«Filigree of the Tsars» Travels Around the World

Two paired perfume flasks shaped as a bouquet in a vase. 1740–1750. India, Deccan. Silver, filigree, glass

An interesting and important exhibition «Silver Wonders from the East: Filigree of the Tsars»
was opened at the Amsterdam branch of the State Hermitage Museum on April 27. The show will be on view until September 17.

Visitors to the event will be able to see about 180 pieces of oriental filigree (very fine silver wire) from the collection of the State Hermitage. Last summer those works of art were displayed in St. Petersburg; now they are taken abroad for the first time.

Following the opening of sea routes to India and the countries of the Orient and the creation of East India trading companies, it became fashionable in Europe to own exotic oriental art works and materials. Very fine silver filigree made by oriental jewelers delighted the Europeans. Still, many filigree pieces failed to survive up to now. Russian Emperors have managed to gather the most comprehensive collection of similar works of art in the world. Now this collection is kept in the State Hermitage.

Incense burner. First half of XVIII century. Chinese masters. Filigree, gilding

The highlights of the exhibition include exceptional XVIII Chinese filigree pieces: toiletry of the Empress Catherine II. Among them are richly decorated mirrors, caskets, powder boxes and perfume flasks. The show also features toilet articles of the Empress Anna Ioanovna, a writing set of Willem Hendrik, Prins van Oranje (later owned by the Prince-elector of Brandenburg Friedrich I and the Russian Emperor Peter I).

After Amsterdam the showcase will move to several Russian and foreign cities. A number of filigree art works will be featured at the jubilee exhibition dedicated to 200th anniversary of the Armoury Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin. Unfortunately, after return to St. Petersburg the majority of filigree pieces will be taken back to the Hermitage’s vault, as the museum lacks permanent exhibition halls.

The Hermitage Amsterdam

Nieuwe Herengracht 14, Amsterdam

Tel.: +31 (0)20 530 87 55

Published in: on May 2, 2006 at 4:12 am  Leave a Comment  

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