Atlantis Online

Arts & Literature => Art History => Topic started by: Bianca on May 23, 2008, 11:37:00 am

Title: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge' Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 23, 2008, 11:37:00 am


The Renaissance Faberge' egg is displayed during the
exhibition 'Treasures of Imperial Russia' in Croatia's
Adriatic town of Dubrovnik on November 3, 2007.

(Nikola Solic/Reuters)

                                        Revived Faberge' To Create First Egg Since 1917

By Eric Onstad
May 23, 2008

LONDON (Reuters) - A revived Faberge luxury goods group plans to resurrect its founder's work next year with the launch of the first jewel-encrusted egg since 1917, when the Faberge family was scattered by the Russian revolution.
A group of investors bought rights to Faberge' last year -- which had been used to market cosmetics like Brut men's fragrance -- and have been working to restore the firm to its origins with the support of the Russian founder's relatives.

"Faberge' will announce their first new collection, the first authentic, family-blessed collection since 1917, in the course of next year," Sean Gilbertson, a partner in the Pallinghurst fund that owns Faberge', told Reuters.

The original Faberge' company was founded in 1842 by Russian jeweler Gustav Faberge', who gained fame for designing elaborate jewel-encrusted eggs for Russian Tsars.

The last Faberge' egg completed before the Russian revolution was military egg made of steel since gems and precious metals were not available, Gilbertson said.

Tatiana and Sarah Faberge', among the descendants of Gustav Faberge', agreed to sit on a council to restore the exclusive nature of the company.

The new Faberge' will at least initially stick to the founders' products -- objects of art, fine jewellery and items such as ashtrays and pillboxes.

"It's very much sticking to what Faberge' was originally all about. For the foreseeable future there's no clothing or anything along those lines," Gilbertson said.

The original Faberge' family was scattered by the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, but Gustav's grandsons who established a new Faberge' firm in Paris discovered after World War Two that a U.S. businessman was selling perfume under their family name.

They launched a lawsuit, but ran out of money and ceded rights to their family name to a U.S. firm in 1951 for $25,000. The Faberge' brand then went through many owners before being sold for $1.55 billion to consumer goods group Unilever in 1989. Pallinghurst bought the rights last year from Unilever for an undisclosed sum.

Faberge' has appointed as chief executive Mark Dunhill, former president of Alfred Dunhill, the leather and accessories brand of Swiss luxury goods maker Richemont.

Its creative director is Katharina Flohr, former jewellery editor of Tatler magazine, Gilbertson said.

(Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Elizabeth Piper)

Title: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 07:07:44 am


                                               IMPERIAL EASTER EGGS (FABERGE EGGS)

Faberge's first Imperial Easter egg was commissioned by Tsar Alexander III in 1885.

Due to its instant success, a permanent order was given to Faberge, who crafted one egg after another
for the Imperial Family.

Ten were for Tsar Alexander III, who gave them to his wife Maria Feodorovna until his death in 1894.

An additional forty-four were created for Tsar Nicholas II from 1895 until 1916 as presents for his mother, the Dowager Empress, and for his wife Alexandra Feodorovna, thus bringing this to a total of fifty-four eggs.

 It is also conceivable that some eggs were given to other members of the Imperial Family.

Forty-four Imperial Easter Faberge eggs are known to exist, while a further five are known from descriptions.

One of the two half-finished Imperial eggs for 1917 has also survived.

These eggs are now scattered over the world since their sale by Soviet commissars in the 1920s and 1930s.

 Ten have remained in the Kremlin Armoury, eleven were in the FORBES Magazine Collection.

But recently the Russian Oil and Gas industrialist Victor Vekselberg bought nine eggs from this collection valued at about $90 million. He intends to display them in Russian museums.

Thirteen are still in American museums, and the remaining ten are housed in private collections.

Problems concerning the chronology of these Faberge eggs is addressed in another chapter (see Lopato,
'A Few Remarks Concerning Imperial Easter Faberge Eggs'. Suffice it so say that earlier speculative datings of eggs have been somewhat thrown into disarray due to findings in the Imperial archives.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 07:20:43 am


               PETER CARL FABERGE`

Peter Carl Fabergé, known as Carl Gustavovich Fabergé (Russian: Карл Густавович Фаберже, May 30 1846 – September 24 1920) was a Russian jeweler, best known for the famous 'Fabergé Eggs', made in the style of genuine Easter eggs, but using precious metals and gemstones rather than more mundane materials.

He was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to the jeweller Gustav Faberge and his Danish wife Charlotte Jungstedt. Gustav Fabergé’s father’s family were Huguenots, originally from La Bouteille, Picardie, who fled from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, initially to Germany near Berlin, then in 1800 to the Baltic province of Livonia, then part of Russia.

