Henrik Immanuel Wigström

Henrik Immanuel Wigström (1862–1923), Swedish-Finnish jeweller, goldsmith, silversmith. Hallmark: H.W. in an oval. Trained under Petter Madsén in Helsinki and Werner Elfström in St Petersburg, where he worked as chief assistant of Mikhail Perkhin. Appointed head jeweller of Fabergé and worked on the firm’s most important commissions, including the imperial Easter eggs. Lost his workshop in the revolution and returned to Finland.
Born: 1862, Tammisaari (Finland)
Died: 1923, Ollila (Finland)

Swedish-Finnish jeweller, goldsmith, silversmith. Hallmark: H.W. in an oval. Born in the family of a Swedish fisherman and churchwarden called August Wigström and his wife Wendla Forsman in the town of Tammisaari (Ekenäs) in south-west Finland (1862). Grew up at 7 Raaseporintie in Tammisaari (1860s). Apprenticed to Danish silversmith Petter Madsén in Helsinki (1872–78) and moved to St Petersburg (1878), where he lived at 26 Officers (now Decembrists) Street and trained under Swedish goldsmith Werner Elfström (1878–84). Married a woman called Ida (1884), who gave birth to four children, including his assistants Anna Lyyli Wigström (1885–?) and Henrik Wilhelm Wigström (1889–1934). Qualified as a journeyman (1884) and worked as the chief assistant of his friend and children’s godfather Mikhail Perkhin (1886–1903). Inherited Mikhail Perkhin’s workshop at 24 Bolshaya Morskaya Street and the post of head jeweller of Carl Fabergé (1904). Worked on the most important Fabergé commissions (1904–17), including the tenth wedding-anniversary present of Tsar Nicholas II to Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna (1904) and twenty-four Easter eggs commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II as gifts for Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna and Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna (1906–17). Lost his workshop following the nationalisation of Fabergé (1918) and moved to his dacha in Ollila (now Solnechnoe in Leningrad Region) on the Gulf of Finland (1918). Lived in poverty in a wooden house at 8 Lesnaya (Forest) Street (1918–23) and died in Ollila (1923). Contributed to exhibitions, including Golden Years of Fabergé: Drawings and Objects from the Wigström Workshop at A La Vieille Russie in New York (2000), Treasures of the Czars in the Moscow Kremlin Museums at Oca in the Parque do Ibirapuera in Sâo Paolo (2005), Fabergén aika at the Museum Centre Vapriikki in Tampere (2006), Artistic Luxury: Fabergé, Tiffany, Lalique at Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland (2008–09) and the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco (2009), Carl Fabergé and Masters of Stone ?arving: Gem Masterpieces of Russia at the Dormition Belfry of the Moscow Kremlin Museums in Moscow (2011), Faberž?: Juvelierm?ksla at the M?kslas muzeja „R?gas Birža” in Riga (2012), Gold: Metal of Gods and King of Metals at the History Museum in Moscow (2012), Fabergé: The Rise and Fall at the Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit (2012–13), The Last Russian Emperor: The Family and Court of Nicholas II at the Turn of the Centuries at the Hermitage-Vyborg Exhibition Centre in Vyborg (2012–13) and Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in Houston (2013).

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