Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about Other Imperial Palaces => Tsarskoe Selo Palaces => Topic started by: neva on May 01, 2004, 09:58:35 PM

Title: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: neva on May 01, 2004, 09:58:35 PM
Has anyone seen the Amber Room after it was restored?

Also, I read somewhere about the small Hermitage villa (not the museum) which Catherine built for personal use and where the dining table for 20 -30 people would dissappear at the end of dinner... Does the mechanism of the table or plates still exist?

neva
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Glebb on May 06, 2004, 08:23:50 PM
I visited the Amber Room before the restoration was done.  I contributed funds and would love to see it now!
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Greg D on May 07, 2004, 01:41:01 AM
Hi Neva,
I visited the amber room just after it was completed in July 2003.
It was an amazing sight ! though quite small in comparison with the other Catherine halls, and when filled with tourists !!
The panels have a lovely golden hue to them and it is hard to believe they are all made of amber.

I really envy Antonio when he says ha had a guided tour from the curators... I would love to see/know about the restoration of Catherine 5th Apartments (lyons Hall, Silver study and Bedroom etc), and when they may be open ??

If I can figure out how, I will try and post some photos I took of the amber room... they came out quite well !

Best Wishes  to all other Tsarskoe fanatics ;D :D
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: londo954 on May 08, 2004, 03:47:02 AM
NEVA....the small palace you are referring to is the SMALL HERMITAGE (or Marly) I am not sure which and was built by Peter teh Great. The Table was lowered so that the servants would not interfere with the meal by serving. As Far as I am aware the mechanism has been removed but the kitchen and dining room still exist. You can find more info at www.peterhof.org
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Greg_King on May 08, 2004, 04:42:44 AM
Actually, I think Neva is referring to the Hermitage at Tsarskoye Selo.  The building, designed and constructed by Savva Chevakinsky and later renovated by Rastrelli, is still there-I've seen a few pre-WW2 photos of the interior when it looked as if the mechanism for lowering the table was still there, but am not sure what the condition is now of the interior-last time I was there it was closed.

Greg King
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on May 08, 2004, 11:12:18 AM
The Hermitage pavillion is still being restored and hope it´s near completition. You can see fragments of the painted ceiling from outside the building. The mechanism was destroyed during the war.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Joanna on May 08, 2004, 09:48:42 PM
Hi Antonio !

From what I have read, the Yussupov dacha was based on the plans of the Hermitage of Tsarskoye Selo. I have seen the beautiful blue of the Hermitage. Was the Yussupov dacha red? Am I correct?

Joanna
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Forum Admin on May 09, 2004, 10:14:10 AM
Joanna
If you go to the Yussupov thread, the dacha is discussed and there is a period photo of the dacha there.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Joanna on May 09, 2004, 07:28:36 PM
My apologies Rob I was reading of the Hermitage and the question popped into my head !

Joanna
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: akjfin on June 08, 2004, 09:46:05 AM
Hi!
Visited also the Amber Room in July! For somebody from Finland where one is used to some sort of an order and "decorum", I felt quite embarassed....we were told already in Helsinki that no "stray" visitors were admitted. However, some things never change. The Museum director - so we were tld - was also on the Board of the travel agency we used in ST. Petersburg...so  our guide had some sort of a document, large as a sheet for a double bed with stamps and signatures. She dragged us rather resolutely to the Palace gates, past a long queue.Could feel angry eyes at the back of my head...up to the gate which was opened just wide enough for us to get in. And past the next queue in the palace courtyard! More mumbling and angry looks...It didn´t help very much that the guide had told us just some moments earlier that there had been a fight betweek an Italian and a French tourist a week earlier, a fight so violent that they had had to call the police!
But the Amber Room was simply MAGNIFICENT! I have never seen anything quite like it! The luster, we were told, had been achieved by placing gold foil behind the amber....It was a dream! Too bad we never had time to see the Alexander Palace, and the drive back to "Piter" went - so we felt - over a potato field, at least in part. The Prince of Wales was in the area and many of the roads had been closed! Such is life!
I don´t have much time to spend on the forum but what little I have seen  have enjoyed.
akjfin
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Forum Admin on June 11, 2004, 11:26:51 AM
Greg D. sent us these beautiful pics of the "new" Amber Room from July 2003. Many thanks for sharing them!!
(http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/forumimages/amber1.jpg)
(http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/forumimages/amber2a.jpg)
(http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/forumimages/amber3a.jpg)
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Greg D on June 21, 2004, 01:53:11 AM
Thanks for your kind words ..... Im glad the photos brought people so much joy  :)

They were the best I could get, as the room was filled with people, and being relatively small , you could not get too much in.

I would thoroughly recommend going (It took me about 15 years of wanting to before finally achieving it!) but I admit I was only there (at Tsarskoe Selo) for a few hours ... not nearly long enough... am already saving for the next trip !

Best wishes
Greg
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: missmoldavite on January 10, 2005, 06:59:44 AM
Lets discuss the Amber Room. I believe it is in the Catherine Palace!

Could we start with:

a. The history behind it. ie : For what reason, When, How and Now.
b. Where the Amber came from originally and why was it chosen?
c. What its function is for these times.