Carl and his younger brother Agaton were a sensation at the Pan-Russian Exhibition held in Moscow in 1882.

Three years later, Czar Alexander III appointed him an official Court Supplier, as a reward for making him a splendid Easter egg to give to his wife. Thereafter, Fabergé made an egg each year for the Czar to give to
the Empress Maria. The next Czar, Nicholas II, ordered two eggs each year, one for his mother and one for
his own wife, Alexandra, a practice which continued from 1885 to 1917.

He became the Czar’s Court Goldsmith in 1885.

The Imperial Easter eggs were a sideline; Fabergé made many more objects ranging from silver tableware to
fine jewelry. Fabergé’s company became the largest in Russia, with 500 employees and branches in Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Odessa, Kiev and London. It produced some 150,000 objects between 1882 and 1917.

In 1897 the Swedish court appointed Fabergé Court Goldsmith.

In 1900 his work represented Russia at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris.


                                                                  *        *        *

The series of Imperial Easter Faberge eggs is the most ambitious project ever entrusted to a

The only conditions set appear to have been an oviform shape, a surprise of some form, and no repetitions.

Surprises were frequently linked to some occurrence in the history of the Imperial Family — births, anniversaries, inaugurations.

Some bear royal monograms and/ or dates, and many exhibit miniatures of the Imperial children, or
their abodes.

Two contain models of Imperial vessels.

Faberge took this commission extremely seriously, often planning eggs years ahead of time. Some did indeed require several years to finish.

Much secrecy surrounded the surprise in the Faberge eggs, which was never divulged in advance, not even to the Tsar himself.

The solemn presentation of the egg was made by Faberge or by his son Eugene, and the recipient was invariably delighted.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 07:24:08 am



The first two Faberge eggs, each with a hen motif, appear to have been designed and produced under close supervision.

In the following years a certain dependence on earlier models can be detected.By the mid-1890s, however, the designs of the eggs become increasingly audacious.

Among the most felicitous examples are the 1897 Coronation Coach egg, the 1898 Lilies-of-the-Valley egg, the 1899 Pansy egg, the 1901 Gatchina Palace egg, the 1913 Romanov Tercentenary egg, and the 1914 Mosaic egg. The series ends on a subdued note with two plain Red Cross eggs for 1915 the simple Order of St. George egg, and the stark Military egg for 1916. Some of Faberge's clients dared to emulate the Imperial Family in their Easter customs, ordering their own Faberge eggs. A documented series was commissioned by Aleksandr Ferdinandovich Kelch, the Siberian gold magnate, for his wife Barbara, nee Bazanova, between 1898 and 1904. Single Faberge eggs were also made for the Yusupovs and the Nobels.


Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 07:31:57 am


Easter eggs are well-known Russian memorabilia, whose fame outside of this country is probably second only to painted wooden matryoshka dolls. Lately, however, the interest toward the Easter egg has been of a special nature. It is explained by its somewhat illegal status during 70 years. Antique Easter eggs were stored away in different museums, almost inaccessible to the public. It goes without saying that in Soviet times the good tradition of giving and receiving artistically painted Easter eggs on the bright holiday of Christ's Resurrection almost disappeared. In the late 1980s forgotten customs and rituals returned, including the old Russian tradition of a triple kiss and the giving of an Easter egg.

Recently, the famous Winter Easter Faberge Egg, which Emperor Nicholas II gave to his mother, Empress Maria Fedorovna, for the 300th anniversary of the House of Romanov, has been sold for a sensational sum of $7.5 million at a Christie's auction in Geneva.

Easter eggs are an attribute of one of the most important Christian holidays: the day of prayer for
the «miraculous Resurrection» of crucified Jesus Christ.

According to a tradition, the first Easter egg Saint Mary Magdalene coequal with the apostles gave to Roman Emperor Tiberius.

Shortly after Christ the Savior's Ascension, Mary Magdalene came to Rome to preach the gospel. In those times, people coming to see the emperor were supposed to bring him a present. Wealthy people used to bring jewelry, and poor people, what they could afford. Therefore, Mary Magdalene, once a noble and rich woman, who then lost everything, except her faith in Jesus, offered to Emperor Tiberius a chicken egg and exclaimed: «Christ has resurrected» The emperor, doubting her words, noted that nobody could rise from the dead and that it was as hard to believe in what she had said as in that a white egg might turn red. Tiberius was still saying those words when the egg began changing its color and turned scarlet.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 07:32:52 am


Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 07:34:34 am


Thus, from the very first century of Christianity, colored eggs have always been the symbol of Jesus' Resurrection and, with it, a purification in the name of a new, better life to the believers in God the Son. The eggs' red color has symbolized Christ's blood and at the same time was the symbol of the Resurrection. By giving each other Easter eggs, Christians profess the faith in their Resurrection. Once it was customary to give away an egg as a simple, little offering to pagan gods, to give eggs to friends and benefactors—on the first day of the New Year and on birthday. Rich people, instead of painted chicken eggs, often offered golden or gilded eggs, symbolizing the Sun.

