Founded by Gustav Fabergé (1814–1893) in 1842, this iconic company was transformed by his son Peter Carl Fabergé (1846–1920) into an art jewellery specialist. Faberge became the leading jewellery supplier to the Russian Romanov Court - the royal family - and an international symbol of luxury. Faberge has been associated ever since with its Imperial Easter Eggs a few of which are pictured above.
Faberge eggs were made of silver, gold, lapis lazuli, jade, malachite, diamonds and more semi-precious gems. Their intricate beauty displays talented use of goldsmithing, filigree work, cloisonné enamelling and handling molten glass.
Whilst known first and foremost for their exquisite eggs, Faberge also made jewellery.
The House of Faberge made 150,000 pieces of jewellery art and employed dozens of master craftsmen, not to mention over 500 workers in their showrooms in St Petersburg, Moscow, Odessa, Kiev, and London.
The Faberge brand and name has stood the test of time and is greater than Tiffany, Aspreys and Cartier.
The Easter Eggs
We have Tsar Alexander III to thank for the birth of the Faberge Easter eggs.
He commissioned Carl Faberge to create an Easter egg for his wife Empress Maria Fedorovna. The finished item was a triumph - an outer shell enamelled in gold to look like a real hen's egg opened to reveal a gold yolk, which itself opened to reveal a gold chicken. This also opened to reveal a replica Imperial Crown from which a tiny ruby egg was suspended. This first egg was so successful, he commissioned an egg for his wife each year, a tradition which was followed by Tsar Nicholas II.
The tradition ended with the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.
In November 2007, the Rothschild Faberge Egg was auctioned at Christies for a record £8.98 million.
If this is a little beyond your means, a piece of Booth and Booth jewellery is a great second choice!