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GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge' Eggs

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Author Topic: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge' Eggs  (Read 8013 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2008, 07:59:11 am »



Faberge-
Moscow Kremlin Egg c.1906,

Made in St.  Petersburg,
Russia

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« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2008, 08:02:13 am »



Bouquet of Lilies/
Madonna Lily Egg
c. 1899.

« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 08:15:23 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2008, 08:04:13 am »












                                           F A B U L O U S   F A B E R G E   E G G S





By Maureen Timm

As seen in The Antique Shoppe Newspaper, April 2007

From the beginning of time an egg has been the object of religious adoration. Practically all highly developed nations are well aware of the symbolic significance of an egg illustrating transition from non-existence to life. It is a symbol of joy, happiness and sun which brings warmth and revival of nature. In the ancient language of Egyptian hieroglyphics, the determinative sign of an egg displays a certain potential, a life-giving seed, a mystery of being.

In Imperial Russia eggs played a significant part in the Easter ceremony. In the midst of merrymaking, processions, celebrations, feasts and gifts, the Czars gave their Czarinas an exquisite Faberge egg, the work of a company run and controlled by the legendary Carl Faberge.

Master jeweler, Peter Carl Faberge, the grandson of a French Huguenot who settled in Estonia, was born in St. Petersburg, where his father was a jeweler. After an apprenticeship in Frankfurt, he took over his father's shop and won a Gold Medal at the Pan-Russian exhibition in 1882. Alexander ill was among those who attended the event and were intrigued by Faberge's objects of fantasy.

Faberge was named goldsmith and jeweler to the Russian Court in the mid-1880s and proposed to Alexander ill the creation of an elaborate Easter egg to be presented to the Czarina. Alexander was so impressed by this first Imperial egg that the special Easter creations became a tradition throughout his reign and that of his son and successor, Nicholas ll. It was agreed that the Easter gift would always have an egg shape and would hold a surprise. These projects became top priority of the company and were planned and designed months in advance. The surprise was always kept a secret.

The designs for the Imperial eggs were inspired by historical works of art that Faberge imitated or copied from his travels or from the Hermitage. However, there is a poignant representation of what is now Russian history in the design of a number of these eggs. There were eggs to commemorate the coronation of Czar Nicholas ll, the completion of the Trans Siberian Railway, and anniversaries. There were eggs depicting the Imperial Yacht-Standart, the Uspensky Cathedral, and the Gatchina Palace.

Faberge's primary source of inspiration came from works of previous centuries. Translucent enameling was a valued technique in the 19th century that required several coats of applied enamel and the "firing" of the object in an oven after each coat. However, only a limited number of colors were used in the 19th century and Faberge experimented until he developed over 140 shades. The most popular was the oyster enamel which varied in color depending on the light.

Materials used by Faberge included metals - silver, gold, copper, nickel, palladium, that were combined in varying proportions to produce different colors. Another technique used by 18th century French goldsmiths, and again Faberge, involved a simple tinting of the completed work using stones and enamel.

Another technique used by Faberge included guilloche, a surface treatment that could make waves and striations in the design and could be done by machine or by hand. Faberge used natural stones often found in abundance in the area. These included jasper, bowenite, rhodonite, rock crystal, agate, aventurine quartz, lapis lazuli, and jade. Precious stones including sapphires, rubies and emeralds were used only for decoration, and when they were en cabochon (round cut). Diamonds were typically rose-cut. Semi-precious stones including moonstones, garnets, olivines and Mecca stones were used more often en cabochon.

Goldsmithing became Carl Faberge's primary interest, and he hired Michael Perchin, a Russian goldsmith to assist him in his experiments with gold and enamel. They studied former works of art and attempted to replicate techniques of earlier artisans. Their efforts were so successful that even the Czar could not distinguish between the original piece and Faberge's copy of a snuffbox in his own collection. This resulted in Faberge becoming the Supplier of the Imperial Court.

