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What Is a Faberge Egg | Read Today in Our Heading About the Faberge Eggs History

05.04.2021
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Faberge Egg History

What Is a Faberge Egg

Faberge eggs are a famous series of jewelry by Carl Faberge. The series was created between 1885 and 1917. for the Russian imperial family and private buyers. In total, 71 copies are known to have been made, of which 52 are imperial. A fabergé egg was made of gold, silver, precious stones, etc. Enamels and fine jewelry were used. Sometimes craftsmen experimented with not very traditional materials – rock crystal, precious woods. The Faberge brand is proof of authenticity.

Who Is Faberge

Faberge’s a jewelry company that operated in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries. in Russia. In 1842, G. Faberge opened a jewelry workshop in St. Petersburg, headed by his son P.K. Faberge and transformed into a company with branches in Moscow (1887), Odessa (1890), Kiev (1905), London (1908). It ceased its activity in 1918. It produced watches (often with a hidden mechanical secret), jewelry, so-called Easter eggs, sets of original design solutions with polychrome, gold, and precious stones.

Faberge Egg History: The Most Interesting Facts

When, Where and Why Were Faberge Eggs First Made?

This story began with a gift to his wife for Easter. But the donor and the gift itself were unusual – this order in 1885 was made by Emperor Alexander III for his wife Maria Fedorovna. The Russian autocrat wanted to please his spouse with a gift that would remind her of her childhood. Perhaps that is why Carl Faberge, who took the order, chose an egg made at the beginning of the 18th century as a sample – such an egg was in the collection of Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen, where Maria Sophia Frederica Dagmar was from. This is how the first Faberge egg called “Hen” appeared. Outside, it was covered with a white enamel imitating a shell.

First Hen, 1885
First Hen, 1885

What Was Hidden in the First Faberge Egg?

Inside, in a “yolk” of matte gold, there was a golden chicken. Inside the chicken, in turn, are hidden a small copy of the imperial crown made of gold with diamonds and a chain with a ruby ​​pendant.

Who Was the First Person To Receive a Faberge Egg?

The first Russian faberge egg was created in 1885 by the order of Tsar Alexander III, who wanted to present it as a gift to his wife, Empress Maria Fedorovna. To do this, Tsar Alexander turned to the award-winning jeweler Peter Carl Faberge, who headed the House of Faberge. The company was founded in 1842 by Gustav Faberge, and after his death in 1882 it was inherited by his son Karl. During its work, the House of Faberge has earned a reputation for skillful jewelers, but eggs for the royal family became the crown of their skill, and at the same time, they pass into faberge history.

Faberge Egg Designs

By creating your work Faberge used combinations of a wide variety of materials. Despite the fact that the technique of performing such combinations is not always visible to the naked eye, with its help we can always distinguish the works of Faberge from the works of his contemporaries. For example, he rarely resorted to soldering joints where it could be replaced with clamps or clasps. Even the most complex Faberge products are assembled, as a rule, with metal loops, tiny fasteners, screws, and miniature nuts, that is, without visible external seams.

It took one to two years of work to make an egg. A whole team of jewelers of various specializations participated in each piece – skilled blacksmiths, diamond cutters, enamel specialists, artists who painted fine items. The production was supervised by two senior foremen, but Faberge himself was at the head. However, the concepts of new eggs were invented not only by the master himself, because in addition to design, but many other aspects also had to be dealt with. We can say that in this regard, Faberge was a kind of orchestral conductor who coordinated the actions of all his masters in order to get what he needed at the exit.

Faberge egg original fastened with clasps and hinges, if necessary, can be disassembled for maintenance or repair. Regardless of whether disassembly was provided initially or not, this feature made it possible to keep all its mechanical components in good condition. This, in turn, removed many restrictions in the choice of materials.

faberge eggs

Each year, Faberge tried to bring something new to his main product – for example, using some unexpected materials or inventing new devices, such as a clawed pedestal, a built-in clock, or mechanical toys in the form of birds or elephants. And, for example, Alma Pil, a woman artist who created a unique style of “frost on crystal”, participated in the development of the “Winter Egg”. The last imperial eggs, created in 1916, contain an echo of the instability of the historical moment, as well as a harbinger of the beginning of the end of the House of Faberge. During the war years, eggs became less refined and more austere, reflecting the nature of the political life of those times.