Thankyou All!
:D
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Greg D on January 10, 2005, 07:10:05 AM
There is a thread concerning the amber room on page 2 of this board "Tsarskoe Selo Palaces" .... Also the official tsarskoe selo website www.eng.tzar.ru has a fantastically detailed history of the original room , plus the modern reconstruction. Unfortunately, the site at present does not have photos of the completed amber room, which was finished in May 2003.

Greg D  :)
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: missmoldavite on January 10, 2005, 07:42:45 AM
Oh Forum Administrator suggested I start a new thread on the topic...so...? :(
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Dominic_Albanese on January 10, 2005, 09:02:28 AM
Saw this and thought you might be interested...

From: http://petersburgcity.com/editorial/amber/

The hunt for the Amber Chamber
It is a tale with all the classic ingredients of an edge-of-your-seat thriller: mystery deaths, Nazis and a modern-day chase for a stolen trove of early 18th century treasure. The fate of the Amber Chamber, in reality a set of lavishly gilded panels, has puzzled authorities, historians and researchers since the final months of World War II. On May 31, the leaders of Russia and Germany will inaugurate a costly copy of the room as part of Saint Petersburg's 300th anniversary celebrations.

It has taken 20 years, six tonnes of amber and some 11.5 million dollars to build the room as it might have looked when King Friedrich-Wilhelm of Prussia gave the panels as a present to Tsar Peter I of Russia in 1716. But the mystery of the original panels remains unsolved. "I'm regularly contacted by people, mostly elderly, claiming to know where the Amber Chamber is and who are ready to tell me, for a price," said Wolfgang Eichwede, part of the scientific committee behind the reconstruction.

Not everyone is happy with the new version. "Nothing can replace the original, it was unique," said Hans Stadelmann, a German amateur historian who has spent 15 years looking for the lost panels. The last time they were seen was in 1941 at Koenigsberg, then the main town in East Prussia but now the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. Nazi soldiers took the curved amber panels there after stripping them from Tsarskoye Selo, the summer residence of Russian tsars. But the panels disappeared in 1945 at war's end.

Stadelmann is convinced they were secreted in one of scores of inaccessible underground rooms below a Nazi-era building in Weimar, eastern Germany. His theory connects the panels to Erich Koch, a Nazi Gauleiter for Ukraine and East Prussia, whose collection of stolen art vanished at the same time as Soviet troops were entering Koenigsberg. Stadelmann says Koch, who was captured in 1949 and died in a Polish jail in 1986, confessed: "Find my collection and you'll find the Amber Chamber." His problem is that authorities in Weimar do not believe him. Assuming the panels were evacuated from Koenigsberg in time, other theories place them on a wreck in the Baltic Sea, in mines deep in east Germany's Harz mountains or even in some dusty corner of a Bavarian castle. And there are sudden deaths too, like that of Alfred Rohde, a Nazi official who was in charge in 1945 when the panels were put into crates. He died later that year. The suspicious Soviets reportedly opened the tomb in early 1946, presumably hunting for the panels, and found it empty.

Georg Stein, a German former soldier who was also looking for the treasure, was found dead in a forest in 1987, a knife in his stomach. Stadelmann said Stein's son did not believe the official verdict of suicide and claimed his father had been in touch with the Stasi, the secret police of formerly communist East Germany. The Stasi also spent years looking for the panels, even creating a special unit in the 1970-1980s to search more than 100 possible hiding-places. In 1997, a panel measuring 55 by 70.5 centimetres (21.5 by 27.5 inches) was seized by police from a lawyer in Bremen, northern Germany. It was authenticated by experts and handed back to Russia, where it served as a guideline for the reconstruction.

Hopes of finding the rest quickly faded: the panel had been plundered by a German soldier in 1941, long before the war's end. Of course, the treasure may still be hidden in a collapsed bunker somewhere in Koenigsberg. "But the probability is much greater that it was destroyed in the fighting in 1945," said Eichwede. "Or," said Stadelmann, "somebody has it, and they're keeping quiet."

BERLIN (AFP)

Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: BobAtchison on January 10, 2005, 09:59:12 AM
The new Amber Room has become a major generator of cash for the palace - huge numbers of people are being funnelled past it everyday.  I am sure the recreation will pay for itself in a very short period of time.

Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: BobAtchison on January 10, 2005, 10:02:16 AM
Amber being porous I wonder what the effect of 130 years of candle soot and hot air had on the surface of the original.  Was this patina recreated or are they going to wait for it to 'cure' with time?
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: ChristineM on January 10, 2005, 12:26:25 PM
Dear Bob

Firstly, I thought it was Ruhrgas that picked up the lion's share of the cost of the recreation of the Amber Room.

Judging by the rather garish appearance (sorry - but that's my impression) of the 'new' Amber Room, I reckon it will take several generations before the softening 'patina' returns - especially without the 'curative' effects of candle (or other) smoke.

tsaria
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Sarah1872 on January 10, 2005, 01:13:28 PM
Hello !

