by Olga PROTOPOPOVA, journalist
Late in 2009 the Moscow-based "Battle of Borodino" Panorama Museum held an exhibition displaying works of "Anna Nova", the St. Petersburg jewelry house. Its "Chess. Anno 1812"– a set of chessmen and fancy fixings-was the centerpiece of that exposition on the forthcoming bicentennial of Russia's victory over Napoleonic France.
Petersburg, known in this country also as Palmyra of the North (after the famous ancient city of Palmyra in Syria), is one of the world's capitals of the jewelry industry. All the way back in 1725 Emperor Peter the Great founded a lapidary and stone-cutting works at Peterhof, a palatial suburb south of St. Petersburg. That was this country's first fiscal, government enterprise involved in colored stone cutting and turning out only exclusive products. The handiwork of its masters–made of jasper, marble, Ural malachite and Siberian nephrite-embellish the Hermitage Museum (formerly, the Winter Palace of Russian czars) as well as H.M. palaces located outside St. Petersburg, and many other museums abroad.
The Russian school of jewelry reached a new high level thanks to the art of virtuoso masters working for the St. Petersburg firm of Fabergé (founded in 1842, and catering to H.M. court as of 1895), above all Pyotr Kremlev, Franz Bierbaum, and expert stone-cutters Alexei
Denisov-Uralski, Pyotr Derbyshev, among others. A great many masterpieces wrought there were being collected by Russian and foreign reigning dynasties. Thus, Empress Maria Feodorovna, married to Czar Alexander III and mother to Nikolai (Nicholas) II, the last Russian czar, collected more than 100 figurines of wild and domestic animals, fishes and insects made of Ural, Siberian and Altai semiprecious stones; Czarine Alexandra Feodorovna, Nikolai's spouse, was fond of elegant floral displays made of precious stones fashioned as nosegays of lilies of the valley.
"Anna Nova" is carrying on the ven ... Читать далее