When the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond opens a new exhibition Saturday showcasing more than 500 Faberge creations — billed as “the largest collection of Faberge in the United States” — a Roanoke man’s private collection will make up more than 100 of the prized objects on display.
The first images that the name Faberge evokes are the elaborate filigreed and jeweled eggs made by Russian master jeweler Peter Carl Faberge in the late 19th and early 20th century for the czars and their family members.
But Faberge and the craftsmen employed by his company, House of Faberge, crafted many other items for use by royals and aristocrats: cigar boxes, picture frames, clocks, cane handles, paperweights, tiny animal figurines, and more, all made out of precious materials.
Daniel Hodges, 56, a physician and entrepreneur who has lived part time in south Roanoke since 1990, quietly started collecting House of Faberge items in 2004. Previously, he’d collected American art and vintage American furniture.
“I’ve always been a collector,” he said. “I love artwork.”