Here is the Catherine Palace


(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v508/Letitia-Jane/Amber%20Room/catherinepalace.jpg)

And this is a template (original design) for the Amber Room 1701

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v508/Letitia-Jane/Amber%20Room/amberroomtemplate.jpg)
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Sarah1872 on January 10, 2005, 01:17:01 PM
The Amber Room

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v508/Letitia-Jane/Amber%20Room/amberroom.jpg)
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: missmoldavite on January 11, 2005, 04:44:15 AM
Re: the patina...well nothing like the orginal....suppose it would take at least a hundred years before a decent patina could be achieved..do they still light candles and did they also do the incense burning(church incense like frankincense and myyrh?).

Wow - the original design ..in the shape of a cross....it looks rather esoteric and symbolic (for want of a better word...)?

So, who designed the original? :D I love that design!
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Forum Admin on January 11, 2005, 08:57:58 AM
First,
That is not a "cross" the room is square. that is the floor in the center and each wall laid down flat, looking down from cieling perspective, like cutting open a cardboard box.

About patina, cost of materials was much less a factor when the room was originally created and they used the finest and clearest amber for the original rooms.  It is my understanding from people who went to the workshops during the recreation that today, the Russians said flat out that they could not afford to use the very best amber like the original and were using less expensive amber.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 09, 2005, 10:19:37 PM
Quote
Thanks for your kind words ..... Im glad the photos brought people so much joy  :)

They were the best I could get, as the room was filled with people, and being relatively small , you could not get too much in.

I would thoroughly recommend going (It took me about 15 years of wanting to before finally achieving it!) but I admit I was only there (at Tsarskoe Selo) for a few hours ... not nearly long enough... am already saving for the next trip !

Best wishes
Greg


Greg, I will join the others to say: great pictures of the Amber Room! I can't believe they let you take them - when I was there last May, we were forbidden to take photos of the Amber room. We could take photos everywhere else in the CP, but not the Amber room! Not only that, but it was also forbidden to ask why we could take photos everywhere else but the Amber room! I know because I asked, and I got yelled at  :o ;D. But to make up for that, they gave us each a free book with the pictures of the Amber Room an individual items there :).
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Belochka on March 09, 2005, 10:42:33 PM
Quote
I can't believe they let you take them - when I was there last May, we were forbidden to take photos of the Amber room.


I am surprised to here that! :o

I took two rolls of film at the C.P. including the Amber room. Perhaps the dejurnaya on my visit was being nice, just as long as I did not proceed beyond the rope.  ;) At the time the room was empty of tourist groups with guides. ;D
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 09, 2005, 10:49:08 PM
Boy, they must have really not liked our group!  ;) Maybe this was a recent development though (the "no photo" rule). When were you there Belochka? I remember that I did ask the guide why we couldn't take pictures there and she said it was because the flash can ruin the amber (???). So then I asked if I could take some pictures without a flash, and this was when I got yelled at!  She even told me not to ask stupid questions!  :o  So then I just shut right up because I didn't want to be escorted out of the CP under convoy  ;) ;D.

But like I said, in the end, they did give us each a book with all the pictures we would have taken, so I suppose that was ok...  ::)
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Belochka on March 09, 2005, 11:15:36 PM
Quote
I remember that I did ask the guide why we couldn't take pictures there and she said it was because the flash can ruin the amber


I was there in June 2002 and used 1600 and 400 speed film. Two cameras in tow when inside and a third unit for the outside. Many facilities did not mind me taking photos (even if I had to pay a few extra rubles, but flash in most cases was not permitted). Hence I came fully prepared. ;D

Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 09, 2005, 11:20:17 PM
Quote

I was there in June 2002 ...


Maybe this rule came into effect in 2004 since I think Greg was there in 2003 and was also allowed to take pictures? I would like to believe that this is the case, rather than that we had been singled out and forbiddend to take photos while everyone else could!
:-/  ;)
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Belochka on March 09, 2005, 11:37:53 PM
I think its very random. ;)

What was the booklet you received? I had to purchase mine, along with a larger general C.P. book.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Greg D on March 10, 2005, 01:54:29 AM
Hi Helen and Belochka,

It seems that the "No Photography" rule is a constantly changing reality of Russian museums !

In june 2003, I was able quite happily to take photos inside the Catherine Palace, there was even no charge for doing so (unlike in Peterhof Great Palace). To my dismay though, photography was forbidden in the Alexander Palace ... Perhaps this has since changed, as I see that some people have managed to photograph the interiors since then  ???

Sorry to hear Helen you were unable to take the photos you wanted, I will hunt to see if I have any more :)
I think its just the Russian way if sometimes they seem slightly brusque  ;)

Greg
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 10, 2005, 06:11:24 AM
I was told that the flash can bleach the amber- not one or two, of course, but if thousands did it, real damage could be done. Also, the Amber Room is copyrighted.
I was in awe of the place and people taking flash pictures would have been most distracting anyway.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 10, 2005, 02:16:49 PM
Quote
Hi Helen and Belochka,

It seems that the "No Photography" rule is a constantly changing reality of Russian museums !
To my dismay though, photography was forbidden in the Alexander Palace ... Perhaps this has since changed, as I see that some people have managed to photograph the interiors since then  ???