The celebration of Easter in Russia was introduced in the late 10th century. Orthodox Easter is observed on the first Sunday following the spring equinox and March full moon. Easter in Russia was accompanied by ceremonies that came from pagan times but now consecrated by the Light of Christ.

Easter coincides with the time when spring comes. By this day, as a sign of blossom, boiled eggs used to be painted in different colors from time immemorial. Easter in Russia has always had a universal, comprehensive nature. The Great Day was a church celebration, a ritual, human happiness, etc. Every nation has its own holidays, but among them there is a principal one. In Russia, such has for centuries been Holy Easter.

The tradition of giving and receiving painted eggs on Easter has existed in Russia from time immemorial. Once, in the reign of Czar Alexis (1645-1676), some 37,000 eggs were prepared by Easter to be given out. Along with natural (chicken, swan, goose, pigeon, and duck) painted eggs, there were carved and painted wooden and bone ones.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 07:35:35 am


The first documented golden painted egg appeared in 1664. Procopius Ivanov, herbal ornamental design artist of the Trinity-Sergius Monastery, was summoned to Moscow to paint eggs. Two years later he brought to the court 170 wooden eggs painted over gold «in various colored paints in beautiful herbal patterns.»

In the 18th-19th centuries, artistically decorated Easter eggs become so widespread among the various segments of the Russian population that from that time it is possible to speak about Easter eggs as a peculiar type of popular decorative applied art. By that time, both precious jewelry eggs and simple peasant pisanki (painted eggs) and krashenki (dyed eggs) had become fairly traditional.

As a result of Peter the Great's reforms (from the founding of the city St Petersburg 1703), materials new for Russia appeared — porcelain, glass, papier-mache — and contributed to the development of the art of making Russian Easter Eggs.

The earliest porcelain Easter egg that came down to us was created for the 1749 Easter. From then until the 1917 revolution, the Imperial Porcelain Factory manufactured Easter eggs. For every Easter Sunday, the factory manufactured Easter eggs for the members of the imperial family «to be handed out» at the time of congratulating each other on Easter day. The decoration of Easter eggs, especially porcelain and glass ones, which were the most numerous throughout the 19th century, correlated with a particular trend in the fine arts.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 07:36:53 am


Starting from the second half of the 19th century, the design of Easter eggs becomes more peculiar, with the use of traditional religious Easter subject matters. Czars themselves sometimes acted as inspectors: thus, Alexander III recommended that eggs be painted not only in colors but also in ornaments, and he liked glass samples of one piece with engraved designs.

Well known are late-19th-century Easter eggs made of papier-mache manufactured at N. Lukutin's factory near Moscow, now famous as Fedoskino Factory of lacquer miniature painting. In the late 19th—early 20th century Easter eggs were also painted in Moscow's icon studios created by artists originally from Russia's traditional icon-painting centers: Palekh, Mstyora, and Kholuy.

One of the first persons who tried to combine an Easter egg with a jewel was Carl Faberge. His name is most frequently associated precisely with the brilliant art of the decorative Easter egg – The Faberge Egg. For known reasons the decorative Faberge eggs have until recently been more widely known outside of Russia.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 07:38:25 am

The Faberge studios created 54 Easter Faberge eggs for Russian Emperor Alexander III and Emperor Nicholas II. Between 1885 and 1894 Alexander III presented his wife with ten Easter eggs, and Nicholas II, from his father's death in 1894 to 1917, presented the Dowager Cziarina, Maria Fedorovna, and his wife with 44 Easter eggs.

The first Faberge Easter egg was made in 1885 by Mikhail Perikhin. In 1886, at the age of 26, this skilled craftsman from the Siberian town of Petrovskiy Zavod became chief foreman of the Faberge firm. Until 1903, when he died, his initials were put on all surprise eggs of the firm made for Emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II. The first egg made by Perikhin consisted of an ivory «shell» with stripes of dark blue enamel; in the «shell» there was a golden-. with-enamel hen with ruby eyes. Inside the hen, there was a golden crown inlaid with pearl. And inside the crown there was a golden ring.
It was precisely in 1885 that the tradition of giving annually Faberge Easter eggs was born. «Your Majesty will be pleased», this answer Faberge used to give when asked about the subject matter of a new egg.


