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’. Dr. Rohde was the keeper of the Konigsberg Castle amber collection. The mysterious history of both the Amber Room disappearance and the loss of two amber collections during the Second World War are inseparably linked with his name.
Since 2006 the reconstruction of Berlin collection has begun here, in the Amber Workshop in Tsarskoye Selo. Initially this collection included more than forty items. Among them were caskets, bowls, decorative shells, snuffboxes, shtofs etc., created by craftsmen of Konigsberg and Danzig in XVI - XVIII centuries.
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 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.
Ten items of Berlin Collection, recreated by the craftsmen of the Amber Workshop were successfully exhibited in Russia, Germany, France and Poland. Their permanent exhibition is now located in Tsarskoye Selo, in the Chapel wing of the Catherine palace.