Ornamental Turning

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Coburg ivory at the Getty

The Getty Museum in Los Angeles features an ornamental turned ivory object created by the German sculptor Marcus Heiden in the early 17th century. Heiden's fragile and intricate ivory objects were plundered as spoils of war in Coburg in 1632, and were placed in the Florentine treasure house of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, today called the Museo degli Argenti (Museum of Silver Objects). It appears at least one of them has been spirited off to the United States as part of the Getty Museum collection in Los Angeles, California.

Original vs. modern-style Fabergé

Objects from the House of Fabergé were made up until the Russian Revolution in 1918, when the Bolsheviks closed down the shop in St. Petersburg. Soon after, objects were sold by the Soviet government throughout the world and began appearing at auctions in the 1930s. In the 1950s, Fabergé's grandson Theo began creating elegant objets d’art from rare wood and ivory using a Holtzapffel lathe. In 1984, he was persuaded to produce the more originally styled "St. Petersburg Collection" which his daughter Sarah continues today. Additionally, in the early 1990s, major American museums that owned authentic Fabergé allowed licensed reproductions to be made for sale in their museum stores.



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Gallery of Ornamental Turning

Where can I see ornamental turnings?

Museums and antique dealers showing ivory works and ornamental turnings created by European craftsmen from the 17th through 19th centuries:

Fabergé eggs and other objects created by the House of Fabergé are often on display at museums throughout the world. Here are a few:

 Related Fabergé

Museums and galleries showing contemporary ornamental turning work:

Recent public exhibitions of ornamental turning:

  • 2012 – Wizardy In Wood, Carpenters Hall, Throgmorton Avenue, London (October 16 – 20, 2012)
  • 2011 – SOT at Bristol Model Engineering Show, The Leisure Centre, Thornbury (August 19, 20 and 21, 2011)
  • 2011 – Exotic Woods, Metal Cutters and Dale Chase: Ornamental Turning from the Walter Balliet Collection, Wood Turning Center, Philadelphia, P. (March 4 through July 23, 2011)
  • 2008 – Wizardry in Wood, Carpenters Hall, Throgmorton Avenue, London (June 4–6, 2008)
  • 2008 – Exhibition of Paintings and Ornamental Turning, Chapel Row Gallery, Bath, UK (April 5 – 22, 2008)
  • 2008 – Rose Engines and Kings: Contemporary Ornamental Turning 2008, Wood Turning Center, Philadelphia, PA (February 1 – March 22, 2008)
  • 2005 – M. Dale Chase Solo Exhibition, Del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
  • 1995 – Ornamental Turnings: An Exhibition of Embellished Containers Created on Ornamental Lathes, Del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. July 15 through August 15, 1995. This was the first OT show in America, with works by Armbruster, Chase, DuPlessis, Fletcher, Giesmann, Krick, and Sauer.
  • Go to early exhibitions of ornamental turning