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Bolin K.E. firm

The name of Bolin K.E. firm in the mass consciousness is in the shadow of its long-term "young" competitor K. Faberge. Although Bolin's name is as well known and significant to specialists as Faberge's name. There are several reasons for this. The fact is that Faberge once made several brilliant managerial moves that immortalized his name, pushing such a brand as Bolin K.E. to the periphery of public consciousness. But more on that below ...

The history of the Bolin K.E. company[54] began at the very end of the XVIII century. The beginning was very thorough, since the founder of the business, Andrei Grigoryevich Rempler, a native of Saxony, who came to St. Petersburg in the last years of Catherine II's life (1790), already during the reign of emperors Paul I and Alexander I had the prestigious title of court jeweler and appraiser of His Imperial Majesty's Cabinet (since 1823) [55]. Like many foreigners, he took root in Russia and in 1809 accepted Russian citizenship with his whole family. It was an anxious time of the Napoleonic Wars, and A.G. Rempler hastened to demonstrate loyalty to the new homeland.

As it has often been practiced since the Middle Ages, the jewelry "business" was a family business, and after the death of A. Rempler in 1829, the business passed into the hands of the widow and son–in-law - jeweler Gottlieb Ernst Jan, married to Rempler's eldest daughter Sofia, during the life of his father-in-law, he became his partner. At the time of the transfer of the case into the hands of G.E. Yang, he was already serving as an appraiser and was a supplier of jewelry to the Imperial Court.

Gottlieb Ernst Jan entered the history of jewelry mainly by the fact that in 1831 by order of Nicholas I, he executed a diamond necklace with opals, which cost the emperor 169,601 rubles. The necklace was intended as a gift to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna from the Emperor on the occasion of the birth of her son, Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich (the elder). The indicated value of the jewelry remained a record until 1894.

Researchers often point to a jewelry that has become a new record holder in price: a pearl necklace purchased in 1894 from K. Faberge for 177,600 rubles .[56] Alexander III for Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich, which he presented to his bride Alice of Hesse[57]. Looking ahead, we note that this is not the case. In fact, then the most expensive thing was a sapphire parure worth 212 244 rubles, made by Friedrich Kehli. The second place in value was then taken by a ruby parure (190,295 rubles), made by Karl Bolin's son, Eduard.

A.G. Rempler's second son-in-law, jeweler Karl Eduard Bolin (1805-1864), who arrived in St. Petersburg in 1831, began his career as an accountant with Jan in 1833 in 1834. he, following the beaten path, married Ernestine Katarina Rempler, as a result of which he became a co-owner of the company, which became known as "Jan and Bolin".

After the death of G.E. Yan in 1836, three relatives continued to successfully conduct the business of the firm: Karl Eduard Bolin, his mother-in-law Anna Rempler and the widow of the jeweler Jan Sofia (the eldest daughter of A.G. Rempler).

The success of the affairs of the family jewelry company is evidenced by the decree of Nicholas I, which took place in 1839, granting Karl Eduard Bolin and Sofia Rempler the title of "court jewelers". The algorithm for obtaining such a prestigious title was simple and win-win. The fact is that the jewelers applied for the title directly to the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, who was well known for the products of the company "Yan and Bolin". In a memo written by order of the Empress by her secretary (April 25, 1839) addressed to the Minister of the Imperial Court, Prince P.M. Volkonsky, it was stated: "The late appraiser of the Imperial Cabinet Andrei Rempler, who owned the best diamond shop in the local capital… The successors of the late Rempler, his daughter Sofia Yan and son-in-law Eduard Bolin, the real owners of the same store, were equally honored to produce diamond items for Their Imperial Majesties and Their Imperial Highnesses... to ask ... to add the title of Court Jewelers to the firm of their store"[58].

Note that initially it was only about the daughter of the jeweler Rempler – Sofia Yan and his son-in-law Karl Eduard Bolin. The official documents accompanying the correspondence emphasized that "the work of the Rempler Yang jewelers has always been done to the pleasure of Her Imperial Majesty and it would be very pleasant for Her Majesty if it were possible to satisfy their request."

Naturally, the request of the Empress was supported by the leadership of the Cabinet. But in a note dated April 28, 1839, two more jewelers were added to the names of Sofia Yan and Karl Eduard Bolin: "The petitioner's father and husband, as well as herself and her son-in-law Bolin, really did various diamond things for Her Majesty and for the Cabinet for more than twenty years... to draw Your Lordship's attention to the appraisers of the Cabinet of Jewelers Yannasha and Camerera, who, being in the Office at the service, at regular places, the first since 1802, and the last since 1835, have also done and are doing the diamond things ordered by the Cabinet ... with no less skill and care and, consequently, they have more rights to the title of Court Jewelers"[59].

