A. Tillander was established by Alexander Tillander in Russia in 1860 after he completed a seven year apprenticeship with a master goldsmith. He first started by working for Carl Becks who was a supplier to the Russian Imperial court. Alexander decided to go into business on his own at just 23 and opened his first premises in the heart of St Petersburg. At the beginning of the 1890s Alexander’s son Alexander Jr. had returned to St Petersburg after a three year trip through Europe. He joined the family business and set about making his mark by opening a new branch which dealt in antique and vintage jewelry. His business also invested in the export of the Demantoid Garnet. The export business and preowned business was good and in the early 20th century Alexander Jr was running the whole business by himself. The company made it through the Russian Revolution of 1905 and was trying to do business until the second in 1917. The firm was forced to close and the Tillander family had to move to Helsinki. In 1918 Alexander Jr. re-established A. Tillander.