Masterpiece London 2013 will take place from 27 June – 3 July, with a Preview on 26 June on the South Grounds of The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3.
This June, at the peak of the capital’s summer season, Masterpiece London brings together collectors, exhibitors and curators from around the world for an unparalleled show of fine art, antiques and design. Set in the spectacular South Grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the fair features dining experiences from Le Caprice and Scott’s Seafood & Champagne Bar. Join us for an enjoyable and educational cultural experience!
Now in its fourth year, Masterpiece London returns for a celebration of the most exquisite in art, antiques and design from across the world. Hosting internationally renowned exhibitors, the fair is resolutely committed to offering the best objects available, presenting a unique opportunity to collect across multiple disciplines and mixing contemporary with antique, the traditional with the eclectic. All works are stringently vetted by a committee of experts before the fair opens giving buyers every confidence in their choice. The custom-built pavilion is set against the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a historic London landmark that makes a dramatic backdrop to this stylish event and acts as the perfect showcase for the thrilling mix of art, antiques and design found inside.
Russian Art and Culture present our highlights and preview the exciting Russian works on offer at the fair:
WARTSKI will be exhibiting various Fabergé pieces including:
A Pearl and Diamond set Pendant by Carl Fabergé – In the form of a stylised bow set with rose cut diamonds, from which is suspended a single natural pearl drop.
A Gold Mounted and Jewelled Crystalline Fruit Bonbonniere by Carl Fabergé, in the form of a Japanese quince.
AKTIS GALLERY specialises in Russian and European art of the 20th Century, focussing on artists who left Russia during the first half of the 20th century. They present the work of two Russian contemporary artists:
SHAPERO RARE BOOKS specialises in rare Russia and Eastern Europe related books, engravings and photographs (in Russian as well as in foreign languages). To Masterpiece, they are bringing various items including an album belonging to Tsar Alexander II including:
A unique album of early photographs of Tsarist palaces, unusually with two watercolours, and splendid binding. Such a quantity of photographic views of Russia in the 1860s, bound together and well preserved, is highly unusual. Shapero could trace only one album of the same photographer Huard (1825-1925), but containing only 63 views (now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). This album includes 118 views of St. Petersburg, 49 of the surrounding Tsarist estates, such as Tsarskoe Selo (6), Pavlovsk (8), Gachina (8), Strelna and Peterhoff (27), and also 11 views of Moscow, all in unusually large format, and a 2-part panorama of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Sergiev Posad. These views focus on panoramas, famous places, monuments, churches, public and private buildings, with a particular attention to Imperial palaces and estates – thus being a valuable record of Tsarist Russia at its heyday, before many destructions took place.
SANDRA CRONAN will be exhibiting a Boucheron peacock feather necklace which has Russian royal provenance. Set with a sapphire, emeralds and diamonds, the feather is detachable and may be worn as a brooch or hair ornament. Paris, 1883. Believed to have been made for, and purchased by, Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, for his wife Alexandra Zhukovskaya, from Frédéric Boucheron in Paris, for 14,000 francs in 1883. The Grand Duke Alexis, a known Francophile, was famed for his scandalous behaviour, a trait which entertained the French public no end. He defied his father, Tsar Alexander III, by marrying Alexandra Zhukovskaya, who was not only illegitimate, but the daughter of a Turkish slave. His time in the Navy allowed him to indulge in a wealth of foreign female company, but it was finally his love affair with the Duchess Zénaïde of Leuchtenberg, his cousin by marriage, that calmed him down somewhat. The ménage à trois between the Grand Duke, his wife, and the Duchess continued to amuse the French as they holidayed in France. The Grand Duke bought a town house near the Champs-Élysées and the three of them became very regular clients of Fréderic Boucheron. This feather brooch was just one of the important jewels purchased by the Grand Duke, bought before he met his lover Zénaïde.
A LE VIELLE RUSSIE, based in New York, is an art and antique dealers that specialises in Russian antiques and works of art, as well as American and European antique jewellery.
In the 1957 Bond film From Russia with Love, a ‘broad gunmetal cigarette case’ placed in Bond’s left breast pocket protected him from a bullet. This particular cigarette case inspired the scene. It belonged to socialite and heiress Millicent Rogers (1902-1953), the granddaughter of Henry Huttleston Rogers, a co-founder of Standard Oil. A renowned collector of impressionist paintings and jewelry, she was one of the earliest collectors of Fabergé and antique jewels and a close friend of Alexander Schaffer.
ST PETERSBURG GALLERY specialises in exhibiting and selling Russian paintings and works of art dating from 18th to mid 20th Century, as well as Impressionist paintings and European art. Coming to Masterpiece are:
PELHAM GALLERIES based in Paris, are taking a small but very rare 18th-century marquetry commode made in St Petersburg. The top is inlaid with Chinese pavilions with mother-of-pearl bells hanging from the roof, and this scene was definitely inspired by (though not directly copying) the pavilions in the Chinese Village commissioned by Catherine the Great in the gardens of Tsarskoye Selo palace outside St Petersburg, at the same period as this commode was made, during the 1770s.