Imperial Jewels Empress of Russia|Elizabeth Petrovna|Zarin von Russland Imperial Jewels Empress of Russia|Elizabeth Petrovna|Zarin von Russlandjewel bouquet made by court jeweller Jérémie Pauzié Imperial Jewels Empress of Russia|Elizabeth Petrovna|Zarin von Russland jewel bouquet made by court jeweller Jérémie Pauzié Imperial Jewels Empress of Russia|Elizabeth Petrovna|Zarin von Russlandjewel bouquet made by court jeweller Jérémie Pauzié Imperial Jewels Empress of Russia|Elizabeth Petrovna|Zarin von Russlandjewel bouquet made by court jeweller Jérémie Pauzié Imperial Jewels Empress of Russia|Elizabeth Petrovna|Zarin von Russlandjewel bouquet made by court jeweller Jérémie Pauzié Imperial Jewels Empress of Russia|Elizabeth Petrovna|Zarin von Russlandjewel bouquet made by court jeweller Jérémie Pauzié Imperial Jewels Empress of Russia|Elizabeth Petrovna|Zarin von Russlandjewel bouquet made by court jeweller Jérémie Pauzié Imperial Jewels Empress of Russia|Elizabeth Petrovna|Zarin von Russlandjewel bouquet made by court jeweller Jérémie Pauzié Imperial Jewels Empress of Russia|Elizabeth Petrovna|Zarin von Russlandjewel bouquet made by court jeweller Jérémie Pauzié Imperial Jewels Empress of Russia|Elizabeth Petrovna|Zarin von Russlandjewel bouquet made by court jeweller Jérémie Pauzié Imperial Jewels Empress of Russia|Elizabeth Petrovna|Zarin von Russlandjewel bouquet made by court jeweller Jérémie Pauzié Imperial Jewels Empress of Russia|Elizabeth Petrovna|Zarin von Russlandjewel bouquet made by court jeweller Jérémie Pauzié Imperial Jewels Empress of Russia|Elizabeth Petrovna|Zarin von Russlandjewel bouquet made by court jeweller Jérémie Pauzié

Imperial Jewels of the Romanovs

Jewels! Glittering at the Russian Court
One of the Hermitage’s greatest treasures is the fabulous jewellery collection. Hundreds of them superbly sparkle in Jewels!.
Together with many portraits and a profusion of richly decorated gowns and ensembles once worn by the highest echelons at the Russian court in St Petersburg, they represent two centuries in fashion and jewels.
The country’s flamboyant empresses – Anna, Elizabeth and Catherine the Great – as well as grand dukes and duchesses, tsarinas and noble fashionistas of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. For balls and parties they wore dazzling costumes, set off by bijoux carefully selected to demonstrate identity, taste, breeding and wealth.
Jewellery might also be designed to provoke or convey secret messages. Pieces were ordered from leading houses like Cartier and Fabergé. Many pieces were lost following the Russian Revolution. Jewels! presents a glittering array of surviving masterpieces, situated in ballrooms and boudoirs like those of the tsars’ Winter Palace.

In the exhibition Jewels! will presenting 300 dazzling jewels and more than 100 paintings, accessories, dresses and costumes.

Together they give an astonishing impression of the wealth and extravagance of the Russian tsars and the St Petersburg high society over the course of 200 years. Russian court culture knew no counterpart anywhere in the world.

French ambassador Maurice Paléologue wrote:
‘Thanks to the brilliance of the uniforms, superb toilettes, elaborate liveries, magnificent furnishings and fittings, in short the whole panoply of pomp and power, the spectacle was such as no court in the world can rival. I shall long remember the dazzling display of jewels on the women's shoulders. It was simply a fantastic shower of diamonds, pearls, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, topaz, beryls – a blaze of fire and flame:

This extravagance, this overwhelming splendour in jewellery and fashion that sparked the imagination of so many, was introduced by Anna Ioannovna (r. 1730–40), a niece of Peter the Great. During her reign 'luxury in dress exceeded all bounds’.
After many years of comparative austerity, she avidly purchased jewels and objets de virtu. It is she who can truly be said to have laid the basis for the rich collections of plate and jewels that were to fill the palace stores.
The exhibition features awe-inspiring objects from her collections, perhaps the most striking of which is the solid gold toilet service that after her death was used during the ceremonial dressing of brides of the royal house.

