The Pearl of Putilov
The Pearl of Putilov
The Pearl of Putilov. An exceptional brooch of natural pearls and diamonds.
Putilov, a man of great wealth and resources, was a great fan of jewelry and a well-known client of Fabergé. After the revolution, Lenin himself signed a decree confiscating Alexei Putilov's possessions, forcing him to flee Russia to Paris. With him, he managed to smuggle this magnificent pearl brooch that was then handed down through the family and finally to his nephew, emigrated to America in the 50. s. Finding a jewel with such a chess past, in perfect condition and building over a century ago is a real treasure.
Nikolai Putilov, a retired official of the naval ministry, purchased the Kirov plant in 1868. Since it was founded in 1789, it was a large Russian industrial factory in St. Petersburg that acted as a foundry for cannon balls. He renamed it Putilov Company. The factory carried its name beyond its death in 1880, during which the factory produced most of Russia's steel rails and, as a whole, collected almost a quarter of all state orders for locomotives and wagons. In 1917 it was the largest business in the city of St. Petersburg.
February 1917 was the first of two revolutions that shook the world and changed the world's political map forever. Russia was experiencing severe political and economic instability, combined with poor management of the war effort and rampant corruption. Military defeats continued, workers at the Putilov
plant announced a strike to protest against the government. The majority of the people had lost faith in the Tsarist regime, which had constantly ignored the wishes of the Russian parliament. The streets of Petersgrad (today's St. Petersburg) have been flooded with workers in protest. The revolt was joined by those who celebrated International Women's Day, particularly angry about the food rationing system of Russian governments. In the end, nearly 200.000 protesters walked the streets asking for an end to autocracy and the replacement of the tsar with a more liberal political leader. In March, almost all industrial companies in Petrograde were closed.
As the year passed and the popularity of Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik party gradually increased, pressure on the temporary government increased as dissatisfaction with the war continued. Soldiers began to disobey orders and the revolutionary atmosphere grew. In November Lenin led his socialist revolutionaries against the ineffective government, replacing him with Soviets, elected by groups of peasants and workers. This led to the formation of the Soviet Union and the Russian Civil War.
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The world's largest known near-round, natural saltwater pearl. Sarah Churgin, who directs the jewelry and silver department at Rago, describes the Putilov brooch as one with “a pearl the size of a quail egg on a cracker of diamonds.” The surrounding mine-cut diamonds total about 28 carats. The pearl has not been removed from its setting, therefore a precise weight is not known.