Peter L. Schaffer
Director & President
Mr. Schaffer is renowned in the international antiques trade for his connoisseurship of Russian works of art and antique jewelry. A principal of the legendary fifth-generation family firm, A La Vieille Russie and a born New Yorker, Mr. Schaffer possesses a keen eye and a great sense of humor, both of which endear him to his clients and fellow antiquarians.
In the throes of the Russian Revolution, his family heroically relocated the firm from Kiev to Paris. The winds of World War II occasioned a move to the heart of New York City, first to Rockefeller Center and subsequently to the 59th Street and Fifth Avenue location where the family has welcomed clients, colleagues and friends for the last fifty-plus years. His father, Alexander, intuitively grasped the importance, both historic and artistic, of the work of Carl Fabergé. He was then able to source from the Bolsheviks and Soviets, numerous pieces of the work of this renowned goldsmith and jeweler, including some of the fabled Imperial Eggs, commissioned by Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II.
An authority on Fabergé, Mr. Schaffer has curated numerous exhibitions, and written extensively on the subject. An acknowledged expert in period jewelry and Russian objets d’art, he is a sought-after vettor at major art fairs, where the firm also displays their treasures, such as TEFAF Maastricht, the Winter Antiques Show, the International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show in New York City, and Masterpiece, London. He has lectured at such prestigious institutions as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the American Gem Society, and the Houston Museum of Natural History, and he frequently appears on the popular TV program, Antiques Roadshow. Mr. Schaffer has served as President of the National Antique and Art Dealers’ Association of America (NAADAA) and as Treasurer of the Confederation Internationale des Négociants en Oeuvres d’Art (CINOA). He now brings his bank of knowledge and wealth of experience to the Hermitage Museum Foundation as member of its Board of Directors and President.