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National Museum of History in Moscow hosts unique exhibition “Jeweler's Notes. Diamond Story"

24 october 2023

The exhibition continues the museum's series of exhibitions - a project demonstrating the art and creative connection of masters of the past and the present.

One spectacular exhibit is a replica of the main dynastic regalia and monarchical symbol of the Russian Empire - the Great Imperial Crown, created in 2012 by order of the Gokhran of Russia. The original was made by the famous court jeweler Jérémie Pauzié, who was a head jeweler for this work on the occasion of the coronation of Catherine the Great in 1762. Pauzié was the author behind jewelry masterpieces for three Russian empresses in the second half of the 18th century.

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The “Diamond Story” showcases precious works that were created by polished diamond craftsmen in Imperial Russia of the past and have had a significant influence on current jewelry designs by modern masters. The works of modern jewelers are also showcased at this exhibition.

The exhibition is comprised of the best jewelry and art objects from the collections of the State Historical Museum, the State Hermitage and the Gokhran of Russia. All these exhibits - brooches, snuff boxes and other personal items of the empresses - reflect fashion trends for precious stones and their use by Russian jewelers in the 18th century. They are complemented by modern jewelry from the Pauzié jewelry project. According to Vasily Barkhatov, the author of the exhibition concept and a famous Russian theater director, jewelry pieces take part in the immersive art installations. They accompany visitors of the exhibition and range from folk motifs of old to sophisticated baroque classicism, while going through a collection of Russian fairy tales and a series of palace halls, changing eras and styles, showcasing original museum collections and jewelry fantasies of the best masters of our time. The exhibition halls are made to look like pages of the country’s jewelry history.

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It has a separate story dedicated to the first high jewelry collection made as a tribute to Pauzié and called “Fairy Tales”. It was created by the great artist Mikhail Baryshnikov, and this successful contribution of his to the art of jewelry was presented at the High Jewelry Week in Paris in 2020.

The “Jeweler's Notes. Diamond Story" project is a wonderful and rare opportunity for an artist to interact with the classic jewelry heritage of Russia.

Long before the famous Faberge, a whole layer of jewelry history existed in the Russian Empire. The history of Pauzié and other craftsmen who created the jewelry tradition is older than the history of many French jewelry houses known today.

The “Jeweler's Notes. Diamond Story" exhibition at the National Museum of History in Moscow is open until mid-January 2024.

Galina Semyonova for Rough&Polished