What Is a Faberge Egg Made Out Of?

Faberge liked to combine precious materials with those that have little value in monetary terms. Nowhere did this come out more successfully than in Easter eggs created for the royal family or the imperial court. Many books and articles have been written describing Easter eggs commissioned by the imperial house, along with some others commissioned by wealthy people.

Although faberge imperial eggs are unique, many of the techniques and materials used in them have been repeated over and over again. The general process was detailed and thorough sketching. Drawings were made. Goldsmiths and silversmiths, enamelers, jewelers, cutters, stone carvers who contributed to the creation of these works of art discussed the project. Some Easter eggs, or at least surprise eggs, are said to have taken years to make.

How Many Faberge Eggs Were Made?

How Many Faberge Eggs Were Made

After the death of Alexander III, when Nicholas II ascended the throne, the company has more trouble. The new emperor has already ordered two masterpiece eggs a year – for his mother and for his wife Alexandra Fedorovna. Thus, from 1885 to 1916, the company managed to create 50 czar eggs for the royal family. In 1917, two more eggs appeared, the work on which was not completed. These gifts never ended up in the hands of the queens to whom they were intended.

List of Faberge Eggs

  • Twilight, 1917
  • Constellation, 1917
  • Berezovoe, 1917
  • Order of Saint George, 1916
  • Egg with miniature on easel, 1916
  • Triptych Red Cross, 1915
  • Red cross with portraits, 1915
  • Nobel’s Ice Egg, 1914
  • Mosaic (imperial egg), 1914
  • Catherine the Great, 1914
  • Winter, 1913
  • 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, 1913
  • Tsarevich, 1912
  • Napoleonic, 1912
  • 15th anniversary of the reign, 1911
  • Laurel tree, 1911
  • Colonnade, 1910
  • Egg with a monument to Alexander III, 1910
  • Egg with yacht model “Standart”, 1909
  • Commemorative Alexander III, 1909
  • Peacock, 1908
  • Egg with a model of the Alexander Palace, 1908
  • Yusupov’s egg clock, 1907
  • Egg with trellis and roses, 1907
  • Cradle with garlands, 1907
  • The Moscow Kremlin, 1906
  • Swan, 1906
  • Chauntecleer Kelch, 1904
  • Clock, 1903
  • Scandinavian, 1903
  • Bonbonniere, 1903
  • Peter the Great, 1903
  • Danish jubilee, 1903
  • Rothschild, 1902
  • Duchess of Marlborough Egg, 1902
  • Rocailles, 1902
  • Clover, 1902
  • Empire style, 1902
  • Apple tree flowers, 1901
  • Flower basket, 1901
  • Gatchina palace, 1901
  • Pine cone, 1900
  • Trans-Siberian Railway, 1900
  • Cockerel, 1900
  • Rose quartz egg, 1899
  • Egg with panels, 1899
  • Spring flowers, 1899
  • Lily bouquet, 1899
  • Pansies, 1899
  • Chicken Kelkha, 1898
  • Lilies of the valley, 1898
  • Pelican, 1898
  • Coronation, 1897
  • Lavender egg with three miniatures, 1897
  • Spinning miniature egg, 1896
  • Portraits of Alexander III, 1896
  • Egg Seal, 1895
  • Rosebud egg, 1895
  • Blue egg clock with a snake, 1895
  • Resurrection of christ, 1894
  • Renaissance, 1894
  • Caucasian egg, 1893
  • Diamond mesh, 1892
  • Blue enamel stripe egg, 1891
  • Memory of Azov, 1891
  • Danish palaces, 1890
  • Travel bag, 1889
  • Golden egg with clock, 1887
  • Lapis azure, 1886
  • Hen with a sapphire pendant, 1886
  • Hen, 1885

Where Are the Faberge Eggs?

Of the nearly 50 eggs created in the Faberge workshop for the imperial family, 43 survived – they survived the chaos of the 1917 revolution. The third imperial egg (pictured in London) was rediscovered in 2012. This happened after a collector noticed this product, which its owner was trying to sell for melting. The egg is estimated at $ 33 million.

In total, the firm’s jewelers have produced 71 masterpieces. Today, some of them are in public and private collections in Russia and abroad, while others have been lost. Some of the miniature surprises contained in the egg-boxes also disappeared without a trace.

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