Sorry to hear Helen you were unable to take the photos you wanted, I will hunt to see if I have any more :)
I think its just the Russian way if sometimes they seem slightly brusque  ;)

Greg


Hi Greg,

Yes, they indeed "changed" the photography rules at the AP (what a surprise  ::)). When I was there in May, there were no restrictions as to taking photos and I was happily able to snap away at my leisure! Seems that these rules are basically "however the mood strikes them"  ??? ;) I have many photos of the interiors of the AP which I posted on this site, and many which I didn't!

Helen

P.S. I'd love to see more of your Amber room photos!
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 10, 2005, 02:22:13 PM
Quote
What was the booklet you received?


It was a softcover book (actually pretty nice) which had color photos and descriptions of the Amber room, along with origins of the specific objects there. We even had a choice of languages: English, Russian, German or French! I am going to see if I can find it and post a picture of it, right now I have it hidden somewhere in a "safe place" (and as of this moment no idea where that might be!   ;D)
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Belochka on March 10, 2005, 07:38:48 PM
Quote
I was told that the flash can bleach the amber- not one or two, of course, but if thousands did it, real damage could be done. Also, the Amber Room is copyrighted.


I am more inclined to believe the copyright issue. It must have become more strict after the official opening. ;)

I will try later to post a few of my own images.  ;)
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 10, 2005, 08:07:01 PM
Quote

I am more inclined to believe the copyright issue. It must have become more strict after the official opening. ;)


I think you're right, this is probably why they gave out the books instead of allowing photos!
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Belochka on March 11, 2005, 07:46:28 PM
We must give full credit to the modern craftsmen and architects, under the direction of Alexander Kedrinsky, who so skillfully recreated the magnificance of this room.

The parquetry has also been reproduced from valuable woods, while the gilded gold leaf decor all add a distinctive dimension to the rich golden glow.

It took 20 years  to accumulate this amber, supplied solely by the Kalingrad Amber Factory.

On May 31, 2003 on the occassion of St. Petersburg's Tercentenary, this room was inaugurated.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: lexi4 on April 02, 2005, 05:20:35 PM
Quote
There is a thread concerning the amber room on page 2 of this board "Tsarskoe Selo Palaces" .... Also the official tsarskoe selo website www.eng.tzar.ru has a fantastically detailed history of the original room , plus the modern reconstruction. Unfortunately, the site at present does not have photos of the completed amber room, which was finished in May 2003.

Greg D  :)

I was unable to fine the thread concerning the amber room. Is it still available? I would like to find it. Thanks.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: shelly on April 05, 2005, 07:13:13 PM
It is really hard to see how they did it. It is like a tile work but tile works a kid could do. Who could do this?  Like re-building  a New England stone wall. I bet they would not let you run your hands over it and I would sure like to feel it. Hard to find people who have the time for this type art any more.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 05, 2005, 08:10:36 PM
I have seen a lot of "drop yer jaw" art work over the years, but this room is abolutely enchanting.  The work itself deserves the highest praise, but the legends and history add to that even more ! The patina of age may never return, but it's present state is still amazing. I have every intention of seeing it again.  Winter sunlight & dusk were beautiful, hopefully late summer next time.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: ChristineM on April 06, 2005, 05:02:39 AM
The amber master in charge of the reconstruction of the Amber Room was Igdalov.

Until they received the huge amount of funding from Ruhr Gas, each piece of amber was softened using an ordinary hand-held hairdryer.

The $3,500,000 grant received from Ruhr Gas made it possible to complete the room in time for the St Petersburg Tercentenary Celebrations.   As well as allowing Igdalov and his jewellers to buy large quantities of amber when it came on the market, they were also able to buy in the latest technology to use in the moulding of the amber.  

Without Ruhr Gas' generous donation, it was estimated it would have taken a further eight years to complete.   In other words, four years from now.

tsaria
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: hikaru on April 06, 2005, 09:02:48 AM
But before they received from German Company the grant,which was very necessary to finalize the work, they were receiving huge amounts of fund during Soviet Union from the state. The fixed huge State's  financing began from 1979 and it contunued till 1991.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on April 06, 2005, 02:22:57 PM
Hello everybody,

Last time i saw the room, that was in 2003, the restoration was not finished. I mean that even if the amber panels are all done and put in place, i missed the sconces that used to be in the middle of each of the long narrow mirrors. I hope you understand what i mean.

Does anyone know if they have been restored since 2003?

Antonio.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 15, 2005, 07:21:51 AM
Quote
Does anyone know if they have been restored since 2003?

Antonio.


Antonio, the room is now complete. It was completed in 2003 I believe, so you must have just missed it! But in all actuality it was not really restored but reconstructed. Nothing from the room actually survived, except for one panel. I am not sure if this panel is now in the room. I had the opportunity to take a tour of the workshop where the reconstruction was done, and was shown exactly how it was done. It's very interesting! I took lots of photos, and I will post them when I get back home in a couple of weeks. A little later I will also post the website link where amber works made by the same masters can be seen.  

