As modern marketers and business representatives would say, Faberge is a well-promoted brand. And they would be right. His famous series of decorative eggs is still of interest from not only jewelers, but also representatives of art. In our review, little-known facts about the most famous eggs in the world.
The tradition to paint Easter eggs has existed in Russia since ancient times. She followed the imperial family. But in 1885, Tsar Alexander III, without knowing it, somewhat transformed this tradition. Deciding to surprise his spouse, Empress Maria Feodorovna, he made her a special gift - an egg with a secret.
"Chicken" - the first work of Carl Faberge
It was a precious egg, covered with a thick layer of white enamel, across which there was a golden stripe. It opened, and inside was a golden "yolk". In it, in turn, sat a golden hen. All the details were made so subtly and masterly that you could make out the comb, round eyes, and even feathers. There was also a surprise in the hen - a ruby egg and an imperial crown.
The Empress was delighted with such a gift, and Alexander III presented a new “miracle” to his wife for each Easter. This tradition was continued by Nicholas II, the son of Alexander III, who by the Easter holidays gave precious eggs to his mother and spouse.
The author of Easter eggs, which ordered the Russian emperors, was jewelry craftsman Peter Karl Faberge. The famous jeweler was born on May 30, 1846 in St. Petersburg. His father, Gustav Faberge, was born in the port city of Pärnu and came from a German family of French roots, his mother, Charlotte Youngstedt, was the daughter of a Danish artist. In 1841, Faberge Sr. received the title “Master of Jewelry” and in 1842 opened his business in St. Petersburg on Bolshaya Morskaya Street at number 12. Faberge Jr.'s talent was so bright and uncommon that at the age of 24 he headed the workshop father's
Peter Carl Faberge at work
In 1882, the All-Russian Art and Industrial Exhibition was held in Moscow. It was there that Emperor Alexander III and his wife Maria Feodorovna noticed the works of Peter Karl. So Faberge received the patronage of the royal family and the title of "jeweler of His Imperial Majesty and jeweler of the Imperial Hermitage."
Carl Faberge was given complete creative freedom - he could create precious eggs on any subject. However, one rule was still: the piece of jewelry must be a surprise. Therefore, a tiny miracle was hidden in each master's egg: a tiny diamond copy of the royal crown, a mechanical swan, a golden miniature of the palace, 11 tiny portraits on an easel, a model of a ship, an exact copy of the royal carriage and much more.
"Coronation" - the most famous Faberge egg
Products "jeweler of His Imperial Majesty" were famous not only in the Russian Empire, but also in Europe. Numerous royal relatives in Great Britain, Denmark, Greece, Bulgaria received precious eggs as a gift and cherished them very much, passing them by inheritance.
After the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks, trying to replenish the treasury of the "new" state, began to sell off the artistic treasures that once belonged to the imperial family.
In 1925, a catalog of the values of the Romanovs' house: crowns, wedding crowns, scepter, orb, diadems, necklaces and other jewelry, including the famous Faberge eggs, were sent to all foreign representatives in the USSR. A portion of the Diamond Fund was sold to English antiquarian Norman Weiss. In 1928, seven "low-value" Faberge eggs and another 45 items were withdrawn from the fund.
However, precisely because of this, Faberge eggs were saved from melting.
In the collection of Her Majesty Elizabeth II there are three Faberge imperial Easter eggs: "Colonnade", "Basket of flowers" and "Mosaic". Particular attention is attracted by the “Basket with a bouquet of wild flowers”, the flowers in which look fresh and surprisingly realistic.
"A basket of flowers", now part of the collection of Elizabeth II
The British Faberge collection is one of the largest in the world. In addition to the legendary eggs, there are several hundred jewelry masterpieces in it: jewelry boxes, frames, animal figurines and personal decorations for members of the imperial houses of Russia, Great Britain and Denmark.