Included in the exhibit are a dozen rare Fabergé designs featuring a lacquered box, elegant cigarette cases, a chamberstick, and a gold mounted brooch. Other treasures include Russian eggs presented by tsars; Imperial Porcelain Factory china from imperial yachts including the royal private yacht Livadia
; an impressive collection of Herend china from Hungary with patterns ordered by the Russian Tsar, royal houses and eminent customers. These amazing pieces are all from the private collection of Kathy Durdin.
Several Russian pieces take center stage in the exhibit. The Durnovo Casket, presented to Ivan Nikolaevich Durnovo, a high ranking official in the Russian government, is lovely enameled silver gilt openwork over sheets of lapis lazuli made by the Ovchinnikov firm. Visitors may recognize the frescoes of renaissance artist Raphael highlighted in the Raphael service. These pieces feature allegorical figures from frescoes in the Vatican. This service was commissioned in 1883 during the reign of Alexander III.
During the last quarter of the 19th century, Henry Plant and other wealthy Americans traveled extensively in Europe, absorbing the culture and acquiring treasures that they brought back to the United States. This exhibit brings together a collection of items similar to what these travelers would have seen while visiting the great courts of Europe. Plant himself ordered and used Herend china at the Tampa Bay Hotel in the 1890’s.
Imperial Designs: From the Habsburg’s Herend to the Romanov’s Fabergé
opens on March 23rd and runs through December 23, 2018. The exhibit will open with a lecture by Kathy Durdin and reception at the Museum on March 23rd. Entrance to the exhibit is included with admission to the Museum.
This exhibit has been graciously underwritten by BNY Mellon, Greenberg Traurig, KPMG in honor of Kathy Woodard, and The Bank of Tampa.