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History of Jewellery Art in Russia
January 26, 2012 23:45


The history of jewellery in Russia has roots stretching far back and starts from the foundation of the Kievan Russia and the Vladimir-Suzdal Princedom (9th -12th centuries). The ancient Russian cities of Velikiy Ustyug, Vologda, Kostroma, Nizhni Novgorod, Novgorod, Pskov, Yaroslavl, St. Petersburg, Moscow and many others were the centers of Russian goldsmith’s work in various periods.

In Russia gold and silver settings were widely used for gemstones, and precious stones were considered to be symbols of the Supreme power. A tsar’s crown, scepter, staff and orb were richly inlaid with gems. Imperial pantries were constantly replenished with semi-precious stones, which were brought from all over the world.

In the middle of the 17th century semi-precious stones started to be extracted in Russia. Deposits of malachite were discovered in the Ural Mountains, whereas agate, cornelian and jasper were extracted in Siberia. During the reign of Peter I the Ural gems gained worldwide popularity. Grinding and lapidary factories started to be built in Russia.

The brilliant age of Catherine II’s rule marked one of the heydays of Russian jeweler art. Production of jeweler factories of those times was characterized with an original combination of new forms and at the same time traditional Russian estheticism.

Every epoch in development of Russian jeweler art had its favourite combination of gem palettes. In the second half of the 17th century products of Russian jeweler factories were notable for combinations bright sapphires and rubies in one piece of jewelry, often combined with enamels, while in the 18th century brilliants – faceted diamonds – became the favourites of aristocrats.

In the middle of the 19th century precious stones– diamonds, emeralds, topazes, and rubies - started to be extracted in Russia. The art of processing jewels reached a high level at that time.

As for Ural semi-precious stones, they were used not only for jewelry, but also for various objects of art: vases, figurines, candlesticks, and table-tops, which were in huge demand among well-founded customers.

Charles Faberge's jeweler house was founded in the second half of 19 centuries; it quickly won popularity and started executing orders of the imperial family. Rock crystal, jasper, nephrite, lazurite and various kinds of quartzes were used in Faberge jewels. The famous Faberge jeweler house supplied jewelries to almost all imperial and royal houses of Europe, Asia and Africa. Its products which have come down to us are highly appreciated by collectors and true connoisseurs of jeweler masterpieces.

Modern masters continue traditions started by great jewelers of the past and please us with their fine jewelry works meeting all canons of jeweler art.

In the Orthodox tradition the patrons of smiths and jewelers are Sts. Cosmas and Damian. A holiday in their honor is called kuzminki and is marked twice a year – on July, 14th and November, 14th by Gregorian calendar.

There are also regional holidays in honor of this trade. Thus, since 2010 jewelers in Yakutia have celebrated their professional holiday on October, 23rd.

 

Source: calend.ru


Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Jewellery History of Arts Arts and Crafts   

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