Also, according to one of the amber masters, amber does get damaged by light, hence it is true about the flash photography. Amber, being an organic matter doesn't last very long like real stones. The present restored room will only last about 250 years until all amber completely falls apart...  :(
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 30, 2005, 06:01:18 AM
Here is a link to the Amber Room and Workshop website, where you can view pieces of amber art made  by the exact same six artists who created the Amber Room.
 

www.amberroom.ru
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Belochka on August 30, 2005, 10:31:34 PM
Quote
Also, according to one of the amber masters, amber does get damaged by light, hence it is true about the flash photography. Amber, being an organic matter doesn't last very long like real stones. The present restored room will only last about 250 years until all amber completely falls apart...  :(


Greetings Helen_A,

I am curious about the appearance of the original Amber panels. Would they not have appeared degraded by the time the nazi's removed them in WWII?

Gem grade amber is soft and so fragile it can easily crumble when used in construction... could that fragility be the reason for the short life span of the new Amber room?

Thank you for the interesting link!  :)


Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 31, 2005, 05:06:45 AM
Quote

Greetings Helen_A,

I am curious about the appearance of the original Amber panels. Would they not have appeared degraded by the time the nazi's removed them in WWII?


Hi Belochka  :),

I think you are abolutely right, anything that survived until WWII would probably have been in pretty bad shape, strictly because of time factor. I think that many people are currently under the impression that the Amber Room was "stolen' but then returned and restored, which is understandable because this is sort of how it was presented. But in reality, the room was completely reconstructed.

I asked one of the amber masters about this surviving panel, but it doesn't sound like it is actually part of the room now. In any case, if the amber from the original room wasn't taken out by the Germans in the 40's, it would not be in good shape right now, as amber only lasts around 200-250 years... They would have had to reconstruct it right about now, or earlier, anyway.

Apparently, the Germans felt that the Amber Room actually belonged to them, because it originally belonged to Prussia. The story goes that Peter the Great somehow extorted it from a Prussian ruler, I can't remember now exactly how it went, but that it had to be given to him. So as far the Germans were concerned in the 1940's, they were just taking back what was rightly theirs*. Even this time, the amber that was used to resconstruct the room came from the sea in Kaliningrad(?), which is a former Prussian city, and this is where the original amber came from as well.  

[*Of course during WWII, the Germans also helped themselves to a lot of other things in TS that had nothing whasoever to do with Germany, but that's a differrent story.... ]

Quote

Gem grade amber is soft and so fragile it can easily crumble when used in construction... could that fragility be the reason for the short life span of the new Amber room?


According to the amber masters at CP, most amber they use is very light in color. They use various dyes to match the pieces to the original ones, matched from old photos and watercolors. So none of the dark pieces are naturally dark! This came as a surprise to me because I thought that the different colors of amber in the room were natural. But I saw all the dyes they used, and I saw the original pieces, most of which were pale yellow. I even received a couple of the unprocessed pieces as a souvenir  :D.

I will give more details of what I learned about the Amber Room, and also include my photos, in the travelogue which I am going to write for this site, hopefully in a few weeks.

Helen

Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: ChristineM on August 31, 2005, 06:30:55 AM
Wasn't it one of the mosaics that was returned from Germany?   We were at the Catherine Palace at its official handover.

tsaria
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: hikaru on August 31, 2005, 08:59:20 AM
I think that it is one of the 5 Florentine's mosaic - it is mosaic of sense of touch.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 31, 2005, 10:25:57 AM
Quote
I think that it is one of the 5 Florentine's mosaic - it is mosaic of sense of touch.


Yes, I believe that it was indeed the Florentine mosaic, but I am not sure if this means that its amber frame had survived too, or just the mosaic. I am also not sure whether this original mosaic is part of the Amber Room right now or not, I didn't think so, but I may be wrong.  Or it may be kept be elsewhere at the CP. Basically, I just can't remember what they told me about that, because I didn't write it down!  :(

H
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: hikaru on August 31, 2005, 10:41:34 AM
Original  is not the part of the present wall , because the museum received it after the mosaic was installed into the amber's wall.
On 2003 the original was exhibited in the room , not it is not exhibited.
The intresting thing that the new one much more better than original one ( from the point of view of the quality's of work)
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 31, 2005, 03:36:32 PM
Quote
Original  is not the part of the present wall , because the museum received it after the mosaic was installed into the amber's wall.
On 2003 the original was exhibited in the room , not it is not exhibited.


Thank you, hikaru, that's what I thought, but I wasn't sure.

Quote
The intresting thing that the new one much more better than original one ( from the point of view of the quality's of work)


I think that this is often the case!  ;)

Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Belochka on August 31, 2005, 09:14:38 PM
Quote
According to the amber masters at CP, most amber they use is very light in color. They use various dyes to match the pieces to the original ones, matched from old photos and watercolors. So none of the dark pieces are naturally dark! This came as a surprise to me because I thought that the different colors of amber in the room were natural. But I saw all the dyes they used, and I saw the original pieces, most of which were pale yellow.

Helen


Greetings Helen!

I come across information that the pale yellow -> honey tones of this resin, are the natural variety, whereas the other darker varieties are the product of oxidation.

