Видео. Домовая церковь Екатерининского дворца

Not so long ago some curious notes of one naturalist-traveler dated second half of the XIX century have been found in the archives of the World Ocean Museum in Kaliningrad. The remained sketches of this manuscript make us believe that they were supposed to be the basis for a novel describing a sea voyage around the world in search of amber.

This imaginary document became the starting point in the history of the only “Amber cabin” in the world - an exhibition devoted to unique natural material – amber. The Museum of the World Ocean, the Creative association of artists "Romantic project" and the Open Company "Sea venture bureau" became initiators of its creation. Works were held under direction of S. Sivkova, director of the World Ocean Museum.

On 18 May 2000, the International day of museums, the idea of creation of a unique cabin onboard the well-known vessel ‘Hero’ was announced to the public for the first time. Amber craftsmen were offered to make items of «solar stone» to decorate marine and scientific devices, and to create furnishing for the cabin of the naturalist of the XIXth century who is making his round-the-world travel in search of amber.

The idea of «Amber Cabin» was slowly taking shape, coming into real life, with new items being presented to our Naturalist, as if brought by the traveler himself from his adventurous expeditions.

The collection of samples of amber was brought by scientists from all over the world: from Denmark and the USA, New Zealand and Haiti, Sakhalin and Taymyr, Japan and Saxony, Borneo islands and Madagascar. With time research tools and devices, maps and books, objects of seaman life, ethnographic items, collections of shells of sea mollusks, tiny models of ships and sea knots have appeared in the Cabin.

Collection of seashells. Hourglass.

The Amber Workshop in Tsarskoye Selo has been deeply involved in Amber Cabin project since its very beginning. For example we have created a collection of decorative amber seashells. Seashells have always attracted humans by variety of their shapes and colours. Our craftsmen created amber sea-mollusk shells which looked very similar to real ones. This amazing collection replenishes annually and by now numbers forty items.

While creating hour-glass and a sea lantern (a copy of a ship lantern of the XIXth century) our artists widely used amber colouring technique – in other words artificial colouring or aging method.

Amber-wind rose which is the main decoration of the ceiling of the cabin was laid out by our craftsmen in special amber mosaic technique. Having connected transparent and opaque landscape amber with coloured plates of raw amber our masters managed to achieve pure clearness of artistic form. Special inner carving or so-called ‘intaglio’ with gilded foil usually placed behind an amber plate, gives elegance to the whole creation and emphasizes transparency and shine of the stone.

Jacob’s staff (was used in astronomy and navigation to measure angles). Sea lantern (replica of a mid. 19th century sea lantern).

Intaglio carving technique (engraving on the back of a transparent stone) is often used by our masters. In Spanish castanets intaglios represent the incendiary dancer and toreador with a bull. Gradstok (ancient nautical navigation instrument) is also inlaid by plates of transparent amber with intaglios. Stylized figurines of fish on its cross-section represent baroque style, which was so typical yet so popular in the time of the Amber Room. Elements of this style can be seen in other objects created by the Amber Workshop in Tsarskoye Selo.

In decorative panel «the Map of the World» different techniques of amber work are combined. The most charming elements of this map are little angels soaring over two terrestrial hemispheres. As a prototype for this map panel an original map by Johann Baptist dating back to 1720 was used.

The wooden boomerang is inlaid with plates of honey colour amber with carved stylized figurines of animals, reptiles, fish and birds. They alternate with plates of raw and transparent amber, with enclosed gilded foil. A convex medallion with engraved ritual mask is placed in the centre of the boomerang.

Having only scarce photographic material our craftsmen recreated a sculpture «Wanderer» - one of the items of the Konigsberg Royal Castle collection, which was lost during the Second World War.

Decorative panel Map of the World. Decorative ceiling panel Wind Rose.

The Amber Cabin is becoming more and more home-like, as personal things of an imaginary naturalist appear there. Things such as a pen made of amber, a candlestick, boxes and caskets which were the most popular in amber carving traditions of the XVII-XVIII centuries, or a book «The Knight», the naturalist is supposed to study during his voyages, gave the Amber Cabin a chance to acquire some special warm atmosphere which attracts thousands of tourists every year.

Having created more than 60 objects for the «Amber Cabin», the Amber Workshop looks forward to cooperating further with the World Ocean Museum and working hard on enriching the amber collection of our adventurous naturalist.

«Amber cabin» is an exhibition devoted to unique natural material – amber. The Museum of the World Ocean, the Creative association of artists «Romantic project», and the Open Company «Sea venture bureau» became initiators of its creation.

The main idea of this exhibition is to collect various scientific objects, rare sea-life species and also furniture of an imaginary XIXth century cabin of a naturalist, who is traveling around the world in search of amber. The collection of amber samples was brought by scientists from all over the world, and some decorative items for the Cabin were made by our craftsmen – carvers of amber.

Having created more than 60 objects for the «Amber Cabin», the Amber Workshop in Tsarskoye Selo plans to cooperate further with the Museum of the World Ocean and to work on expanding the «the amber naturalist» collection.

Decorative panel Water in a frame Creatures of the Sea. Castanets. 

Boomerang. Book «Knight».