A La Vieille Russie is a New York antiques gallery specializing in European and American antique jewelry, and in Russian works of art. A family business since its establishment in Kiev in 1851, it has been in its present Fifth Avenue location at 781 Fifth Avenue at 59th Street, opposite the southeast corner of Central Park, since 1961. Featured are artworks by Carl Fabergé, created for members of the Romanov court and other wealthy patrons in turn-of-the-century Russia. A La Vieille Russie has bought and sold many of the Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs.
A La Vieille Russie, a family enterprise since its founding in Kiev in 1851, left the turmoil of the Revolution and was re-established in Paris around 1920 by Jacques Zolotnitsky, the grandson of the founder, with his nephew Léon Grinberg, and later by Alexander Schaffer in America.
Still a multi-generational family business, under the direction of brothers, Messrs. Paul and Peter L. Schaffer, and Paul's son, Dr. Mark A. Schaffer, A La Vieille Russie continues to deal in fine art and antiques. In its original location in Kiev, goldsmith and jeweler Carl Fabergé, whose shop was nearby, was himself a client.
The gallery moved to Paris in the 1920s, where clients included Queen Marie of Romania, Grand Duchesses Xenia and Olga, sisters of Nicholas II, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, King Farouk and others, and the shop became a focal point for émigré aristocracy and intellectual activity.
With the onset of World War II, the gallery relocated from Paris to New York. Initially, it was one of the first tenants at Rockefeller Center in 1934, then moved to another Fifth Avenue location in 1941, and finally to its present location in 1961 on New York’s famed Fifth Avenue, at 59th Street opposite the south entrance of Central Park.
In America, A La Vieille Russie quickly established itself as a leader in the market for Fabergé and Russian Imperial treasures. It helped form all the major American Fabergé collections, like the Forbes Magazine Collection, many of which are now in museums such as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Cleveland Museum of Art.
The gallery also specializes in European and American antique jewelry, 18th-century European gold snuffboxes, and antique Russian decorative arts, including silver, enamel, and porcelain, as well as Russian paintings, icons, and furniture.
The gallery exhibits annually at TEFAF Maastricht in the Netherlands, New York's Winter Antiques Show, Masterpiece in London, and the New York International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show. A La Vieille Russie is a member of the National Antique and Art Dealers Association of America (NAADAA).
Antique Automatons. 1950.
Russian Icons. 1962.
The Art of the Goldsmith and the Jeweler. 1968.
An Imperial Fascination: Porcelain. Dining with the Czars. Peterhof. 1991.
Alexandre Iacovleff – Paintings and Drawings. 1993.
Golden Years of Fabergé. Drawings and Objects from the Wigström Workshop. 2000.
Mechanical Wonders: The Sandoz Collection. 2011.