The House of Faberge was staffed with some of the finest goldsmiths and jewelers of that time. The business was divided into several small workshops, each with its own specialty. In addition to the fabulous Easter eggs, the workshop also produced table silver, jewelry, European-style trinkets and Russian-style carvings. The two master jewelers most responsible for the Faberge eggs were Michael Evlampievich Perchin and Henrik Wigstrom. Born in 1860 Perchin became the leading workmaster in the House of Faberge in 1886 and supervised production of the eggs until 1903. Those eggs he was responsible for have his MP (MP-Michael Perchin) markings. All signed eggs made after 1903 bear Henrik Wigstrom' s HW mark.

Founding the House of Faberge in 1870 at age 24, Carl Faberge reached a fine balance between art and commercial success rarely achieved by creative geniuses. His staff, at one time, numbered nearly 700 and created eggs and other objects of fantasy and purchasers read like a "Who's Who" of Edwardian society.

When the Russian Revolution caused his company to be taken over by the government, Carl Faberge left Russia. He died in 1920.

The story of Theo Faberge has everything a great saga needs; royalty, riches, history, tragedy, mystery and an illegitimate birth. What is most amazing is that Theo did not discover he was the grandson of the world famous Carl Faberge until he was 47 years old.

Theo had studied to become a silversmith, then an ornamental turner and at the age of 52 he started over ~ a craftsman, repairing clocks, restoring furniture, then making a pair of candlesticks and a paper knife.

He became fascinated by the egg as an art form, and in 1981 created his first "surprise" egg. Anniversary eggs were next, followed by the formation of the St. Petersburg Collection.

This collection of approximately 30 pieces exhibits the same high standards as his grandfather. Styles are diverse, but contain ~gs common to all his creations, and most contain a "surprise."

A dedicated team of crystal cutters, artists, enamellers, silversmiths, gem setters and other skilled craftsmen are based at several workshops throughout England. However, Theo does the ornamental turning and most of the engraving himself. Each design is limited to 750 pieces worldwide and each is numbered and signed.

Theo Faberge's collection is proof that the old skills are still being kept alive.

Fifty-six Imperial eggs were made, forty-four of which have been located today and another two that are known to have been photographed. Another twelve Easter eggs were commissioned by Alexander Ferdinandovich Kelch, a Siberian goldmine owner. However, the Imperial Easter Egg collection commissioned by the last of the Russian Czars is the most celebrated.

Further Reading: Forbes, Christopher, Faberge Eggs, New York: Harry N. Abrams.1980
Museum: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Blvd., Richmond, Virginia 23220-4007


http://antiqueshoppefl.com/archives/mtimm/fabergeeggs0407.htm
« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 08:08:55 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2008, 08:16:55 am »



Moscow Kremlin Egg
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« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2008, 08:18:42 am »



EQUESTRIAN EGG
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« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2008, 08:20:18 am »



MEMORY OF AZOV EGG
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« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2008, 08:21:51 am »





             

              TWELVE MONOGRAM EGG
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« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2008, 08:23:18 am »



PETER THE GREAT EGG
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« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2008, 08:29:44 am »









Resurrection Egg

 
Made between 1885 and 1890, this egg is one of Faberge's masterpieces; exquisitely made in the manner of the Italian Renaissance. The three gold figures in the group are enamelled en ronde bosse - white drapery and lilac-coloured wings. The grass and the ground on which the group is arranged are enamelled pale green and brown with yellow flecks, and the base is surrounded by a narrow belt of rose diamonds.

The door is enamelled to simulate marlbe with a coral-colored handle. The whole Resurrection scene is contained within a carved rock crystal egg, the two hemispheres held together by a line of rose diamonds. A large pearl serves as the shaft for this egg.
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« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2008, 08:33:06 am »









1894 - Renaissance Egg

 
Carved from a block of milky agate, this egg, mounted horizontally on a gold enameled base, is fashioned as a jewel casket. Individual fancy and lineal pattern in Renaissance effectiveness are skilfully combined in the applied gold trelliswork pointed by diamonds and rubies at the interstices; and in the play of emerald, ruby and lapis-blue enamels in scroll and conventionalized design.