Prince P.M. Volkonsky did not object and came out with the relevant documents to report to Nicholas I, who on April 29, 1839 granted four masters the title of "court jewelers".

The professional level of Karl Eduard Bolin is indirectly evidenced by the marks in the "Book of Crown Diamonds, Diamond things and Pearls". When Nicholas I at the end of 1841 began to prepare for a silver wedding (July 1, 1842), he decided to give his wife, who loved jewelry trinkets, an expensive decoration – a diamond tiara with pearls. The material for the work, as has happened more than once, was supposed to be taken from the Diamond Room of the Winter Palace. The emperor entrusted this responsible work to Karl Eduard Bolin, who had long specialized in the manufacture of expensive diamond jewelry.

In the "Book of crown diamonds, diamond things and pearls" it is indicated that 3 diamonds weighing 4 3/32 carats were taken out of the sclavage "on December 5, 1841 for a tiara with pearls and released to jeweler Bolin. There are 12 diamonds left in the sclavage." In addition, for the sake of the imperial gift, they broke the "product" No. 289 "A diamond bow in the middle of which is a large flat pearl with three large, non-rolling pearl pandelocs and two small, and one diamond pandelocs weighing about 22 grains".

Let us repeat once again that diamonds and pearls were given to Karl Bolin on December 5, 1841, and already on January 2, 1842, a "Tiara made up of crown diamonds and pearls" was added to the list of things in the Diamond Room for No. 629[60]. The legendary diamond tiara, made in 1842, included [61] (Table. 6):

Similar responsible assignments happened later. So, on December 5, 1852, "in the presence of a member of the Cabinet of the real privy councilor Petukhov and the chamber-Frau Ellis, the court jeweler Bolin took out of the hedgehog, listed under No. 84 of the seventh diamonds ... used on 2 parts of the necklace in the form of pendants"[62]. By this time (from 1851 to 1864), Karl Eduard Bolin was an appraiser of the E.I.V. Cabinet and was awarded gold medals on the Anninskaya and Vladimir ribbons.

Over time, Bolin and Yan became well-known not only in Russia, but also in Europe. This happened after the success at the 1851 World's Fair in London, when the English press, covering the work of the exhibition, highly appreciated the jewelry made by the firm of Karl Eduard Bolin. At the same time, Nicholas I then bought a large jewelry with huge sapphires and diamonds for his wife.

At that time, many considered it "impossible for our Fatherland to excel or even compete with other states, especially France, the legislator of fashion and taste." Nevertheless, the works of Bolin and Yang were awarded the highest praise, as they "decisively surpassed everything in the perfection of the frames" that was presented in London. The central place in the showcase of Bolin's company was occupied by an ornament with a unique ruby of 44 carats and a steel pearl of 19 carats, studded with a huge number of diamonds and diamond roses. We emphasize that in the last decade of the reign of Nicholas I and throughout the reign of Alexander II, Bolin K.E. was a leading supplier of diamond products to the Imperial Court.

In 1864 at the age of 59, Karl Eduard Bolin died. The management of the family firm passed to his sons – Eduard and Gustav, who from the same time became appraisers of the Cabinet and court jewelers. The documents indicate: "Bolins, brothers Eduard and Gustav, hereditary honorary citizens, jewelers. On granting them the right to be called court E.I.V. jewelers, the highest permission followed in 1864." The leading role in the family firm was played by Eduard Bolin (1842-1926), it was he who created in 1871 the Trading house "Bolin K.E."[63], which remained until 1917. among the suppliers of the Highest Court.

Eduard Bolin continued his father's work. When, in November 1865, an audit of the "crown diamonds" was carried out in the Diamond Room of the Winter Palace, he checked the evaluation of the jewels carried out earlier by his father. The document explicitly states: "The said assessment was compiled by my former appraiser of the Cabinet E.V., the court jeweler Bolin, who was my deceased parent when evaluating things, and I checked it. Eduard Bolin"[64].

At the All-Russian Manufactory Exhibition in St. Petersburg in 1870, the products of the Bolin K.E. company were recognized as the best. 11 jewelers from St. Petersburg, Moscow and Helsingfors participated in this "peaceful competition on the basis of the art industry". As a result, "the first place, both in terms of the elegance of the drawing, the perfection of the work, and the high value of the products, belonged to the rich showcase of the St. Petersburg jeweler Mr. Bolin." In part, it was a tribute from the professional community to a deceased colleague and recognition of the talent of his successor. The firm "Bolin K.E.

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