A precious Chelsea Pensioner from the Queen’s personal collection

4th June 2022

Anyone who was lucky enough to visit the recent Fabergé exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert museum may have spotted an exquisite little model of a Chelsea Pensioner, complete with his Scarlet uniform. This precious little piece was loaned to the exhibition by Her Majesty, from her own personal collection. 

Feberge Chelsea Pensioner
The figure – crafted in St Petersburg – was originally bought by King Edward VII on 22 November 1909, for £49 and 15 shillings. It demonstrates not only the link between British and Russian royalty, but also the enduring connection between the Royal family and the Royal Hospital – dating back to our foundation by King Charles II. 

Human figures are among Fabergé’s rarest creations and – along with the famous imperial jeweller’s Easter eggs -  the most complex to create.  The tiny veteran’s face and hands are crafted from aventurine quartz, his coat of purpurine – a unique and beautiful rich, red glass, his legs and hat from jasper and his cane, buttons and medals from gold.  Other materials include enamel, sapphires and – appropriately – gunmetal.

We are proud to know that this little replica of one of our veterans is among The Queen’s treasured possessions.

Royal Hospital Chelsea Newsletter

Stay up to date with what's going on at The Royal Hospital by signing up for our e‑newsletter.

News

View the archive

Major Phil Shannon
Farewell to Major Phil Shannon

We prepare to say a fond farewell to Royal Hospital favourite Major Phil Shannon MBE

Founders Day 2022
Founder’s Day returns to its full glory at the Royal Hospital Chelsea

After 2020’s cancellation and last year’s pared back celebration due to the pandemic, the most iconic date in the Royal Hospital’s calendar returned to its full glory this year. 

Twitter

Follow @RHChelsea