Pustynnikov, personal Kamer-Kazak bodyguards of Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. These expertly made statues are as mentioned of A. Pustynnikov in dress parade uniforms with badges and medals, the coats trimmed with Imperial eagles, the cockaded fleece hats with gold braid, inscribed in Russian on the heels and soles of the boots'Kamer-Kazak since 1894/A. The precise origin of these figures, which appear to be copies of or models for the well-known Fabergé hardstone figures of the Kamer-Kazak guards of the Empresses, is something of a mystery. Commissioned by Emperor Nicholas II in 1912, the hardstone figures were portraits from life, the guards visiting the studio of Fabergés sculptor Boris Frödman-Cluzel to pose for the artist, who modelled them in wax.
The figure of Kudinov remains at the State Pavlovsk Museum inv. These bronze figures may have been produced as further models, in addition to those in wax, perhaps so that the colour palette could be settled upon, bronze being easier to paint than wax. Fabergés close association with the Woerffel lapidary and bronze foundry would have easily facilitated this extra step in the process. An interesting comparison is provided by the two figures of The Ice Deliverer after the model by G.Savinitskii, one in silver from the workshop of Hjalmar Armfelt, the other in various hardstones, both authenticated as Fabergé-produced objects by Francois Birbaum in 1925 and now in the Fersman Mineralogical Museum, Moscow inv. It is believed that the silver sculpture was produced first.
Finally, it is known that at least one of the Kamer-Kazak guards was in fact modelled in metal. In 1927, a metal figure of Kudinov was found in the Amoury among objects which had belonged to the Imperial Family, according to T. Fabergé I ego prodolzhateli, St Petersburg, 2009, p.96, the authors noting that it is possible that this is a silver or bronze model of the hardstone figure of the Kamer-Kazak Kudinov. While it is suggested here that these bronze figures probably served as models for the hardstone figures, it is also possible that they were made after the fact and possibly given to the Kamer-Kazak guards themselves, or perhaps even to the young Tsarevich as toys, reminders of his mothers and grandmothers exotic and imposing guards, who must surely have fascinated him. In any event, their creation almost surely pre-dates the mid-1920s, when the figures were separated and that of Pustynnikov made its way to the West.
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