Faberge flowers. This post should be titled “Hyper-realistic flowers by Faberge”. Graver skillfully treated pieces of rock crystal, creating the impression that the vase is filled with water. Most often Easter eggs are associated with the name of Faberge, but the other side of Faberge was the manufacture of precious flowers in tiny vases which brought international fame to Faberge. It perfectly combined the artist’s imagination, the skill of a virtuoso enameler, painstaking work of a jeweler and stone-cutters, using amazing beauty of the gems of Siberia, the Urals and the Caucasus. Great expert in minerals, and a recognized authority in this area, Faberge was the appraiser of gems at the imperial court. The Faberge collection of minerals had a great reputation, a part of it is still in the Mineralogical Museum in Moscow.
Rock crystal and chalcedone, carnelian and agate, aquamarine, and opal, jasper, obsidian, jade, rhodonite stones and other were selected by artists with great taste. In addition, they could change the natural color of the mineral to give them the right shades and tones.
‘Pansy’ – made of gold, enamel and diamonds, placed in a vase of rock crystal, as if it’s filled with water. “Pansy” – the only flower in the world of Faberge, equipped and decorated with a mechanism of portrait miniatures. It was made in 1904 in the workshop of Henrik Vigstrem and presented to Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna to a decade of their marriage. Therefore, a crystal cup decorated with a Roman numeral X, and the engraved names of the royal children. Pressing the button opens a tiny gold-coated finest polychrome enamel flower petals, and become visible miniature portraits of the four daughters and only son and heir of the imperial couple, painted in watercolor on the bone, in the finest diamonds cut from the “Rose”.
Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (wife of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, a senior uncle of Emperor Nicholas II and the President of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts) had a large collection of hand-made flowers Faberge. At the St. Petersburg exhibition of works from the collections of Faberge highest personages in 1902, in a glass case with items that belonged to the Grand Duchess, the entire regiment was filled with precious flowers in crystal vases
According to the inventory of the property of the palace of the Grand Duchess, compiled by the Bolsheviks in 1917, in her collection were 33 flowers: cornflowers, forget-me-not, cacti and a dandelion made of gold and diamonds on a gold stalk with jade leaves in a vase of rock crystal.
Imperial Ballet prima ballerina Maria Kshesinskaya also owned a large collection of wonderful artificial flowers made of precious stones.
British Queen Alexandra (sister of Russian Empress Maria Feodorovna) was also fond of collecting precious flower compositions, performed by masters of Faberge. In her collection of more than 20 items were branches of mountain ash, wild cherry, raspberry and cranberry, wild daisies, chrysanthemums, carnations, pansies, and a miniature pine tree in a pot made of jasper. Now, this “garden”, grown in the early 20th century, is owned by the Queen of England Elizabeth II.
British Royal Collection holds the largest number of preserved flowers Faberge: twenty six the total number of about eighty names.