Lecture from the series "Russian jewellery art of the 17th century"

3 December 2014
Press Office of the Amber Museum

Lecture from the series "Russian jewellery art of the 17th century" takes place in Kaliningrad Regional Amber Museum on 4 December (Thursday) at 16.00. It is dedicated to the 350th anniversary of the Empress of Russia Elisabeth (1709 – 1762). It will be conducted by deputy director for research of the Amber Museum, art expert, candidate of pedagogical sciences Irina Toropova.

During the reign of Elisabeth Russian court was famous for its magnificence and splendor. It was one of the most sparkling in Europe. The best jewellers worked at court such as J.Pauzie, L.Pfisterer, G.F.Ekart. In particular Jerimia Pozie created a series of precious bouquets made of diamonds, gold, silver and enamel for the Empress.

One of the most important adornments of the ruler – according to her status was the crown. The Great Crown was remade from the crown of her ancestress Anna Leopoldovna:made of silver, gilded, consisting of two hemispheres it was decorated with pearl, diamonds and dark red tourmaline.

In the time of Elisabeth one of the most popular adornments were diamond brooches. Brooches for different purposes were meant to be worn on different parts of costume – for hats, for hair dresses, for shawls, jewellery for waist bands, pins for skirts.

Waist band adornment "The big bouquet" made for Empress Elisabeth in 1757–1760, was composed of diamonds and emeralds. The laid precious stones varicoloured foil (wide spread technique used by jewellers of past times) created an effect of "living" flowers.

The diamond agrafe for ermine mantle created by Pozie on order of the Empress was passed to each new ruler of Romanov Dynasty.

These jewels are kept in the Diamond Fond of Russia.

The Empress had great many of precious caskets, snuff boxes, patch boxes.

In the 18th century there were different kinds of snuff boxes – pocket, table, double (for two sorts of tobacco), "winter" and "summer". A snuff box was often a valuable gift, award, served to memorialize an event. Snuff boxes of various form created by masters from almost all European countries were purchased for Empress Elisabeth. Also Russian jewellers from Saint Petersburg and Moscow created them.

The Empress bought the whole collection of English golden watches on chatelaines decorated with precious stones. Luxurious diplomatic gifts enriched her treasury.

The collection of snuff boxes and watches of Empress Elisabeth of Russia is kept in the State Hermitage.

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