Over 100 masterpieces from the finest collection of Fabergé in the world will go on display from Saturday, 23rd July as part of a special exhibition at Buckingham Palace this summer. Royal Fabergé will chart the Royal Family’s enduring passion for the work of the great Russian jeweller and goldsmith, Peter Carl Fabergé, over six generations – from Queen Victoria, to Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. “Royal Fabergé” will remain on display until October 3rd. A number of works will go on display for the first time, including an exquisite miniature tea set comprising a teapot, hot water pot, sugar bowl and milk jug. The tea set originally belonged to Queen Alexandra and is made of gold and enamelled to give the impression of porcelain; each lid is decorated with a tiny ruby.
From the collection of Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, a charming double photograph frame will also be exhibited for the first time. Other highlights include a magnificent Imperial Easter Egg – the ‘Basket of Flowers Egg’ – commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II for Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna in 1901. It was kept in the Tsarina’s study at the Winter Palace before being confiscated during the Russian Revolution in 1917. It is decorated with gold and rose diamonds and moss made of green gold and was acquired by Queen Mary in 1933. The only known Fabergé figure of a Chelsea Pensioner, acquired by King Edward VII on his last visit to Fabergé’s London branch will also go on display. The exhibition’s curator, Caroline de Guitaut, said, ‘The British Royal Collection of Fabergé is unique and gives a remarkable insight into the dynastic relationships between the British, Danish and Russian royal families in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The exhibition shows a royal enthusiasm for Fabergé that has lasted more than 100 years.’
Buckingham Palace serves as both the office and London residence of Her Majesty The Queen, as well as the administrative headquarters of the Royal Household. It is one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today. Today the State Rooms are used extensively by The Queen and Members of the Royal Family to receive and entertain their guests on State, ceremonial and official occasions. During August and September when The Queen makes her annual visit to Scotland, the Palace’s nineteen state rooms are open to visitors. For over five hundred years kings and queens have amassed collections of art and artefacts. Many of these items still exist today as part of the Royal Collection, the Royal Philatelic Collection, the Royal Archives and the Crown Jewels. Some of these collections are held by the Sovereign in trust for the nation, whilst others are privately owned by the monarch. Many of the objects are on public display at the principal royal residences and are shown in a programme of special exhibitions and through loans to institutions around the world. The Royal Collection is held in trust by The Queen as Sovereign for her successors and the Nation, and is not owned by her as a private individual. Day-to-day management of the Royal Collection is the responsibility of the Royal Collection department, which was established in 1987 as one of the five departments of the Royal Household. The Royal Collection receives no Government grant-in-aid or public subsidy, and is administered by the Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The Trust was set up by The Queen in 1993 under the chairmanship of The Prince of Wales.
The Collection includes paintings, drawings and watercolours, furniture, ceramics, clocks, silver, sculpture, jewellery, books and manuscripts, prints and maps, arms and armour, and textiles. It has largely been formed since the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660. Some items belonging to earlier monarchs, for example Henry VIII, also survive. The greater part of the magnificent collection inherited and added to by Charles I was dispersed on Cromwell’s orders during the Interregnum. The royal patrons now chiefly associated with notable additions to the Collection are Frederick, Prince of Wales; George III; George IV; Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; and Queen Mary, consort of George V. Unlike most art collections of national importance, works of art from the Royal Collection can be enjoyed both in the historic settings for which they were originally commissioned or acquired and in the purpose-built Queen’s Galleries, which host a programme of changing exhibitions. The Royal Collection is on display at the royal palaces and residences, all of which are open to the public. The official residences of The Queen have a programme of changing exhibitions to show more of the Collection to the public, particularly those items that cannot be on permanent display for conservation reasons. Touring exhibitions and loans to institutions throughout the world are part of the commitment to broaden public access and to show works of art in new contexts. Over 3,000 objects from the Royal Collection are on long-term loan to museums and galleries around the United Kingdom and abroad. National institutions housing works of art from the Collection include The British Museum, National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of London, the National Museum of Wales and the National Gallery of Scotland