The use of wood in Carl Faberge’s jewelry is in keeping with his stated principle of using materials for their decorative properties rather than their intrinsic value. Both Moscow and St. Petersburg produced a surprisingly wide and varied range of wooden objects. In addition to Hjalmar Armfeldt, the workshops of Perkhin, Wigström, Aarne, Thielemann and Nevalainen worked with wood, making photo frames, table drawers, bowls, desk sets, bell buttons and other items. Silver was usually used in wood trim, but sometimes gold was also used with the addition of enamel and precious stones.
For work, both valuable and exotic tree species were used, such as rosewood, Karelian birch, as well as ordinary birch, maple.
Wooden photo frame in a silver frame with an imperial crown
In the photo – Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich in a winter coat and a fur hat in a snowy field, the inscription “CE de Hahn & Co., Tsarskoye Selo” In 1891, K.A. Yagelsky and his wife K.E. Jacobson opened their photography studio and printing house CE de Hahn & Co. They took part in the filming of the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II in 1894, which was the first event captured on film in Russia.
Subsequently, the Hahn company received exclusive rights to photograph the Imperial family, and in 1911 Jagelsky received the new title of Photographer of His Imperial Majesty. The Hahn studio was located in Tsarskoye Selo and prospered. In 1910 alone, about two thousand photographs were printed, and the amount of their annual bills was comparable to the expenses of the imperial family on jewelry, which testified to the great interest of the Empire in the art of photography.
Frame with original photo by Boissonas & Eggler, St. Petersburg. Emperor Nicholas I in the uniform of a field marshal of the British Army, signed by Nicholas II, dated 1916. The sober decoration of this frame consciously reflects the situation in Russia during the war, without sacrificing the skill and attention to detail for which Faberge was famous. This photograph was reportedly sent to Rear Admiral Nikolai Volkov, Imperial Russian Naval Attaché in London, as a gift to Lord Balfour, First Lord of the Admiralty in 1915-1916, but was never delivered.