The Irony of Fabergé Eggs: Mourning Jewelry for Alexander III

… young. They are so charming with me, all of them, so full of love and warm feelings. Alicky also shows me so much fond sympathy, which really binds her still closer to my heart.”

This egg pendant belonged to Alexander and Maria’s daughter, Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna (1875-1960). It was recorded in her inventory of Easter eggs, a collection of descriptions and watercolor illustrations of Easter eggs and other smaller pieces of jewelry that she acquired between 1880 and 1905, …

Artist Jewelry Exhibition Preview

Hand of Fortune by William Harper

Helen Drutt: Philadelphia and A La Vieille Russie request the pleasure of your visit to a preview, November 10th through the 29th, of an artist jewelry exhibition opening in the spring. This preview will feature the work of William Harper.

William Harper is renowned for his cloisonné enamel work and play of materials, ranging from the precious, like gold, silver, and pearls, to the unusual, such as teeth, nails, and feathers.

We welcome you to view a small selection of his wearable art beginning November 10th through the 29th  during gallery hours: 10 to 5:30 Monday through Friday and 11 to 4 on Saturdays, closed Thanksgiving and Sundays.

Admission is free.

William Harper gold earrings

We are supporters of the Wounded Warrior Project and would welcome any donations.

For all our ALVR Blog posts, please click here.

Preview of Masterpiece London 2014


Every summer at this time London becomes the focus of the art world, with the distinguished art and antiques fair Masterpiece, at the center. Held on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, fine and decorative art, ancient and modern, luxury of today and yesterday, all intersect at this grand event. The show premiered Wednesday, june 25th, and runs through July 2nd.

“The crowds are amazing today,” reported co-owner Mr. Peter Schaffer, from Wednesday’s premier.

This year’s fair features a range of themes, including the centennial of World War I and the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare. In honor of these events, exhibitors were asked to select pieces representing these themes. For the WWI centennial, ALVR selected a Fabergé copper coup kettle used at the front, and other similar WWI-era Fabergé  pieces. In honor of Shakespeare, we are featuring a Midsummer Night’s Dream-themed brooch by Tiffany & Co. Blog posts on these pieces can be found here and here.

We are also exhibiting a selection of antique jeweled sautoirs, an Edwardian era Chaumet diamond and emeral diadem, and an ornate set of silver-gilt fruit and cheese knives and forks by Fabergé featuring shibuichi-ornamented handles.

Come see all this and more at booth C8!

For all our ALVR Blog posts, please click here.

TEFAF Maastricht 2014


We have been busy getting ready for the world’s premier art show, The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) in Maastricht, Holland. It will run from March 12th through the 24th.

The show has its origins as the “Pictura Fine Art Fair,” opening in 1975 with a specialty in Old Master paintings and medieval sculptures. Over the years, the show expanded to include textiles, Modern and Contemporary painting, jewelry, books and manuscripts, and Classical Antiquities. 275 galleries from 20 countries now exhibit at the Fair, bringing an outstanding range of art and antiques. Whether one is looking for furniture, paintings, jewelry, musical instruments, or carpets, all can be found at TEFAF, and then some.

Antique Diamond Peony BroochOur highlights include a selection of our antique jewels: a nineteenth-century Russian diamond brooch in the form of a peony, set en tremblant, and a diamond and peridot dragonfly, also set en tremblant.

We are also bringing a selection of Faberge animals, such as a group of hardstone circus elephants, including a jasper one with rose diamond eyes once owned by HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, son of King George V and Queen Mary.

Further information regarding tickets and more can be found on the TEFAF website.

For all our ALVR Blog posts, please click here.

Highlights of the 2014 Winter Antiques Show


The Winter Antiques Show is certainly living up to its name this year, welcomed by this polar vortex with a chilly embrace. Rest assured, the Park Avenue Armory is nice and toasty. It is well worth braving the cold – there is something for everyone from ancient to modern, including: Delftware, Chinese porcelain, illuminated manuscripts, arms and armor, ancient art, and so much more, all listed here.

Be on the lookout for some of our personal favorites, including the astonishing mid sixteenth century Italian half suit of armor from Peter Finer of London and the 18th century Delftware puzzle jugs from Aronson of Amsterdam. If the crowds get to be too much, escape into the lacquer-paneled room by Art Deco master Jean Dunand at Maison Gerard, and be sure to take a moment to behold a fully intact, Roman glass urn from the 1st century AD at Rupert Wace Ancient Art of London.

If you get lost as you wander across culture and time, our booth can be found at the center across from the Diamond Jubilee display. There are a few pieces that have attracted particular attention at our booth. One of our showstoppers is a brooch designed by Salvador Dali in the form of ruby red lips, modeled after Marilyn Monroe, and, includes, quite literally, pearly whites. Selections from our menagerie have also been major attractions, such as a pavé diamond brooch in the form of a monkey with a sprung tail and holding a pearl. Our selection of Fabergé always draws attention. Especially attracting people this year are silver sculptures serving as table lighters or bell pushes.

If you have yet to stop by, we look forward to seeing you this Saturday from 12 to 8, and Sunday, the final day, from 12 to 6.

The 2014 Winter Antiques Show


This year the annual Winter Antiques Show, held at the landmark Park Avenue Armory, celebrates its 60th year, its Diamond Jubilee. This will be our 53rd year exhibiting, and we are pleased to be a part of such a highly esteemed show, deemed by many to be America’s foremost antique show. The opening gala was last night, and the show is open to the general public beginning today through February 2nd.

Proceeds from admissions benefit East Side House Settlement, providing children and families in the South Bronx with education and technology training programming “as gateways out of poverty. Approximately half of their funding comes from private philanthropy.”

This year’s loan exhibition features the fantastic collection of the Peabody Essex Museum of Salem, Massachusetts, now celebrating its 215th year. The exhibition includes a selection of textiles, sculpture, works on paper, and paintings “offering a celebration of global connection that encourages discourse, evokes emotion and ignites curiosity.”

In celebration of the Show’s 60th Diamond Jubilee year there is also a display of grand diamond jewels by Tiffany, Graff, and others.

Our booth displays a selection of our American and European jewelry, including two exceptional diamond and emerald brooches, one in the form of a 19th century sunburst centering a 22 ct emerald, the other, an 18th century butterfly. Also on display  are objets de vertu, Russian works of art, and, of course, Fabergé. This year’s highlights include Fabergé silver animal-form sculptures and a collection of hardstone Fabergé circus elephants, mostly from the Collection of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1900-1974), the son of King George V and Queen Mary. Also on display is a rare enameled gold reliquary cross from the late 17th century, set with emeralds and pearls and engraved with the Crucifixion and the list of the relics contained therein. Made for one of the successors of Patriarch Philaret of Moscow, it contains a relic of Alexander Svirski, whose relics were discovered in 1641.

Come feast your eyes and engage your mind at this culturally enriching and aesthetically engaging event. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Park Avenue Armory is located at 67th St. and Park Avenue. The show is open daily, 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m, and 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sundays and Thursday. Admission, which includes a catalogue, is $25.