Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access (SIA Only)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Art Business

First Advisor

Ann-Marie Richard

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Pergam

Abstract

By considering the multiple aspects of the development of jewelry art in Russia, this thesis paper explores the relationship between the Russian jewelers and the Russian imperial family and their administrative structures. Being the largest customer of luxury products for centuries, the ruling family significantly contributed to the emergence of numerous talented jewelers. At the turn of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, they began to set the trends in jewelry fashion around the world. This research centers around the role the Russian royal court played in the development of jewelry art as we know it today. First, the imperial jewelers status and procedure for obtaining the title of the supplier of the Russian imperial court will be considered, followed by a concise account of the procedure and a historical example of obtaining the title by one of the most famous jewelers of the time. Further, two of the most influential jewelers of the Russian imperial court will be analyzed. Their histories and careers will be discussed in light of the frequent dealings with the Russian imperial family. Quotes of the prominent figures from the archival documents are included throughout the paper to emphasize the discussed points. Finally, the development of Russian jewelry art will be considered in the context of the everyday life of the Russian imperial court.

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