Photo: Wikimedia Commons shakko
The Tsarina is said to have adored the famed Faberge eggs, as did the Queen of England.However, the imperial eggs that were created by Peter Carl Faberge for the royal Romanov family of Russia were last created almost a century ago.
No new collections of eggs have ever been created by the Faberge family since the revolution of 1917, which saw the royal family overthrown and the creation of the Soviet Union.
It’s 2011, and the Soviet Union has ceased to exist. The ‘Faberge’ name is now owned by Pallinghurst Resources, the majority shareholder in Faberge’s who has brought the house of Faberge back to the international markets after almost a century.
The Faberge brand was purchased from Unilever, which was using the name for cosmetics marketing, of all things.
The relaunched company even boasts of ties to the direct descendants of Faberge and has hired the great-grand daughter Sarah Faberge as the director of special projects. In 1951 the Faberge family had lost the rights to use their family name in selling Faberge-labelled designs when expensive litigation forced on them a settlement that ceded these rights to an American corporation in return for just $25,000.
The latest collection, which comes after a century, consists of eggs the size of a baby’s fist and are to be worn around the neck as pendants. Called the “Les Fameux de Faberge” collection, these eggs will be on show in Geneva from July 18 to August 21.
The company also plans to open Faberge shops in London where there was an outlet (on Bond Street) as far back as 1917 thanks to the Royals of England who loved Fabergé creations. Two collections of egg pendants have been prepared for release at Faberge’s boutique in Geneva and for online sale through Fabergé’s new client website.
The last Fabergé egg that underwent the hammer sold for about $19.5 million. However this time, the company has decided to go for the masses and will sell the eggs for about $8,000. There will of course be the special limited editions too, such as the titanium pendant that will cost a whopping $600,000.
The original eggs :
Some History on the Faberge Eggs :
A Fabergé egg is any one of 60-nine jeweled eggs made by Peter Carl Fabergé and his assistants between 1885 and 1917. 24 eggs were made and presented to Czars Alexander III and Nicholas II of Russia. A further two eggs were planned but not delivered, the Constellation and Karelian Birch eggs of 1917. Seven of the eggs were made for the Kelch family of Moscow. The eggs are made of precious metals or hard stones decorated with combinations of enamel and gem stones. The term “Fabergé egg” has become a synonym of luxury and the eggs are regarded as masterpieces of the jeweller’s art.
Carl Fabergé and his goldsmiths designed and constructed the first egg in 1885. It was commissioned by Czar Alexander III of Russia as an Easter surprise for his wife Maria Fyodorovna. On the outside it looked like a simple egg of white enameled gold, but it opened up to reveal a golden yolk. The yolk itself had a golden hen inside it, which in turn had a tiny crown with a ruby hanging inside, reminiscent of the matryoshka nesting dolls. Empress Maria was so delighted by this gift that Alexander appointed Fabergé a “Court Supplier” and commissioned an Easter gift each year thereafter, stipulating only that it be unique and contain a surprise. His son, Nicholas II of Russia continued the tradition, annually presenting an egg each spring to his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna as well as his then-widowed mother.
Of the 105 known Fabergé eggs, only 60-nine have survived to the present day. The vast majority of them are stored in public museums, with the greatest number, 30, in Russia.
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