor were her Cartier purchases and commissions restricted to jewellery as she ordered frames in enamel, agate and onyx, sometimes adorned with semi-precious stones which were specially designed to complement the intended image they were to contain. Gem-set gold vanity cases and an extensive silver and enamel dressing table set were among her other purchases.

Compact and Lipstick Case, ca. 1920 Cartier, New York Gold, enamel, lapis lazuli, diamonds This Cartier piece serves both practical and decorative purposes. The lipstick case and compact are both enameled in black and white with lapis lazuli and diamond accents. Each component suspends from enameled chains that attach to a gold ring. The interior of the compact is fitted with a mirror and also has a small compartment for coins. The ring to which the compact and lipstick case are attached can be slipped onto a finger so that the items can also be worn as an accessory. Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Compact and Lipstick Case, ca. 1920
Cartier, New York
Gold, enamel, lapis lazuli, diamonds
This Cartier piece serves both practical and decorative purposes. The lipstick case and compact are both enameled in black and white with lapis lazuli and diamond accents. Each component suspends from enameled chains that attach to a gold ring. The interior of the compact is fitted with a mirror and also has a small compartment for coins. The ring to which the compact and lipstick case are attached can be slipped onto a finger so that the items can also be worn as an accessory.
Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Although the exhibition ends soon some of her jewellery is displayed in Hillwood; a house that perfectly reflects her interests and style and should be a must see place for any visitor to Washington DC.

Frames with Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna and Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna, ca. 1910 Cartier frame Gold, silver, enamel, ivory Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Frames with Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna and Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna, ca. 1910
Cartier frame
Gold, silver, enamel, ivory
Courtesy Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

http://www.HillwoodMuseum.org