Luxury & Fashion

Feb 1, 2017

THE RUSSIAN JEWELLREY ART RENAISSANCE

Ingenious Russian craftsmen of the past left their brilliant footprint in the Jewellery Art History. With the rise of the Russian jewellery art in the XIXth century, the glory of C. Faberge, I. Khlebnikov, P. Ovtchinnikov, M. Perkhin, I. Sazikov, D. Tchitchelev thundered the world. Nowadays, when search for the national identity is very topical for the society, the support for the art of Russian jewellery turns to be an important objective for artists creating eternal values.

In 1851, in London, the First World Exhibition took place, where participated 365 Russian jewellers. 130 of them were granted awards, including three premium awards. The originality of the design, the finest taste, virtuosity of mastery of a vast array of jewellery techniques, the expressiveness of style and unsurpassed quality of the Russian jewellers had conquered the world.

At the World Exhibition of 1862 in London, the golden jewellery with diamonds, pearls, gems, enamels by the brilliant jeweller D. Tchitchelev were highly appraised. Experts wouldn't expect to see in Russia such a notable craftsman who would combine artistry with the talent of a large manufacturer.

For the Exhibition of 1867 in Paris 1414 participants from Russia had arrived. The collection of magnificent pieces of I. Sazikov had a tremendous success.

In 1873 in Vienna, experts confirmed the international authority of Russian craftsmen D. Tchitchlev, P. Ovtchinnikov and D. Tchitchelev which became court jewellers for the Italian king Victor Emmanuel. For the first time the worldwide recognition was granted to I. Khlebnikov's company; its works evoked the "serious attention" of the professionals, having had gained two medals. The Russian style pieces demonstrated by the company, astonished the foreign experts by their "sophistication and originality". The King of Italy acquired its four pieces, including "a basked covered by a napkin, so sophisticatedly crafted that the napkin seems to be made of cloth, not of metal".

Especially noted by public were precious pieces of the Philadelphia Exhibition of 1876, which, despite their high pricing, were "rapidly sold out".

By the 1880-ies Russia became one of the world leaders of the Jewellery manufacture. The experts would proudly write: "There are manufacturing sectors where us, Russians, are uncopiable by any other European nation; they are the sectors created by us, which were developed and perfected on the Russian land, and bearing the footprint of the country which created them, and which are absolutely impossible to be copied by foreigners."

The World Exhibitions were giving the Russian manufacturers the opportunity to get acquainted with the art of other countries, widen their artistic outlook, master their taste, contribute to the national manufacturing and culture development, fortify the country's prestige at the international arena.

Today the jewellery Russia as well has things to be proud of. Craftsmen, designers, artists are building the modern Russian jewellery tradition of the XXI century, forming both literally and figuratively the golden fund of the Motherland.

An example of the succession of generations can serve one of the leading jewellery enterprises of Russia, a St. Petersburg's company "Russkiye Samotsvety", Corp. ("Russian Gems"). Its story starts in 1912, when, by the Emperor Nikolay's decree The Society for Support and Improvement of Artisanal Diamond Cutting and Grinding Craft "Russkiye Samotsvety" was established. The enterprise conveys the traditions of St. Peterburg's jewellery and lapidary art of the end of XIX – beginning of XX centuries, including the internationally prominent firm of Carl Faberge.

Despite of the fact that after the Great October Socialist Revolution the jewellery manufacturing in the USSR practically stopped for two decades, the Leningrad jewellers managed to preserve the unique techniques, carried them through the Second World War and the Siege of Leningrad, and, already in the first years after the War, through the efforts of a well-known artist, Nina Fogt, the manufacturing again restarted. Nina was the direct follower and continuer of Carl Faberge's traditions, since she worked for a few years before 1917 in the company of Carl Faberge. She was the link between the pre-revolutionary and post-revolutionary periods. The artist, while designing the pieces, used Russian folk patterns, techniques and technology of the great jeweller's studio.

Nowadays the company has got a net of brand shops in St. Petersburg and Moscow, realises its production practically on all the territory of the RF, works with more than 500 trade companies all over Russia, and the company's production is also exported to other countries. The goods of "Russkiye Samotsvety" many times won first prizes at different specialized competitions and exhibitions, many of them are exhibited in the museums of the country. Among the owners of the company's pieces are heads of different countries, personalities of culture and politicians, representatives of show business.

The company's assortment of golden and silver pieces is very wide, as well as their styles, from classical to Art Nouveau and avant-garde. The basic range is represented by jewellery with diamonds and emeralds, rubies, sapphires, pearls, corals, topazes, amethysts; but "Russkiye Samotsvety" manufactures unique exclusive pieces, as well, - expensive handmade pieces, interior decorations, enamel-filigree tableware, silverware and custom-made products with precious stones. Jewellery with diamonds with invisible fixing – is the pride of the company, this technique is so much difficult in execution that just a few companies in the world mastered it.

All the raw materials used for the creation of jewellery are strictly controlled before they enter the manufacturing process, so the final product is not only beautiful, but impeccable in terms of quality, as well. Each piece with diamonds has got its individual number, confirming the proper quality control, highly appraised by the clients.

Today the quality of pieces of "Russkiye Samotsvety", Corp. is considered by the professionals all over the world as a benchmark, since there are not only centuries' traditions of the glorious Russian jewellery school behind it, but also a huge potential of a modern large jewellery industry's factory. Their pieces are impregnated with the spirit of the age-old traditions of Russian jewellers, their exclusive jewellery are true masterpieces, becoming an owner of which means inscribing one's name into the history of the Russian Jewellery Art.

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