The inside of a Fabergé egg looks just like this London store

London – Carl Fabergé’s Imperial eggs were a complex thing of shiny beauty. Encrusted with jewels on the outside, some of them bore little surprises on the inside, in the shape of golden animals inside a golden yolk – hey, those addicting Kinder eggs got their great idea from somewhere.

But we’d like to imagine that between the enamel and the golden hens, its inside wall looked something like the new premises of Wartski, a London antiques dealer specialised in the works of Fabergé himself – and, for royal fans, better known as the maker of Kate Middleton’s wedding ring.

Designed by local studio Waldo Works, the new gallery carefully weaves contemporary geometries with the lush material applications of yore. Their proposal, which plays with the symbiotic nature of the family-owned firm, has unsuspecting visitors enter a Neo-Classical shop front on St. James Street and step into an oak-and-concrete large-scale kaleidoscope.

The shop is divided into three areas: a front gallery, an arcade gallery and a concealed room for private consultations. These spaces embrace the visitors a tad tighter the deeper they moves within the space, as the facets and angles cut into the concrete walls become more complex – the concrete, by the way, contains chips of slate from the Cwt-y-Bugail quarries in North Wales, as a nod to the company’s Welsh origins. In turn, the angles on the ceiling and the beams ricochet from the geometry of the walls, which go inwards and outwards, creating a play of shadow and light that reaches its apex in the spots dedicated to the showcase of the precious objects.

The jewellery is displayed in a set of forest-green silk clad display cases; the shade makes another appearance under the stands themselves, with a custom-woven carpet. The first five of them are dedicated to the work of the Russian jeweller, while the two large cases opposite show antique silver – this is, after all, a place that revels in sharp contrasts.

And what’s in the private room tucked deep inside? Aside from the portrait of Queen Alexandra painted in 1901 by Isaac Snowman, the kinsman of founder Morris Wartski, its contents are a secret hidden from prying eyes. After all, in this architectural Fabergé egg, only a lucky few get to see what’s inside the golden yolk.

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