To celebrate the app, the brand hosted a one-night-only exhibition at The Royal Academy, featuring the work of six artists who interpreted the world of Faberge into a series of film, photography, painting, illustrations, music and words.
Our favourite was Solyanka, a live illustration performance by FABERGÉ high jewellery designer Natalia Shugaeva, who was seated at a bureau in the role of "The Firebird" in a deep red couture dress by Alexis Barrell - Fabergé's couturier.
The story goes that in 1990, when a Moscow mansion was being demolished, workers discovered two battered old sweet tins, hidden under a windowsill. The tins housed a stunning stash of jewellery - all the work of Fabergé. The jewels had been hidden in the hope that Vera Kharitonenko, widow of a Moscow merchant, and Averkiev - the workshop manager of the Fabergé Moscow branch - (who both lived in the house) might escape the Bolsheviks.
The story of the discovery has been brought to life through caricatured illustrations by Lebanese artist Moussa Saleh. The tale is one of six revolving around Fabergé’s rich legacy to be recounted in multimedia, through words, paintings, photography, film, dance, and music, for the first “issue” of Mir Fabergé, a trailblazing iPad art journal inspired by Mir Iskusstva, the magazine and art movement of the same name, instigated by [Ballets Russes founder] Sergei Diaghilev and his circle of friends.
True to the eponymous jewelry house behind it, which was revitalised two years ago, Mir Fabergé, fuses tradition and
modernity with folk art, fable and fantasy, in quintessentially Russian fashion.
Three More Tales of Treasure from the Fabergé Family
The Cheapside Hoard
The finest collection of Elizabethan and Jacobean jewelry in the world, uncovered by workmen in the cellar of a house in Cheapside, London, during its demolition in 1912. The 16th-century jewels include rare gems, cameos, long enameled chains and gold filigree ornaments, with garnets from India, turquoise from Persia and emeralds from Colombia. Apparently, the treasures were passed to an antiques dealer, by the workmen, wrapped in spotted handkerchiefs. The collection is now housed in the Museum of London.
Two burial mounds discovered in southern Russia in the 19th century revealed a hoard of ravishing gold jewelry, necklaces, breast ornaments and earrings made by ancient Greek goldsmiths, presumably for Scythian customers. The first find was at Kul-Oba, near Kerch, discovered in 1830, dating from 375-350 B.C. The second, discovered by accident in the mid-1860s, was at Great Bliznitza, dating from 330 B.C. These ancient gold ornaments inspired the early work of Peter Carl Fabergé, and his archaeological revival jewels first brought Fabergé to the attention of the Tzar.
In 1873, Heinrich Schliemann uncovered ancient gold jewelry at the site of Troy. He was amazed at the complexity and sophistication of the goldsmithing techniques, particularly the granulation: tiny grains of gold scattered on gold surfaces like frost. He believed the jewels to have been worn by Helen of Troy, and decked his wife in it, falling to his knees in homage.
The Mir Fabergé application is available free from iTunes from 16th June.
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