Hi silverly - Hi finnclouds
please read attentiv and do not believe what HammerÂ´s PR man wrote! Why? Think a little.....
While in Moscow, Hammer, with the acquiescence of Lenin, succeeded in obtaining asbestos mining rights in the Urals for twenty years, the first such concession awarded by the Soviets to an American. Further agreements with HammerÂ´s firm, Allied Drug and Chemical, covered a shipment of 18,000 tons of American surplus grain to the Bolshevics (soviet Union does not exist!!!!) in exchange for Sibirian furs, precious stones, hides, lace, rubber and caviar for sale in America. Quite by chance HammerÂ´s first office, rented at USD 30 per month, was located on Kuznetzki Bridge in a building that, as we all knew, once had housed FabergÃ©Â´s Moscow shop. By 1923 Hammer had build an import-export empire. He was a purchasing agent for American agricultural machinery and exclusiely represented up to 36 American companies in the now Soviet Union. During LeninÂ´s New Economy Policy (NEP) of the early 1920s, Hammer was treated like royaltry by the Soviets, (remember the famine, terror, decline of economy, lack of educated agricultural people - the kulaks had been eliminated -, gulags etc. Please have a look into your history books to understand the situation: Lenin did everything to get money (USD) to buy grain!) who hoped to attract other Western investors. In the absence of U.S. diplomatic relations, (the reason why hammerÂ´s passport application did not mention a country which did not exist - the Soviet Union was still not founded: History!!) Brown House, the opulent Moscow domicile occupied by the Hammer family, became an unofficial American embassy, housing visiting politicians, film stars and celebrities. Following LeninÂ´s demise in 1924, the revenues from HammerÂ´s import-export business fell from USD 6 million in 1924 to USD 1.5 million in 1925 due to restrictions imposed by the Soviets on foreign businesses. This loss was offset by revenues fom a newly acquired pencil manufacturing concession, which in 1925 produced 72 million graphite pencils and 95 million steel pens and grossed 8.5 million rubles 1 ruble= 52 cents) 1927 by. This business in turn was confiscated in 1930. In 1928 Armand and his antique - dealer brother, Victor, began to dabble in Russian art. Anastas Mikoyan, then commissar for domestic and foreign trade, first offered them exclusive rights to American sales of paintings from the State Hermitage Museum, for which they would receive a 10 percent commission. The same year the Hammers unsuccessfully bid USD 5 million on behalf of a consortium of dealers, headed by Joseph Duveen, for forty masterpieces from the Hermitage. To handle their Russian art sales, Hammer founded the Ermitage Galleries at 3 East 52nd Street in New York. He claims to have collected several warehouses full of Russian art throughout the 1920s, which he was permitted to export against payment of a 15 percent customs duty. In 1930- 31 Hammer transferred what he describe as his private collection of imperial treasures from the Soviet Union to the U.S., including ten FabergÃ© imperial Easter eggs from the Kremlin armory.
Here I will stop because this thema is too hot for me.
Mr. Forbes was one of the best customers and after his death his collection was offered by sothebyÂ´s but suddenly withdrawn (???) and bought by an Russian oligarch, who presented it to the Russian people - in this way he could avoid a long inprisonment for crimes agains the Russian economy. Later experts from the Ermitage discovered that two of this eggs were fakes.( What makes them fakes was a inventory scratchmark, usually on all objects sold in the different shops - but objects custom made for the Czar need no invetory number!).
There are many, many insider stories I heared from stuff of the Ermitage and Russian collectors - but it is better to wait maybe 30 years until all the participants are dead.