Perhaps because all the Krasnodar amber specimens were the natural form, this may be the reason why color enhancement was employed? ???

Unlike lucky your wonderful souvenirs, I purchased mine in St. P with and without the insect inclusions, which in effect are marvellous fossils. ;D  
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Tania+ on August 31, 2005, 11:14:47 PM
Is Amber found only in Russia?
Are there different types of amber?
Sorry, don't know much about amber?
Does anyone know?

Tania
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Belochka on September 01, 2005, 12:00:30 AM
Hi Tania,

Amber is a fossilized resin produced from different types of trees (e.g. pines) that take millions of years to form.

They are characterized by:

1. color - includes  pale yellows, yellow,orange, red, creamy white, brown, green, blue, and black. The darker colours are said to be attributted to decayed organic matter that is characteristic of a marshy environment.

2. degree of transparency - transparent to cloudy.

Amber is further characterized by its

3.  location - marine or land procurement, and

4. Chemical composition- Baltic amber was considered to be the most pure form.

Amber may be found in numerous geographic locations around the world.  

The largest reserve is in Kaliningrad Oblast', in Russia, which houses the Amber Museum.

The U.S., New Zealand, Japan, England, Lebanon, Burma and in the Baltic Countries (Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia) have varying grades and reserves.

Amber was used by the ancient Chinese craftsmen.

I love amber very much. :)
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 01, 2005, 06:21:06 AM
Quote


I come across information that the pale yellow -> honey tones of this resin, are the natural variety, whereas the other darker varieties are the product of oxidation. 


Yes, that's absolutely right. I believe that this is what they said at the workshop about the color variations.

Quote

Perhaps because all the Krasnodar amber specimens were the natural form, this may be the reason why color enhancement was employed? ???


"Krasnodar" in my earlier post should actually read "Kaliningrad", sorry, that was my mistake.
Yes, I think that most of the amber they get from there seems to be of the pale yellow kind, so in order to create variations they dye it different hues.


Quote

Unlike lucky your wonderful souvenirs, I purchased mine in St. P with and without the insect inclusions, which in effect are marvellous fossils. ;D  


They showed me one piece with an insect in it, this was thought to be an original insect from when the amber was first formed - the fossil. The insect was so small that you could barely see it. Plus it was not exactly intact, unlike the specimen we see for sale at amber shops. I was told that the pieces with larger insects in them that look nice and intact are generally man-made/mass produced. The amber is real, the insects are real, but the bugs are incorporated into the amber solely for decoration ( :P) and commercial purposes, and are not original part of the amber (ala Jurassic Park  ;)) ... Of course there are many amber pieces out there with original insect fossils in them, but they probably wouldn't really sell because judged by the one I saw, they look pretty nasty- sort of like a tiny squashed bug!  :o

Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Belochka on September 01, 2005, 08:31:24 AM
Quote
The amber is real, the insects are real, but the bugs are incorporated into the amber solely for decoration ( :P) and commercial purposes, and are not original part of the amber (ala Jurassic Park  ;)) ... Of course there are many amber pieces out there with original insect fossils in them, but they probably wouldn't really sell because judged by the one I saw, they look pretty nasty- sort of like a tiny squashed bug!  :o


Many amber pieces with inclusions are indeed a marketing gimmick. A small hole is bored into the amber, and a nice intact insect is neatly inserted, before the hole is sealed with fast drying modern resin of comparable color.

The real value of genuine amber inclusions - is that the inclusions are of extinct species of seeds, insects etc. - even if they are a bit squashed! :o
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Tania+ on September 01, 2005, 10:10:04 AM
Hi Belochka,

Somewhere in my collection of jewlery, I have an amber broach, that was given to me by a dear friend who was from Russia. It is dark in color, with leaves and looks like a bug inside the amber. It's very lovely, and one of my favorite gems.

When we were in Russia, I also purchased one of those amber spiders, but the color of that amber is completely different from the amber of my broach. The spider pin, is a clear yellow, where as the broach is the color of the amber in the rooms of the palace.

Thank you also Helen for your sharing. Now at least for my daughter, I have a reference point to allow her to read for herself, about amber.

Thanks again.

Tania
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Belochka on September 03, 2005, 02:37:14 AM
You are most welcome Tania!

I am sure that your amber pieces bring you much pleasure, as ours do for my daughter and myself.

Belochka  :)
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 03, 2005, 03:09:41 PM
You're welcome, Tania, it's my pleasure.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: ChristineM on September 07, 2005, 08:06:08 AM
Re the Florentine mosaic which was returned to Tsarskoe Selo Museums, the following recollection of Dr Burkhardt Gores the Director of Palaces, Prussian Palaces and Gardens, may be of interest -

'.....   One day the chief of the Potsdam police informed me in confidence that an allegedly original Florentine mosaic from the Amber Room, inserted in panelling by Tsarina Elizabeth after 1755, was being offered in Bremen under suspicious circumstances.   My task was to determine whether it actually was the original.   During my next visit to the amber master's workshop I discovered, however, that an excellent reproduction lay almost finished before me on the work-bench.   In order to be well equipped for identifying the mosaic in Bremen, I received good advice from the gem carvers and restorers and was provided with detailed enlargements of old photographs of this mosaic.