Anna’s successor, Peter the Great’s daughter Empress Elizabeth (r. 1741–61) greatly extended the Hermitage jewellery collections.
Many of the new objects were diplomatic gifts, which she exchanged with European and Oriental courts. But she also purchased many jewels.
Among her most significant acquisitions was an array of gold pocket-watches set with precious stones. She also purchased all kinds of snuffboxes, the use of which reached previously unheard-of heights. These were often used not only to store tobacco but to pass on love letters. Sometimes the lids contain a second, hidden lid, to be opened only by someone aware of its secret mechanism.

. Elizabeth’s reign marked the climax of the use of coloured precious stones that glittered, for instance, in the jewel bouquet made by court jeweller Jérémie Pauzié, also in the exhibition.

This bouquet was acquired by the Empress herself. It contains some 400 brilliant-cut diamonds, more than 450 small rose-cut diamonds, as well as blue and yellow sapphires, rubies and emeralds. It is one of the outstanding pieces on show at Jewels!.

The bouguet is made of gold, silver, brilliant-cut diamonds, various precious stones, glass, fabric, 14 x 12.5 cm.

Elizabeth’s magnificent robes – thousands of them – were literally swamped in precious stones.

Pauzié recalled:


'I cannot think that there was any other European queen who had more precious jewellery than the Russian empress. The crown of Empress Elizabeth, which was vastly expensive, consists – like all her parures – of coloured stones: of rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Nothing can compare with these stones in size and beauty.'

 

She even issued decrees encouraging luxury at court. In 1753, for instance, one personal decree stated that 'the adornment [of courtier’s costumes worn at masquerades] should not include glass or tinsel'. Ladies were thus permitted to appear at court wearing only genuine jewels.

Elizabeth wanted no competition in the magnificence of her own attire. She reserved for herself the droit du seigneur on all new imports in ladies' fashions.

She had her brocade and velvet dresses ornamented with gold and silver and with silk. Headwear did not escape her attention and she absolutely forbade court ladies to wear any jewellery on the right side of the head – whether precious jewels or flowers or hairpins.

But 'the empress’ head was always loaded with diamonds’.

source: © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg;hermitage Amsterdam 2019;

Alexandra Feodorovna Tsarina, Empress of Russia | Aquamarine Brooch Stomacher | Zarin von Russland

Aquamarine Tiara Brooch Imperial Jewels | Romanov | Empress Alexandra Fjodorowna

Alexandra Feodorovna Empress of Russia | 100-Carat Diamond Brooch | Diamant Brosche von 100 Karat der Zarin von Russland

Chain Sautoir Necklace and Round Pendant of pearls and 11 big rubies with diamonds | Rubin Perlen und Diamant Halsband mit rundem Anhänger

Pearl Tiara wedding present of Grand Duke of Hesse | Imperial Jewels | Romanov | Perlen Diadem Hochzeitsgeschenk | Grossherzog von Hessen

Bow Brooch of Diamonds with a large Sapphire in the Locket| Alexandra Feodorovna Empress of Russia |Imperial Jewels | Romanov | Große Brillantschleife mit 75 Karat Saphircabochon

Maria Alexandrovna Empress of Russia | Devant de Corsage | Imperial Tsar Jewels Romanov

Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna Romanov Pearls| Imperial Tsar Jewels Romanov

Cameos | Maria Alexandrovna |die Kameen der Zarin| Imperial Tsar Jewels Romanov

Royal blue Sapphire | Wedding Jewels of Maria Alexandrovna| Imperial Tsar Jewels Romanov

Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and the Imperial Sapphires | Imperial Tsar Jewels Romanov

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Russian State Jewels Flower Ornaments| Imperial Tsar Jewels Romanov

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Empress Marie Feodorovna and her Pearl Brooch | Imperial Tsar Jewels Romanov

Pink Diamond Cluster Devante Brooch | Pink Diamond Pearls-Brooche of the Empress Marie Feodorovna | Romanov Pink Diamonds Crown Jewels Russia

Imperial Jewels of the Romanovs|Empress Elizabeth Petrovna Jewelry Flower Bouquet of Diamonds and Gems

Jewels! Glittering at the Russian Court

Romanov Juwelen | Zarin Elisabeth Petrowna | Blütenstrauss aus echten Diamten und Edelsteinen

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