ENAMEL TECHNIQUE «CLOISONNE»

The word came from the French “Cloisonné” - compartment.

Cloisonné enamel technic is labor-intensive and complicated and cannot be mechanized.

The thin copper, silver or gold delays - compartments are soldered on the metal basis by edge on the contour of pattern that was applied in advance.

The resulting compartments are filled with an enamel. An enamel is a thin layer of glass alloy with different colors which is more or less fusible.

It is applied on the surface of the product in powder form. Then the product is  placed in a special furnace (muffle) and heated up to temperatures of 500 ° - 800 ° C, depending on the type of enamel.

 

After heating the enamel shrinks, more powder should be added and the object is heated again.

The process is repeated until the cells are filled to one hundred percent. After firing , the product is grounded and polished to give it a noble shine and brightness. In this way a stunning, unique look is achieved. The term "enamel" (and "enameling") spread relatively recently, in the late XIX century. 

The term was brought from Western Europe, precisely  from France, and quickly replaced the old term of Greek origin - enamel (light or shining stone). The term "enamel" came to Russia in the X-XII  from Byzantium. In  ancient "masterovnikah" (inventories) of the XII century  the enamel sometimes was called musiya. Musiya is actually a smalti mosaic, somewhat resembles in appearance of the ancient Byzantine enamel which was imported to Russia.

The cloisonné or vitreous enamel are the modern terms for musiya.

In Russia, after a period of oblivion, enamel experienced a heyday - thanks to Faberge and enamelists.

In Soviet times, this type of jewelry art was not so popular and was inexpensive. The enamel was used more for dishes and household items than for jewelry. In the last couple of decades, the enamel has been coming back into fashion in Russia.

 

In the East, it was highly prized enamel,  "cloisonne" was used in jewelry of Chinese emperors, and on Ming vases.

In the East, the enamel was highly prized.  "Cloisonné" was used for Chinese emperors jewelry and palaces decorations objects such a vases (Ming Dynasty).

In Japan, the enamel "cloisonne" came through the Great Silk Road, which linked the East and West.

But then, foreign influence has ended and the Japanese art of "cloisonne" has embarked on a unique path of development.

 

In Japanese language "cloisonné" term was change to Buddhist word and denoted by the term "Shippo". The literal translation of "Shippo" sounds like "ceramic article which is beautiful like seven precious treasures."

 

PETER CARL FABERGE

Peter Carl Fabergé was born in 30 May 1846 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  His father -Gustav Fabergé was from Estonia, and his  mother - Charlotte Jungstedt was the daughter of Danish artist. 

Initially educated in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 1860 Gustav Fabergé, together with his wife and children, retired to Dresden, leaving the business at House of Fabergé in Saint Petersburg in the hands of capable and trusted Hiskias Pendinz. 

 

In 1864, Peter Carl embarked upon a Grand Tour of Europe. He received tuition from respected goldsmiths in Germany, France and England, attended a course at Schloss's Commercial College in Paris, and viewed the objects in the galleries of Europe's leading museums.

 

His travel and study continued until 1872, when at the age of 20 he returned to St. Petersburg. In 1872, By the decision of his father Carl Fabergé took sole responsibility for running the company and in the same year he married Augusta Julia Jacobs. The company was also involved with cataloguing, repairing, and restoring objects in the Hermitage during the 1870s. In 1881 the business moved at 16/18 Bolshaya Morskaya.

 

For several years, Carl Faberge's main assistant in the designing of jewellery was his younger brother, Agathon Faberge (1862-1895), who had also trained in Dresden. Carl and Agathon were a sensation at the Pan-Russian Exhibition held in Moscow in 1882.  One of the Fabergé pieces displayed was a replica of a 4th-century BC gold bangle from the Scythian Treasure in the Hermitage. The Tsar declared that he could not distinguish the Fabergé's work from the original and ordered that objects by the House of Fabergé should be displayed in the Hermitage as examples of superb contemporary Russian craftsmanship. 

 

Having acquired the title of Supplier to the Court from Tsar Alexander III on May 1, 1885, Fabergé had full access to the important Hermitage Collection, where he was able not only to study but also to find inspiration for developing his unique style.  This resulted in reviving the lost art of enamelling. Shortly after Agathon joined the firm, the House introduced objects deluxe: gold bejewelled items embellished with enamel ranging from electric bell pushes to cigarette cases.

 

Fabergé's company became the largest jewellery business in Russia. In addition to its Saint Petersburg headquarters, it had branches in Moscow, Odessa, Kiev and London. It produced some 150,000 to 200,000 objects from 1882 until 1917.

 

In 1900, Fabergé's work represented Russia at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris. the House was awarded a gold medal and the city's jewelers recognized Carl Fabergé as a maître. Additionally, France recognized Carl Fabergé with one of the most prestigious of French awards, appointing him a knight of the Legion of Honour. The exposition was a great success and the firm acquired a great many orders and clients.

 

In 1916, the House of Fabergé became a joint-stock company with a capital of 3-million rubles.

The following year upon the outbreak of the October Revolution, the business was taken over by a 'Committee of the Employees of the Company K Fabergé. In 1918 The House of Fabergé was nationalised by the Bolsheviks. In early October the stock was confiscated. The House of Fabergé was no more.

After the nationalisation of the business, Carl Fabergé left St. Petersburg on the last diplomatic train for Riga. In mid-November, the Revolution having reached Latvia, he fled to Germany and first settled in Bad Homburg and then in Wiesbaden. 

 

Peter Carl Fabergé never recovered from the shock of the Russian Revolution. He died in Switzerland on September 24, 1920. His family believed he died of a broken heart. His wife, Augusta, died in 1925.

Fabergé had four sons: Eugène (1874–1960), Agathon (1876–1951), Alexander (1877–1952) and Nicholas (1884–1939). Descendants of Peter Carl Fabergé live in mainland Europe, Scandinavia and South America.