Fab­u­lous FABERGÉ

Palm Beach Daily News - - OPINION - By SHAN­NON DON­NELLY

Look­ing for the Rus­sian con­nec­tion to the na­tion’s cap­i­tal? Try the former home of Mar­jorie Mer­ri­weather Post. The Hill­wood Es­tate, Mu­seum & Gar­dens, in the Kalo­rama sec­tion of Wash­ing­ton, D.C., has opened its first com­pre­hen­sive Fabergé ex­hi­bi­tion, high­light­ing the work of the leg­endary jew­eler to the last Im­pe­rial house of Rus­sia.

Fabergé Re­dis­cov­ered fea­tures more than 100 pieces, in­clud­ing the great­est ex­am­ples from Hill­wood’s col­lec­tion, left by the late chate­laine of both Hill­wood and Mar-a-Lago for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

“Mar­jorie Post was a se­ri­ous col­lec­tor and ap­proached the col­lect­ing of Fabergé as she did her im­por­tant col­lec­tion of French 18th-cen­tury and Rus­sian im­pe­rial art, as an avid stu­dent and con­nois­seur. As a re­sult, she as­sem­bled an im­por­tant and im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of th­ese in­trigu­ing works,” said Kate Mark­ert, Hill­wood ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

Loaned pieces from other mu­se­ums and pri­vate col­lec­tors, such as Prince Al­bert II of Monaco, the Metropoli­tan Mu­seum of Art, the Musée d’Or­say, the McFer­rin Col­lec­tion, and the Edouard and Mau­rice San­doz Foun­da­tion, also are part of the ex­hibit.

High­lights in­clude:

An 18th-cen­tury amethyst quartz box, which was Mrs. Post’s first per­sonal Fabergé ac­qui­si­tion. Bought in 1927 from Cartier New York, the piece had once be­longed to Prince Felix Yusupov and car­ries the Fabergé mark on its gold lid;

A neph­rite cane han­dle set in gold and dec­o­rated with enamel, di­a­monds and ru­bies.

It is Mrs. Post’s sec­ond self-ac­quired piece and the first with an Im­pe­rial prove­nance.

A note ac­com­pa­ny­ing the piece signed by Grand Duchess Xe­nia Alexan­drovna, sis­ter of the last

A car­net, or note­book, with a minia­ture of the Em­press Alexan­dra pos­si­bly made in 1894 at the time of the em­press’ en­gage­ment.

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