Fabergé's rare gem: Alma Pihl

Produced as part of Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution

On now until Sunday, 8 May 2022

More about this Exhibition

The story of Alma Pihl is an unusual one. There were very few women in the goldsmith workshops in St Petersburg in the early 1900s, let alone in the position of designer. Alma's natural talent for drawing and unique eye for design resulted in some of Fabergé's most celebrated pieces of jewellery and two Imperial Easter Eggs.

If there is anything like a goldsmith's gene, Alma Pihl surely possessed it.

Ulla Tillander-Godenhielm, author and scholar

Born into a family of master jewellers and designers with prominent positions at Fabergé, Alma displayed a natural talent for drawing at a very early age and was rarely seen without a sketchbook in her hand. When, at the age of 20, she was employed as a draftsman at the workshop of her uncle, Albert Holmström – then Fabergé's chief jeweller – her illustrious design career began.

Ulla Tillander-Godenhielm – great-granddaughter of St Petersburg goldsmith Alexander Tillander, a supplier to the Russian imperial court – has spent many years studying the art of the St Petersburg jewellers and recounts Alma's incredible story in this film.

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Background image: Alma Pihl, designer, 1912. Photo Collection Ulla Tillander-Godenhielm