'During the subsequent feigned purchasing in Bremen under the responsibility of Peter Shultheiss from the criminal police in Potsdam, I was convinced of the authenticity of the mosaic.   This led to its immediate confiscation and subsequently its solemn return by the German Government to the Russian Government.   Together with the mosaic, a chest of drawers which had stood in the Amber Room before the Second World War and was rediscovered in a German private collection, was returned.   '....the mosaic had, as it turned out, been stolen by an officer of the German army before the Amber Room was transferred to Konigsberg.'

tsaria
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Belochka on September 07, 2005, 10:30:49 PM
Quote
This led to its immediate confiscation and subsequently its solemn return by the German Government to the Russian Government.   Together with the mosaic, a chest of drawers which had stood in the Amber Room before the Second World War and was rediscovered in a German private collection, was returned.   '....the mosaic had, as it turned out, been stolen by an officer of the German army before the Amber Room was transferred to Konigsberg.'


This is very interesting!

Thanks Tsaria for presenting these details.

Do you know when the stolen items were returned?
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: nikks on September 09, 2005, 08:57:31 AM
I think in the 70s
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: ChristineM on September 09, 2005, 09:51:18 AM
If I recall correctly it was 2000 or 2001, Belochka.   We were present at the official handover, but I cannot remember exactly which visit.

tsaria
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Valmont on September 09, 2005, 02:21:10 PM
i GOT THIS FROM THE 7/24/00 ISSUE OF  US NEWS.
It is an article by  Chystian  Caryl


It vanished in the wake of World War II–an 11-foot-square hall walled with amber and other semiprecious stones and worth $142 million in today's dollars. One of the only pieces to be found is a small mosaic of jasper and onyx.

In 1716, the king of Prussia presented the Amber Room, a masterpiece of Baroque art, to Russian Czar Peter the Great. Catherine the Great later commissioned a new generation of craftsmen to embellish the room and moved it from the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to her new summer abode in Tsarskoye Selo, just outside the city. "When the work was finished, in 1770, the room was dazzling," wrote art historians Konstantin Akinsha and Grigorii Kozlov. "It was illuminated by 565 candles whose light was reflected in the warm gold surface of the amber and sparkled in the mirrors, gilt, and mosaics."

This opulent gesture of friendship between Russians and Germans would come to serve as a potent symbol of their divisions. When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, his troops overran Tsarskoye Selo, dismantled the panels of the oversized jewel box, packed them up in 27 crates, and shipped them to Königsberg, Germany (today's Kaliningrad). In January 1945, after air raids and a savage ground assault on the city, the room's trail was lost.

After the war, the German official in charge of the amber shipment said the crates were in a castle that burned down in an air raid. A Soviet investigator found a charred fragment from the room. Others think the palace sank to the bottom of the Baltic Sea in a torpedoed steamer or was stashed in an abandoned mine in Thuringia. Serious historians of the subject have little hope that the room will ever be found. Nonetheless, the Internet bubbles with Amber Room-related theories. A German film company even made an Indiana Jones-style movie based on the story.

War trophy. Reality caught up with the fantasies in 1997, when a group of German art detectives, including a former Stasi agent, heard talk that someone was trying to hawk a piece of the Amber Room. Police raided the office of a lawyer in Bremen who was trying to sell the work for a client–the son of a German officer who had accompanied the wartime convoy to Königsberg. The son said he had no idea how his father got the mosaic. One theory is that the crates of amber were bombed on the road and the father swiped a chunk of the room as a war trophy, figuring no one would be the wiser. In April, officials from Berlin presented the recovered mosaic to Russian President Vladimir Putin–along with an intricately inlaid chest from the Amber Room that had also turned up–in a goodwill ceremony faintly and oddly reminiscent of that first kingly gift just under 300 years ago.


Arturo Vega Llausás

Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: nikks on September 09, 2005, 02:22:21 PM
I viseted the room, it's very nice to see, though boring. :o
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Belochka on September 09, 2005, 11:42:08 PM
Thanks Valmont for the extremely interesting article. :)

Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 10, 2005, 02:21:51 AM
Boring ? I think not.
Actually, I will be looking for some pieces to fit my own "Amber Room".  My doll's house. Cannot recreate, of course, but just the right lighting...
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Greg D on September 12, 2005, 01:50:27 AM
Boring  ??? :o

How can anyone call such a monumental piece of work Boring ??

I agree it might not be to everybodies taste, but one cannot fail to be impressed by the craftmanship that went into the recreation, or the sheer "stateliness" of the room ... It was created to impress, and so it surely does.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Belochka on September 12, 2005, 02:23:57 AM
The new Amber Room is an outstanding example of Russian ingenuity. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the world.

While the re-creation was long and laborious it was exacting and close to perfection.

Russians take immense pride with this achievement.

To suggest that it is "boring" can only be held as an insult to the masters who created it.

