Johan Victor Aarne

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Johan Victor Aarne was a gold- and silversmith in Imperial Russia and Finland who worked for Fabergé. Born in Tampere, Finland in 1863, he was the son of church sexton Johan Lindström. He completed his apprenticeship with Johan Erik Hellsten, a goldsmith in Tampere, and became a journeyman in Hameenlinne in 1880. For the next ten years, between 1880 and 1890, he worked for Fabergé in August Wilhelm Holmström's workshop. In 1890 he returned to Tampere to obtain his title of Master; he then ran his own workshop there for a year. In 1891 he moved to St. Petersburg to work exclusively for Fabergé until 1904. His workshop was at 58 Demidov Cross-Street/Ekatarinski Canal. His Cyrillic signature, BA, can be found on enameled gold and silver articles from this time period. After the turn of the century his workshop employed twenty journeymen and three apprentices. In 1904 Aarne sold his workshop to Karl Gustaf Hjalmar Armfeldt and settled in Vyborg (Viipuri), Finland, where he ran a successful goldsmithing workshop for another thirty years. At that time his signature was J.V.A. He died in 1934 in Vyborg.


  • Ulla Tillander-Godenhielm, Personal and Historical Notes on Fabergé's Finnish workmasters and designers (page 40.) (1980)
  • G.von Habsburg-Lothringen & A.von Solodkoff, Fabergé - Court Jeweler to the Tsars (1979)
  • Geoffrey Watts, Russian Silversmiths' Hallmarks (1700 to 1917) (2006)