For those captivated by fine jewellery and the stories behind it, a must-see exhibition this autumn is “Jewels! Glittering at the Russian Court.” The exhibition opens September 14 at Amsterdam’s Hermitage Museum, which was founded to exhibit the collections of The State Hermitage in St. Petersburg to a wider Dutch and international audience. The show will highlight over 300 pieces of jewellery drawn from the historical collections of Russian royals and St. Petersburg high society, putting the jewels in context alongside a rich collection of paintings, accessories, dresses, and costumes drawn from the early 1700s to the eve of the First World War.
Pieces on display will span those from the collection of Empress Elizabeth, who reigned in Russia from 1741 – 1761. One of the standout creations from her collection is a flower bouquet brooch, a dazzling piece fashioned from over 400 brilliant cut and 450 rose cut diamonds. Meanwhile, visitors will be able to see Catherine the Great’s jewellery box, studded with 400 precious stones, among them 26 rubies, 24 emeralds, and cameos.
And as a creator of modern heirlooms, Bibi van der Velden has been chosen as one of the ambassadors for the exhibition. In July, Bibi is set to pick her favourite jewellery piece from the exhibition’s extensive collection, and travel to St. Petersburg’s Winter Palace to explore the jewellery collection there. The Winter Palace was the Russian Emperors’ official residence from 1760s through to 1917, and is now part of The State Hermitage Museum.
Look out for Bibi’s social posts across the months, when she’ll take you along on her trip to discover the glittering jewels housed in this Russian landmark.