September 8, 2000


Contact: Michelle D. Deveney,
Media Relations Manager
Broughton International


World Premiere Exhibition Of Legendary Jeweler And Goldsmith Peter Carl Fabergé Opens September 9 in Wilmington, Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware -- FABERGÉ, the largest exhibition ever presented of the legendary jeweler and goldsmith, Peter Carl Fabergé, makes its world premiere at the Riverfront Arts Center in Wilmington, Delaware on September 9. This unprecedented Exhibition, a Broughton Masterpiece Presentation, features over 1000 masterpieces from more than 30 of the world's most prestigious private collections and museums.

The Exhibition features major loans from The FORBES Magazine Collection, New York, which contains one of the largest Fabergé collections in the world, as well as from other significant American collections. Most of the international loans have never been seen in America, including many objects from the world-renowned State Hermitage Museum and the Moscow Kremlin Museums of Russia. Also among the international masterpieces are a number of loans from European Royal Families, including His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden; Their Graces the Duke and Duchess of Westminster and objects formerly in the collection of King Ferdinand of Bulgaria. The Castle Howard Collection and The Khalili Family Trust of England, and several German princely collections are lending to the Exhibition as well. Several private and royal collections are lending to the Exhibition anonymously.

"Fabergé is a word that speaks volumes," says Broughton. "Perhaps best known as official jeweler for Imperial Czarist Russia, Fabergé is the creator of exquisitely designed masterpieces that have stood the test of time. He is a legend, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to tell his story through this Exhibition."

Interestingly enough, Fabergé was first "discovered" in 1882 when Czar Alexander III and his wife, Czarina Marie Feodorovna, bought one of his first creations ever to be publicly displayed in Moscow. Ironically, it was a pair of gold cufflinks shaped like cicadas, ancient Greek symbols of good luck. Three years later, it was Fabergé who was commissioned to create the very first Imperial Easter Egg as a gift for the Czarina - an annual tradition established by Czar Alexander III that lasted until the fall of the Romanov Dynasty. Upon fleeing Russia in 1918, it was the Cross of St. George Egg (which is included in the Exhibition) that the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna took with her… a last gift from her loving son, Nicholas II, on Easter in 1916.

Noted author and leading international authority on Fabergé, Archduke Dr. Géza von Habsburg is serving as Guest Exhibition Curator. Working with Broughton International over the past year and a half, he has played a significant role in the development of the overall exhibition concept and the procurement of the prestigious loans that have been made available.

"We are excited about the breadth of Dr. von Habsburg's knowledge of Fabergé and the perspective he brings to our international exchange program," says Broughton. "Dr. von Habsburg is joined by his associate, Alexander von Solodkoff, also a noted Fabergé scholar. Together with Dr. Robert Steven Bianchi, Broughton International's Director of Academic and Curatorial Affairs, they form an unprecedented team for this grand Exhibition."

According to von Habsburg, objects in the Exhibition range from the intricate and lavish Imperial Easter Eggs to the delicate simplicity of decorative boxes in gold and enamels. “We have a wide variety of what Fabergé and his master craftsmen were best known for, creations that brought sheer enjoyment and pleasure to all who received them,” says von Habsburg. “It has been said that the magic of Fabergé lay within his ability to combine the novelty of aesthetic inspiration with functional value… punctuated with a touch of whimsey and sheer delight.”

A stunning array of the legendary Fabergé Eggs highlights this Exhibition - the largest collection of works by Fabergé anywhere in the world. These renowned Eggs will be displayed in specially designed galleries that capture the luxurious tastes of the Russian and European aristocracies throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

"FABERGÉ goes beyond the traditional display as it delves into the impact of his creations in the world of jewelry design and fashion," says Bianchi. "We're particularly excited about a unique dimension that we're introducing, where through the juxtaposition of jewelry and objets d'art created by Russian and European contemporaries of Fabergé such as Cartier, Boucheron, Lalique and Tiffany, our Exhibition patrons will come to better understand the evolution of these treasures that are still of keen interest to collectors today."

Additionally, audiences will learn that much of the success behind Fabergé was the result of his business acumen. As the Imperial Family showered gifts created by Fabergé upon visiting dignitaries, and as thank-you gifts throughout their own travels, the rapid growth of his popularity in Europe became a lucrative source of business. During his lifetime, the renowned Fabergé employed over 500 craftsmen and operated business establishments in several cities including St. Petersburg, Moscow, and London.

"The legend of Fabergé from his meager beginnings to the building of a business empire, to his ultimate escape to Switzerland as Czarist Russia came to its tragic ending, is a story worthy of telling," says Broughton.

Acknowledged today as the originator of some of the country’s finest international cultural exchange programs, Broughton has organized quality exhibitions that have been seen by over 12 million people in several American venues. Broughton International organizes and produces major, grand-scale international exhibitions from the world’s leading international art, scientific, historic and cultural institutions. The company works with cities throughout the United States to develop international cultural exchange programs for American audiences.

Among the ten Exhibitions presented by Broughton since 1987 are Nicholas and Alexandra: The Last Imperial Family of Tsarist Russia and Splendors of Meiji: Treasures of Imperial Japan, both of which premiered at the Riverfront Arts Center in Wilmington, Delaware.

Guests should allow a minimum of two hours to tour FABERGÉ. At the start of the exhibition tour, all visitors are provided a personal audio guide (at no extra cost), which allows them to proceed through the galleries at their own pace. A student's version of the audio guide, which has become increasingly popular among adults over the years, is also available.

Before entering the galleries, visitors are treated to a brief overview of the legendary jeweler in the Exhibition Theater, which provides an historical backdrop for what they are about to experience. At the conclusion of the 10-minute orientation in the theater, the story begins to unfold as visitors walk through a series of specially-designed galleries.

As with all Broughton Masterpiece Presentations, FABERGÉ offers a number of significant outreach programs. These include a comprehensive Education Program for public and private schools; a Speakers' Bureau program for adult groups; and an extensive Volunteer Program.

Upon closing February 18, 2001 in Wilmington, FABERGÉ is scheduled to travel to one other venue.

For further information about the Exhibition, or to purchase tickets, call 302/777-1600 locally or 1-888-395-0005 (toll free in the United States and Canada), or visit the FABERGÉ Exhibition website at


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