A scalloped tracery in diamonds on the cover encloses a ruby-enameled medallion variously ornamented with repeated foliate motifs in colorful enamels and the year in diamonds. Gold heraldic lions' heads at either end terminate slender loop handles. The opening is secured by a tiny gold and diamond latch, while engagingly designed inner rims are developed in opaque white enameling and gold floral patterns.
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« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2008, 08:35:39 am »









1893 - Caucasus Egg

 
Varicolored gold garlands held by diamond bowknots mount this gold egg, overload with vibrant ruby enamel on a guilloche'undersurface. An extraordinary table-top diamond, gem-encircled, crowns the object; another completes the base.

Depicting views of mis mountain retreat high in the Caucasus where the Grand Duke Georg, younger brother of Nikolai II, because of ill health spent the greater part of his life, miniatures executed and signed by Krijitski are revealed on opening the four pearl-bordered doors around the egg. Each of these bears a diamond-set numeral of the year.
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« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2008, 08:53:35 am »









1895 - Danish Palaces Egg

 
A star sapphire within a cluster of rose diamonds and chased gold laurel leaves surmounts this trois-couleur gold egg which is enamelled a translucent pink on a guilloche pattern of repeated crosses. The egg is divided into twelve panels by broad bands consisting each of a line of rose diamonds within continuous laurel leaf borders chased in gold, an emerald is set at each intersection of the lines of rose diamonds.

A folding screen of miniature paintings framed in vari-coloured gold is recessed within the egg. Painted on mother-of-pearl, eight of the ten panels depict palaces and residences in Denmark where the Empress spent her childhood.

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« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2008, 08:56:56 am »









1896 - Revolving Miniatures Egg

 
Banded in diamonds and translucent emerald enamel, it is surmounted by a rare Siberian emerald weighing 27 karats, cun en cabochon and pointed. On a plinth of rock crystal, the double spheroidic base in contrastingly colorful enamels, twice circled with diamonds, is designed with monograms of the Tsarina, as the Princess Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt, before her marriage, and later as Aleksandra Feodorovna, Empress of Russia. Above these appears a series of diamond crowns of the respective royal houses.

Within the egg twelve signed miniatures by Zehngraf, framed in gold and controlled by the emerald at the apex, revolve on a columnar axis. These, showing the royal residences in Germany, England and Russia associated with the life of the Tsarina, include views of palaces in and near Darmstadt, Hesse; Balmoral and Windsor Castles, and Osborne House in the British Isles; the Winter, Antichkov and Aleksandr Palaces of Russia.
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« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2008, 09:03:16 am »










1897 - Coronation Egg

 
This superb red gold egg enamelled translucent line yellow on an engraved field, is enclosed by a green gold laurel leaf trellis-work cage mounted at each intersection by a yellow gold Imperial double-headed eagle enamelled opaque black, and set with a rose diamond. A large portrait diamond is set in the top of the egg within a cluster of ten brilliant diamonds; through the table of this stone, the monogram of the Empress is seen. Amother, smaller, portrait diamond is set within a cluster of rose diamonds at the end of the egg, beneath which the date is inscribed on a similar plaque.

Concealed inside this elaborate shell is an exact replica of the Imperial coach used in 1896 at the Coronation of Nicholas and Alexandra in Moscow. In yellow gold and strawberry coloured translucent enamel, the coach is surmounted by the Imperial Crown in rose diamonds and six double-headed eagles on the roof; it is fitted with engraved rock crystal windows and platinum tyres, and is decorated with a diamond-set trellis in gold and an Imperial eagle in diamonds at either door.
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« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2008, 09:06:31 am »










1897 - Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna Egg

 
Coincident with the centennial celebration of the patronage of charitable institutions by the Empresses of Russia, this gold egg is engraved with the commemorative dates "1797-1897"; and with the motifs of the Arts and Sciences. It is surmounted with the figure of a pelican and its young, in diamonds and opalescent white enamel, representing tenets of the Christian Faith, Charity and Sacrifice.

Unfolding into eight oval panels, each rimmed in pearls, miniatures by Zehngraf are revealed of the institutions of which the Dowager Empress was patroness, founded principally for the education of young girls. Closed, the panels form the enitre egg, the surface separations of which are ingeniously concealed.
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