Photo album for the 175th birth anniversary of Orest Kurlyukov - one of the first jewelry entrepreneurs in Moscow

This year we are marking the 175th birth anniversary of Orest Fedorovich Kurlyukov (1845-1916), - the owner of one of the most famous silverware factories in Moscow.

The establishment of a jewelry factory or workshop in Moscow called for a sufficient financial base and considerable knowledge and skills in the sphere jewelry. To compete with the famous Russian firms in the 19th century it was necessary to have excellent equipment, possibility to attract high-level artisans and craftsmen, which required high payment and decent working conditions. In those years, out of five such enterprises that were opened, three were soon closed, having gone bankrupt or unable to withstand competition.

Orest Kurlyukov was one of the starting early jewelry entrepreneurs in Moscow that opened the insourcing production at the turn of the 19th century. His products provided competition to the most prestigious Russian companies. The products immediately became popular with customers, and the company began to receive many orders. Orest Fedorovich was the son-in-law of Ivan Khlebnikov, for some time he a member was the executive board member of his Trading house and performed the duties of its managing director for several years. Being a hereditary merchant, knowing the intricacies of accountancy, Orest Fedorovich skillfully managed the affairs of his father-in-law. Being familiar with the prominent jewelry makers and peculiarities of demand, with backing from Ivan Khlebnikov, Orest Kurlyukov opened his own gold and silverware factory production in Kolpachny lane and a shop in Ilyinka street in 1884.

Despite the prosperity of the factory and wide popularity of the products that were considered the best, there is practically no information about the private life of Orest Fedorovich, the enterprise performance, the craftsmen who worked there, as well as about the majority of the prominent jewelry manufacturers of that time.

A year after the factory establishment, the entrepreneur created a joint stock company of jewelers and manufacturers of gold and silverware products “O. F. Kurlyukov "with the basic capital of 1,500,000 rubles. The firm was awarded with two medals: "For diligence and art" by the Ministry of Finance in 1895 and for participation in the First International Saint-Petersburg Exhibition in 1903-1904. Kurlyukov received the title of the Royal court of Montenegro official supplier. It is known that Orest Fedorovich had a significant social position and was a respected person. This is evidenced by the positions he held - the elective of the Moscow merchants since 1897, a deputy for watchdogging the production of gold and silver items and a member of the Moscow Commercial Court from 1892 to 1898. Since 1910, the son of Orest Fedorovich and the grandson of Ivan Khlebnikov - Nikolai Orestovich Kurlyukov, inherited the business.

The closing time of the factory is controversial: 1916 or 1917. It is only certain that immediately after the October Revolution, the great era of the Russian jewelry was over.