Not many people know that along with the world-famous Amber Room, which was in Konigsberg Castle in 1945, Konigsberg and Berlin collections of unique amber items have disappeared completely.
Not so long ago the craftsmen who created panels for the Amber Room were involved in reconstructing precious items of these two collections. All objects of the two collections have been described in the profound research work of Doctor Alfred Rohde – Bernstein – Ein Deutcher Werkschtoff, who at that time was the keeper of the Konigsberg Castle amber collection. The mysterious history of the Amber Room disappearance and the loss of two amber collections during the Second World War are inseparably linked with his name.
In fact, Konigsberg collection is a general name for all the amber objects that were once stored in various state collections of Konigsberg, such as Konigsberg Castle itself, University of Konigsberg and the State amber manufactory. All of them regretfully were lost during the Second World War. The collection totaled thirty eight objects which date back to XV-XVIII centuries. The majority of them were produced in Konigsberg or other amber manufacture centers of Eastern Prussia. Though all of them were kept in different places, great complexity and pure beauty allows us to put one name on them all.
Since 2000 the Amber Workshop in Tsarskoye Selo has been reconstructing objects of this famous collection.
Having spent almost 25 years recreating the Amber Room for the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo our craftsmen have developed their own methods, techniques and secrets which allow them to revive old-forgotten or lost objects of great art importance. Recreation of an item by using written descriptions – usually letters or memoirs and black-and-white pictures was given the name of ‘scientific reconstruction’. It now allows us to bring Konigsberg collection back to life.
Scientific reconstruction of such a collection is an extremely difficult and laborious task. Carving itself is always preceded by gathering exhaustive historical data on the subject, including all written, photographic and picture material available. This is the starting point for the project. The architect sets all measurements, design and basic art features of an item in question. One of the most important steps is modeling an item in plasticine and later plaster. It allows us to avoid numerous mistakes such as disproportion or wrong height of relief. Then plaster models are given to our skilled restorers who carry out the process of reconstruction of an item in material, be it amber, hard stone, brass, silver or cold.
Fourteen items of Konigsberg collection have already been recreated by our craftsmen and are now exhibited in Tsarskoye Selo, in the Chapel wing of the Catherine palace.