It looked like an odd idea, who knows how this jewellery master came up with this idea? Faberge Eggs, created by Carl Faberge in the 19th century, is an icon for jewellery lovers… It is not easy to own jewellery that carries his signature, they are expensive and rare…
Faberge Eggs make a difference not only with their form but also with the paintings on them… It is a skill by itself to be able to paint on an egg form. On top of this, there is the combination of the paintings with precious Stones; which requires a different kind of a jewellery genius.
Faberge Eggs, which are generally as big as a goose’s egg, would be carefully decorated with jewels. There would be a surprise hidden inside these eggs.
Born in 1846, Carl Faberge, who was originally from France, was the special designer for the Russian Tsar’s Palace. He saw royal collections of Paris, Dresden, Munich, Berlin, Florence, Venice and Rome and he perfected his art working with the most well-known masters of the time. After learning more about jewellery making, Carl Faberge built his own company. In the 19th century effects of Baroque was still seen and the aristocrats along with rich families were searching for a different aesthetic. Carl Faberge added his imagination onto this expectation. With his designs, he not only impressed the aristocrats and the rich in Russia but also the ones in Europe and Asia. The dazzling effect that came with Carl Faberge was not only due to the quality gems and materials he used but also due to the difference in his designs. The embroidered picture frames, hatpins, silver plates, bowls and trays, trinkets, mouthpieces, pocket knives and other accessories were handmade by approximately 500 workers in Faberge workshops. Faberge combined his brilliant technique with different materials and unique aesthetics and thus marked a new era in jewellery design. His most famous work that has made him a legend is his “Faberge Eggs”.
FROM ALEXANDER III.
TO MARIA FEDOROVNA…
Faberge Egg’s were made in Saint Petersburg. The first design of Carl Faberge was ordered by Russian Tsar Alexander III. In 1885 as the first “Imperial Easter Egg”. This egg was given as a surprise Easter present to the Tsar’s wife Maria Fedorovna and the jewellery Easter egg tradition went on in the Tsar family until the Russian Revolution in 1917. With the revolution the Faberge factory closed down and Carl Faberge had to leave Russia. After this, came a period when collectors would be searching for Faberge Eggs.
IN WORLD COLLECTIONS
Faberge Eggs, which are generally as big as a goose’s egg, would be carefully decorated with jewels. There would be a surprise hidden inside these eggs. Tsars of the time would order Faberge eggs to offer as presents to Tsarina’s. The number of these eggs decorated with gold, silver and precious stones is believed to be 54. Some recourse indicate that the number can vary however today the most precious of these Faberge Eggs are among the most unique collections in the world.
PRECIOUS STONES, UNIQUE CRAFTSMANSHIP
These eggs, specially designed for the Tsar’s family between 1885 to 1916, had unique craftsmanship and elegance. Carl Faberge created brilliant designs based on the qualities of the gems he worked with. For example; he used the spots on a gem to make it look like animal pelt. In some of his designs he used real tiger claws and rhino’s horn. The craftsmanship on these designs, which showed Eastern art styles and the culture of the Far East, overshadowed even the most precious of gems. The most plain of all Faberge Eggs was the first one. It is told that Faberge, who made this surprise jewel egg for the Tsar’s wife Maria, was inspired by the hidden beauty in her eyes.
THE UNIQUE GATHERING OF JEWELS
A Faberge Egg with blue embroidery and a small crown decorated with diamonds and sapphire, had the beauty of simplicity. This simplicity was accompanied with golden sticks, acanthus and coralberry flowers and perhaps the most unique gathering of elegance and delicacy could be seen in the designs. In another Faberge Egg with white embroidery, there was the Saint George cross motif inside the delicate laurel leaf motifs. In the Faberge Eggs, which had medallions of portraits of the Tsar and his wife attached with ribbons, there were examples of symbols of the cathedrals of the Tsar’s coronation. In some imperial eggs in which icons and guards
In another Faberge Egg, it was possible to listen to hymns with the help of a key and it was one of the most precious jewels given to the Tsar’s wife by the Tsar. It’s center covered with flower motifs of precious gems, it’s gold craftsmanship completed with pearls, it’s elegant lines; all of these details increased the brilliance of the Faberge Eggs. It also has different names like “Renaissance”, “Coralberry”, “Winter”, “Alexander’s Palace”, “The Swan” and for centuries it presented versions of different “egg” traditions in many cultures, using rubies and emeralds for decoration.
Ever since the Russian Revolution in 1917, collectors all over the world are in a challenge to find Faberge Eggs. Today, they are being protected in many museums and collections… Some Faberge jewels are in the U.S. Besides Kremlin, it is also among the most precious in Queen Elizabeth II.’s collection. During the past years, Russia’s oil king Victor Vekselberg and the Forbes Family who owns some of the most unique Faberge Eggs came face to face. It looks like these special jewels with their own unique beauties will remain to glamour future generations as well.