:(
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: M_Breheny on September 19, 2005, 04:10:09 PM
When I visited the Catherine Palace in July we were allowed to take photographs, for a fee, or everything except the Amber Room. No pictures, with or without flash, were permitted in that room.   I had to make do with a beautiful postcard.  The Amber Room truly is magnificent and I loved viewing it.  As for size, I think it did seem a bit smaller than I had originally thought it would be -- but it still was spectacular.

Mary
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Helen_Azar on October 31, 2005, 08:17:01 PM
Here is the link to the travelogue of my tour of the Amber Shop at the Catherine Palace:  

http://www.geocities.com/mushkah/Amberroom.html
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Lucien on November 09, 2005, 03:06:41 PM
http://www.mehras.net/russia_pages/01_28_tsarskoe_selo/027_v_amber_room.jpg

http://www.mehras.net/russia_pages/01_28_tsarskoe_selo/026_v_amber_eagle_emblem.jpg
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Helen_Azar on December 06, 2005, 05:37:00 PM
Amber jewerly & objects d'art created by one of the   six artisans who worked on the Amber Room reconstruction:

http://www.geocities.com/mushkah/AmberArt.html



Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Lucien on February 21, 2008, 05:24:49 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=516707&in_page_id=1811

Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Vladimir_V. on February 21, 2008, 10:38:32 AM
Big PR for the small town.

Every year the same.

found found found
Can you tell me why they use the verb ‘find’ in the Past?



Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: ChristineM on February 21, 2008, 02:13:40 PM
Boris Yegdalov (the amber master) used to always say that the Amber Room 'would no sooner be finished than the original would be found'.

tsaria
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Alixz on March 26, 2008, 10:21:54 PM
As the Navajo say "Nothing stays buried forever."
Title: Daily Mail article regarding Amber Room.
Post by: rosieposie on November 07, 2013, 02:34:18 AM
Just read an article where a descendant of the man who's father had many artworks by famous artists since WWII says his father knew what happened to the amber room and where the amber is stored.

Thought I share.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2489151/Can-weirdo-hid-Nazi-art-solve-The-Amber-Room-mystery.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2489151/Can-weirdo-hid-Nazi-art-solve-The-Amber-Room-mystery.html)
Title: Re: Daily Mail article regarding Amber Room.
Post by: Forum Admin on November 07, 2013, 09:02:07 AM
Well, the headline describes him as a "weirdo", and goes on to say that even his own family thinks he is "not right in the head" (my words not theirs, just paraphrasing).  He lied about the art being destroyed in the bombing of Dresden.  I don't put much credence to his claim that he "can tell you were the Amber Room is". Especially since the answer of that might just be "The Amber Room is in ashes in the ruins of Konigsberg Castle."
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Alexandre Mikhaelovitch on November 09, 2013, 07:49:35 AM
In this article , the photo in black and white IS NOT the Amber room !!! ......
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Greg D on November 09, 2013, 08:48:29 AM
Yes it looks more like the Arabesque Hall....though not surprised the Daily Mail got it wrong  ::)
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Joanna on July 18, 2017, 10:54:22 AM
The Amber Room and the Wine Bottle

https://winterpalaceresearch.blogspot.ca/2017/07/the-amber-room-and-wine-bottle.html

Joanna
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Sanochka on July 19, 2017, 09:46:08 AM
Joanna, the photo you posted in your link above is the first I've ever seen of the Amber Room with its windows.  It's stunning.  Thanks so much for providing this new perspective (at least for me) of this magnificent room.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Joanna on July 30, 2017, 07:31:23 PM
Joanna, the photo you posted in your link above is the first I've ever seen of the Amber Room with its windows.  It's stunning.  Thanks so much for providing this new perspective (at least for me) of this magnificent room.

I am in awe of the photographer's shot of the room. I had never realized the amber room was so beautiful with its ceiling, doors and windows.

Joanna

Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: TimM on December 06, 2017, 08:11:49 AM
There is this show on the History Channel called Hunting Nazi Treasure, in which they try to track down priceless works of art that the Nazis looted, which is still missing today.

Last night they talked about the Amber Room and where it might have gone.  One theory is that it's still in Russia, in Kaliningrad.  That part of Russia was once part of Germany, and the theory is that the Nazis hid it in an underground bunker, as the Soviets approached, and then sealed the bunker off. 

There is this fellow who wants to dig the bunker up.  However, safety concerns have so far thwarted that effort. 

I wonder if the Amber Room is indeed in that bunker.
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Sanochka on December 08, 2017, 09:53:06 AM
I've always wondered, now that the Amber Room has been reconstructed, what would happen to the original should it ever be found?
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Joanna on January 09, 2018, 05:58:33 PM
I've always wondered, now that the Amber Room has been reconstructed, what would happen to the original should it ever be found?

The reconstructed Amber Room is a work of art that will be a wonder for centuries. Wasn't the original Amber Room first placed in the Winter Palace, dismantled and moved by the Empress to the Catherine Palace? If the original or parts are one day discovered, it will probably be displayed either in St. Petersburg or Moscow.

Joanna
Title: Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on January 15, 2018, 05:29:00 PM
I’ve pmed you on the subject Joanna!

Regards,

Antonio