Fabergé egg on display at Polesden Lacey estate

On April 25, a major exhibition Treasured Possessions: Riches of Polesden Lacey opened at Polesden Lacey. Its exhibits are the treasures of a country house in Surrey, where members of the royal family and heads of state once stayed to visit Margaret Greville. Afisha.London magazine tells more about the interesting artifacts of the exposition, among which there is a Fabergé egg.

 

Polesden Lacey is an estate with an old Edwardian mansion, owned by Margaret Greville, one of the most popular persons of high society in London at the beginning of the 20th century. The guests of her parties were King Edward VII and Queen Mary, Winston Churchill and other leading politicians, writers and cultural figures of Europe and America.

 

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The socialite is still known today for her passion for jewellery and untold riches, and the current members of the royal family appear in public in jewellery that once belonged to Lady Margaret.

 

Gift-giving was a key social ritual in Edwardian high society circles as such, Mrs Greville’s collection was also a signifier of her intimacy and influence with the rich and powerful.” — notes Richard Ashbourne, an assistant curator of the exhibition.

 

Opening for the first time since the pandemic, the rooms of the mansion belonged to the National Trust are displaying more than 100 treasures to the public, many of which were Greville’s gifts from royalty, aristocracy and heads of state. Among them are the creations of the jewellery house of Carl Fabergé. First of all, this is an egg with a tiny diamond clasp in the shape of a snowflake and a delicately carved jasper owl on a perch, attributed to Fabergé for the first time.

 

Photo: David Brunetti/National Trust Images

 

Another interesting item from the legendary firm is a miniature frog carved from Siberian nephrite jade, it is a present from Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich, a grandson of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. Queen Mary brought an ivory chess set and a blue enamel and gold circular box when visiting with Edward VII.

Then the House of Fabergé was in its heyday, with its luxury creations desired by the world’s elite. Greville was a regular customer at Fabergé’s London shop, its first outside Russia, with ledgers showing she bought 31 items over several years. We talked more about the first foreign boutique of Carl Fabergé’s firm in our article, as well as in a video review from the recent exhibition of the Victoria and Albert Museum Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution.

 

Photo: David Brunetti/National Trust Images

 

Exquisite creations of the Russian jewellery house side by side at the exhibition with rare ceramics, silverware and other pieces of art. Key examples include animal figurines from Cartier, a brooch worn by Greville at the coronation of Edward VII, a pair of pottery horse heads from early imperial China, Staffordshire porcelain tulips, and French, Italian and Dutch paintings such as a self-portrait by Frans van Mieris and a painting by Henry Raeburn.

 

Exhibition Treasured Possessions: Riches of Polesden Lacey

Polesden Lacey

25 April – 29 October 2022 and 1 March – 30 October 2023

More information and tickets

 

 

Cover photo: Hugh Mothersole/National Trust Images

 

 


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