Video: Who Carl Faberge himself could not compete with: "Russian Cartier" Joseph Marshak
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 13:10
What is the first thing that comes to mind when we hear this name - Marshak? Of course, wonderful poems and translations of the Soviet poet. However, at the end of the 19th century, no one would have quoted "this one who is scattered from Basseinaya Street." The name of Joseph Marshak, "Kiev's Cartier", once sounded throughout the Russian Empire and was associated with luxury, dizzying success and incredible love for his work …
I must say that Iosif Abramovich Marshak really was a relative of Samuil Yakovlevich Marshak, a great uncle. He was born into a poor family with many children and, at the age of fourteen, went to Kiev to study jewelry. He married at the age of nineteen - the chosen one was named Leah. The young family constantly did not have enough money, but Joseph's career aspirations required considerable expenses. One hundred rubles from the wife's dowry and the suit put into the pawnshop - that's the whole "budget" spent on creating a simple gold chain …
However, a decade later, in 1878, Joseph Marshak opened his own jewelry business in Kiev. The family, which over the years has acquired several heirs, moved to a large apartment on Khreshchatyk. The name of Marshak thundered all over the country, his products received the highest awards at world exhibitions in Europe and the USA … His stores opened in Kiev, Poltava, Kharkov, Tbilisi, and a little later appeared in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Warsaw.
In 1899, a fire broke out at the factory. The losses seemed catastrophic. But, like the Phoenix bird, Marshak literally rose from the ashes. He rebuilt and expanded the premises, purchased new equipment, changed the approach to the organization of work so that employees would work more efficiently and be less tired - I must say, the factory has always been distinguished by a careful attitude towards people.
Joseph Marshak trained young jewelers. Over the years of its existence, the factory has nurtured at least three hundred students - and female students. Joseph Abramovich was an active supporter of female education. In the future, he provided many of them with jobs, being the first in the country to allow women to work at a jewelry factory - Marshak believed that craftswomen had better concentration and work more accurately. In addition, at the dawn of his career, he himself was helped by his beloved wife … In addition, the jeweler opened a craft school in Kiev and supported a cheder with his own money. He traveled a lot, never stopped learning new things all his life, regularly re-equipping production with the latest technology, was anxious about fashion - after all, you need to meet the wishes of the public! The products of the factory were designed not only to decorate, but also to cause exclamations of surprise. Meanwhile, the factory "expanded" to almost a hundred workshops and branches, and one hundred and fifty craftsmen worked on it! Marshak was called "Kiev Cartier" without a hint of ingratiation. Over the years, the factory began to produce not only jewelry, but also watches, sets, magnifiers and penknives, souvenirs from precious metals … Marshak's enterprise reached such heights that Fabergé himself could not stand the competition with the master. "There is no place for two bears in one den!" - the great Karl grumbled, leaving Kiev. However, despite the fierce rivalry, the jewelers managed to maintain warm and friendly relations.
What captivated the audience by the creations of the jewelry house of Joseph Marshak? Stunning workmanship and boldness of solutions, ingenuity of design and beauty of the material. All the best - exotic pearls and diamonds of incredible purity, magical shades of emeralds and sapphires … Some of the jewelry created by Joseph Marshak was not inferior in value to the whole estate. But “mere mortals” also managed to get something “from Marshak” - a decorative box, a pin …
In 1913, Nicholas II visited Kiev to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. He was presented with luxurious precious gifts, and all of them were made at Marshak's factory. The silver model of the Pedagogical Museum stood out in particular - surprisingly accurate and delicately executed. There are also preserved references to the mechanical jewelry model of the steamer Derzhava.
After the revolution, Marshak's factory was nationalized. He himself died at the age of sixty-four after a serious and prolonged illness. But his descendants - and eight children grew up in the family of Joseph and Leah! - managed to leave for Europe. They managed to save a lot of masterpieces from being melted from being melted down. The successors of the cause of Joseph Marshak were his sons. In 1920, his youngest son Alexander opened his own jewelry salon Marchak in Paris and began to create jewelry in the then fashionable Art Deco style, but with a touch of nostalgia for the lost homeland. Alexander was educated at the Paris School of Art, and then served on the Austrian front as an intelligence officer and war photographer. The difficult experience gained at such a young age gave the younger Marshak's artistic talent a touch of drama.
Another of Joseph's sons, Vladimir, tried to open a branch of a jewelry house in Berlin - but did not succeed. After the Second World War, jeweler Jacques Verger took over the reins, thanks to whom the jewelry house entered the African and Middle Eastern markets. Verger offered women luxurious, on the verge of permissible, jewelry - bunches of diamonds and emeralds, blinding radiance, whole jewelry compositions where sparkling butterflies and flowers competed with each other in the brightness of shades … King Hassan II, whose orders the revived house Marshak carried out for many years.
Despite its complicated history - constant change of owners, crises and even bankruptcy! - the brand exists to this day. Today it is considered one of the most progressive thanks to the use of the latest materials and technologies - as, perhaps, its founder dreamed of. Not so long ago, modern creations of the Marchak jewelry house became available in the CIS countries.