Fabergé: From a Snowflake to an Iceberg

This is a closed, past exhibit; it is not available for viewing.

Organized by the Houston Museum of Natural Science with the McFerrin Collection

With the addition of over 150 new pieces, this exhibition showcases 500 jeweled treasures from the world-renowned McFerrin Collection. The exhibition presents a historical overview of the works of the House of Fabergé, as well as the remarkable Russian history relating to the objects on display. Dozens of personal treasures of the Romanov Family including Imperial pieces owned by Nicholas II, Alexander III and their family are featured.

Inspired by the ancient Scythian treasures unearthed during archaeological digs in Kerch on the north coast of the Black Sea, Peter Carl Fabergé (1846-1920) first won acclaim for his historical pieces during the Pan- Russian Industrial exhibition of 1882. New to the collection is a lion’s head charm created by one of Fabergé’s first workmasters Erik Kollin.

Fabergé went on to create original, exquisite objects of luxury for the elite, as well as impeccably designed everyday objects. You can see hundreds of these items— predominantly made for and use by the royalty—in the McFerrin Collection.

From elegantly simple to breathtakingly ornate, the jewelry, clocks, picture frames, snuff boxes, cigarette cases, desk accessories, flower studies and carved hardstone animals in this collection were thoughtfully selected to exemplify extraordinary materials and workmanship. New to the exhibition is a hand-held fan belonging to Queen Victoria.

Today, the House of Fabergé is best known for crafting Easter eggs in the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Visitors to the exhibition will be happy to see these stunning pieces are still on exhibition, some complete with their “surprise”—including the stunning Imperial Diamond Trellis Egg, Kelch Egg and Nobel Ice Egg.

At its height, the House of Fabergé employed more than 500 craftsmen and designers in their Moscow and St. Petersburg workshops and sales branches in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Odessa and London.

Fabergé: From a Snowflake to an Iceberg is organized by the Houston Museum of Natural Science with the McFerrin Collection.

Curator: Joel A. Bartsch

Native Texan and longtime Houstonian, Joel Bartsch was first hired as a security guard at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in 1984, and was appointed president and CEO in 2004. Since Bartsch’s appointment as president, the museum has doubled its membership and annual attendance. To accommodate this demand, Bartsch….

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