From St Petersburg to Sandringham

Ian Collins

This is a glittering and haunting saga of the artist-jeweller to the Russian and British courts and his chief patrons - sisters and queen-empresses Alexandra and Maria Feodorovna, who commissioned fabulous objects and changed the world. Norfolk's Sandringham Estate, royal retreat and global powerhouse, was central to their bittersweet story.
Publication date:
October 2017
Publisher :
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Illustration :
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9780946009718

Dimensions : 265 X 210 mm
This book is temporarily out of stock.


• Anniversary of the Russian Revolution
• Story of Fabergé production
• Link with Royal Collection - over 60 loans from the Royal Collection to the exhibition
• Link with Sandringham and Norfolk
• Fabergé egg and Fabergé animals

In 1907 Edward VII commissioned Peter Carl Fabergé - court artist-jeweller to imperial Russia - to produce miniature sculptures of animals on the royal estate at Sandringham. Designed to please Queen Alexandra, the project was suggested by the king's mistress Alice Keppel (the Duchess of Cornwall's great grandmother). The best craftsmen were sent to Norfolk to make wax models which were then taken to Russia to be rendered in hardstones, gemstones, gold, silver and platinum as directed by Fabergé himself.

Fabergé's most ambitious venture in England showed the naturalistic genius of his workshops in St Petersburg and Moscow. It also crowned his career of patronage by the two Danish princesses, Alix and Dagmar, who married British and Russian princes and later became queen-empresses of rival empires. They strove over six decades to bring Britain and Russia together - and against Germany. Perfect little gifts by Fabergé aided the sisterly enterprise.

This bittersweet saga is also the story of Sandringham - family retreat and political powerhouse, and Alexandra's favourite home from 1863 until her death in 1925. The tale further traces the fate of players in the Fabergé commission - many of the Norfolkmen being killed at Gallipoli, as Fabergé crafted deadly munitions. While the dowager empress was rescued after the revolution, many of her relatives were murdered in Siberia where Fabergé hardstones had been mined.

Featuring new research, this book coincides with an exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich on the centenary of the Russian Revolution.