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Faberge Imperial Easter Eggs
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History of Faberge
Faberge’s Imperial Eggs, timeless, exquisite, one of a kind creations. Originally made for Tsars of Russia, they once cost thousands of rubles a piece. Expensive then? Yes. But today they worth millions. And they still generate as much attention as they did over one hundred years ago.
… it’s like a vacation for your eyes…
… Faberge must have been the greatest perfectionist alive…
These rare and covenant objects of fantasy were designed by jeweler and goldsmith Peter Carl Faberge – an ordinary man, who’s artistic vision helped to found an extraordinary era.
Peter Carl Faberge (or Carl Gustavovich to use the Russian formula), was born on 30 May 1846 in St.Petersburg, Russia. Carl was the oldest of two sons and by tradition was expected to become a jeweler like his father. His father, Gustav Faberge wanted him to have all the education and training he would need to succeed as a jeweler, and when Carl was 18, Gustav sent him out of Russia to explore the world, exposing him to the very best Europe had to offer and apprenticing him to several respected goldsmiths in Frankfurt, Paris and London. Carl Faberge returned to St.Petersburg in 1872, at the age of 26, and became involved by choice with Imperial Cabinet.
The Imperial Cabinet, also known as the Hermitage, was a Winter Palace for the Tsars and housed all of the treasures. Faberge volunteered to help restore and appraise these priceless antiques. His expertise and proficiency as a jeweler made him ready to take over his father’s company in 1870. Two years later he met and married Augusta Jacobs. Almost overnight, Faberge was the family man, running the family business. Under his guidance, the shop continued to enjoy a solid reputation in St.Petersburg. They were well known for the elaborate gold and silver items. But Faberge wanted to introduce something new to his clientele. When his younger brother, Agathon, joined the firm, the two set out to create their own designs. Initially he took eighteen’s century objects and recreated them giving these objects a "new language", transforming them into truly Faberge objects. His exciting new styles set the bar for his new competitors. And the name Faberge became a fashion statement.
In 1882, having been entrusted by the Hermitage Museum with the task of repairing and restoring its collections of precious objects for a number of years, Faberge was invited to participate in the Moscow Pan-Russian Exhibition. He was honored with a gold medal and the press declared his works sensational. But the best part of the day came when his works caught the eye of Alexander III, Tsar of Russia. A great patron of the arts, he singled out Faberge from hundreds of other jewelers and declared him the re-inventor of Russian jewelry art. The Tsar loved the idea of recreating of Hermitage treasures and challenged Faberge to make him a copy of French 18th century Louis XVI snuff box. Faberge accepted the challenge, and upon completion of the task, it was impossible to see the difference of what he made and the original piece.
The Tsar was so impressed that he ordered both boxes to be displayed at the Hermitage and he became Faberge’s biggest fan. This was a major accomplishment as Alexander III was not an easy man to please.
Alexander III was an enormous man in every aspect and physically huge in his power and a giant in his goals and his ambitions. He had to face an industrial progress in one hand and a great depression in the other. It was a brutal time for anyone who was not a merchant, or a capitalist, or an aristocrat.
By 1885 Faberge could list the Tsar of Russia as his number one client. And just when Carl Gustavovich thought it could not get any better, Tsar gave him a Royal Seal of the approval and appointed him Imperial Court Jeweler. It was simply the top honor that could be given by the Tsar and the top example of expression of recognition. When one has such patron as the Tsar, one also has a lot of wealthy clients who want to be doing the same as the Tsar, and Faberge had a lot of orders.