May, 22 - July,25, 2004

The Patriarch’s Palace of the Moscow Kremlin

Organized by:
The Ministry of Culture and admass communication, The Svyaz’ Vremyon Fund, FSI “The State Historical and Cultural Museum-Preserve “The Moscow Kremlin”

Egg with lilies of the valleyExhibition in the Mirovarennaya Chamber of the Patriarch's Palace of the 17th century presents the best part of the glorious collection of K. Faberge Firm's masterpieces that have been collected by American publisher Malcolm Forbes for several decades. The exhibition is big, typologically and genre various, includes artworks of the highest quality (many of them are memorial). The collection has no equals in the world.

After eighty years of exile the collection has been returned home thanks to Russian businessman Viktor Vekselbergu, Chairman of board of directors of Open Society “ SUAL-HOLDING” who has purchased it from successors to Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990) and has made it accessible to the Russian citizens. Sale of the Forbes' collection from auction “Sotheby's” in the beginning of 2004 (though some tens of items from the Forbes' collection have been already sold two or three years earlier) could make objects channel off in separate collections and countries. Purchasing of  the whole collection by V.Vekselberg before advertised bidding has become unprecedented in auction practice.

The key item of the collection are more than fifty exhibits, basically, imperial jewelry. First of all, nine Easter Eggs (the second collection of well-known Easter Surprises in the world), gifts from Alexanders III and Nicholas II to their most august spouses (the first one  is considered to be the collection of the Armoury Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin including one egg more).

The collection of Malcolm Forbes has included such significant items, as the very first Egg with a gold chicken from which the well-known imperial Easter series, actually, had began. It was made by the Firm in 1885 under the order of Alexander III. His spouse, Empress Maria Fyodorovna was pleased so much that since that time orders became traditional. The exhibition contains “The Renaissance Egg” of 1894, the last gift of Emperor Alexander III to Maria Fyodorovna (it was sold by the Soviet government in 1930 from the Armoury Museum where it belonged to the permanent display). After the death of Alexander III, in the reign of his son, the maker of the Firm got used to execute two Easter Eggs: one for the Mother, widow Empress Maria Fyodorovna, and the other one for Nicholas II's wife, Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. The collection purchased by V.Vekselberg includes the Egg with a bud of a tea rose, created in 1895 for Alexandra Fyodorovna as well as one of the last Faberge Eggs – “Sacred George's Award” which was made during the First World war, in 1916.

This was the only Egg  Maria Fyodorovna was taking away, sailing from the Bolshevistik Russia onboard English Marlboro dreadnought in 1919. Other Easter Eggs of the collection are of equal value. Inspired creations of Faberge jeweller genius,  material recognitions of Emperor in love to his spouse,  monuments to events of the Russian history.

The collection сan be proud of magnificent Easter Eggs executed on order of  duchess Malboro, etc. The exhibition in the Kremlin contains fifteen Faberge Easter Eggs with surprises and smart mechanisms. In an exposition they are supplemented with some tens small eggs-suspension brackets of original forms and the unusual art decision.

Other kinds and genres in which " the incomparable genius " Charles Faberge worked, too are submitted at an exhibition by bright samples. These are magnificent portrait frameworks and the graceful desktop hours amazing with a variety of furnish and originality of forms. A lot of exhibits in Museums of the Moscow Kremlin - the most valuable historical monuments connected to last crowning of 1896. There are snuffboxes, dish, writing case from Morocco with a gold decor executed by Faberge among them.

The exhibition is not casually carried out within the precincts of the Museums of the Moscow Kremlin storing treasures of national jeweller art: from домонгольского Ryazan клада up to easter masterpieces of firm of K.Faberge. Director of the Armory Museum D.D.Ivanov has managed in the hardest 1920th years during active withdrawal of subjects from museum assemblies, to achieve the museum status for a collection of Easter Eggs of of K.Faberge Firm and by that to rescue her from full sale

Present director of Museums of the Moscow Kremlin Е.Ю. Gagarin, having learned about the forthcoming tenders on auction "Сотбис", was unique of the Russian art dealers who has addressed in the Ministry of culture with the letter in which concern concerning sale of a collection has been expressed, its high status and necessity of homecoming are underlined.

The appeal of employees of Museums of the Kremlin and many other compatriots has been heard: the best part of the glorified collection of masterpieces of firm of K.Faberzhe which American newspaper magnate Malkolm Forbs collected during several decades, is submitted in Мироваренной to chamber of the Patriarchal palace of XVII century.