The tradition of making jewelry Easter eggs in Russia was old. For instance, skilled craftsman Nordberg made a silvered surprise egg for Alexander II. But it was the Faberge firm which brought the art of making jewelry Easter eggs to an unsurpassed level of skillfulness, elegance, and creative inventiveness. Faberge never produced exact copies. All Faberge works bear the stamp of a single, inimitable, individual style, which has entered the history of world art forever. The Russian imperial dynasty and its numerous royal and princely relatives in Britain, Denmark, Greece, Bulgaria, Hesse, and Hannover received Faberge eggs as presents from Russia, highly prized those-presents, and passed them down to their heirs.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 07:39:47 am


After the First World War, the fall of monarchy in Russia, and the impoverishment of the aristocracy, many Faberge articles were sold or passed to new owners. In the 1920's, to add hard currency to the treasury, the Soviet government sold a number of works of art from state collections. From the imperial collections, confiscated after 1917, a large portion of apparently «absolutely useless» for Soviet society unique Easter eggs was sold.

Even in spite of the belligerent atheism of the postrevolution decades, the tradition of celebrating Easter was passing from generation to generation—it was very deep-rooted in the Orthodox believers throughout Russia. When the making of present, artistic Easter eggs stopped, people continued celebrating Easter with krashenki (those eggs dyed in one or several colors which practically every Russian knows) and pisanki (painted with ornaments).

Almost all manufacturers of traditional painted wooden art works would make Easter eggs as well. True, for a long time this was disapproved of by the officials. Therefore the living art of the wooden Easter egg found refuge in backcountry villages east of the Volga: Polkhovskiy Maydan and Krutets. The most frequently represented motifs and subject matters are images of a cockerel or a pullet, a sun, a temple or a church, etc.

Today there excist well know centers for producing Eastern Eggs such as Nizhni Novgorod area, where one of the first places is held by legendary Khokhloma.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 07:41:28 am


 While in popular artistic centers of woodworking the art of making lathe ornamented eggs survived even in the Soviet period, in the traditional centers of lacquer miniature painting on papier-mache it appeared only in post-Soviet times, after a long interval of oblivion. As before the 1917 revolution, Easter eggs with lacquer miniature painting of the traditional centers of Fedoskino, Dalekh, Mstyora, and Kholuy are made to order and are fairly expensive. The art of Kholmogory handicraftsmen is known from time immemorial to make bone articles, also Eastern Eggs.

Probably the most ancient of all existing Easter eggs from various materials are the eggs from semiprecious and precious stones and minerals. Ceramic enterprises manufacturing porcelain, delft, and majolica articles prefer mass production of eggs. These artistic enterprises approach the decoration of Easter eggs in a fairly traditional way.

Modern Easter eggs by individual authors are an original phenomenon in the Russian artistic culture of the late 20th century. They are fruits of living, free artistic creative work.
Modern Easter eggs by individual authors can be divided into several motif groups: religious, architectural landscape, simple landscape, literature (Russian epic poems, Russian popular fairy tales, works by Russian writes), pagan motifs, symbolic, etc. fiuch a diversity means that the art of the modern Russian Easter egg is developing in various directions. It is noteworthy that some professional artists who a short time ago began painting matryoshka dolls, switched tree or four years later to Easter eggs, and then took up icon painting.

 Russian poet Marina Tsvetayeva once said that all gifts are given to the ignorant and the ungrateful, except the gift, of the soul, which is nothing but conscience and memory. The best examples of Easter eggs with religious images are charged with such energy and impact so strongly that they really can rouse historic memory and illuminate our souls.

The art of Easter eggs is a whole new world, a feature in the living image of Russia.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 07:44:55 am

Faberge egg in the Armoury Museum in the Kremlin.


Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 07:48:33 am

Kremlin Armoury


Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 07:51:25 am

Easter’s most valuable eggs were hand crafted in the 1880s.

Made by the great goldsmith Peter Carl Faberge, they were commissioned by Czar Alexander III of
Russia as gifts for his wife, Czarina Maria Feodorovna.

The first Faberge egg, presented in 1886, measured two and a half inches long and had a decept-
ively simple exterior.

Inside the white enamel shell, though, was a golden yolk which, when opened, revealed a gold hen
with ruby eyes. The hen itself could be opened, by lifting the beak, to expose a tiny diamond replica
of the imperial crown.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 07:59:11 am

Moscow Kremlin Egg c.1906,

Made in St.  Petersburg,

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 08:02:13 am

Bouquet of Lilies/
Madonna Lily Egg
c. 1899.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca 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

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 08:16:55 am

Moscow Kremlin Egg

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 08:18:42 am


Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 08:20:18 am


Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 08:21:51 am



Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 08:23:18 am


Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca 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.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca 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.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca 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.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca 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.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca 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.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca 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.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca 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.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 09:08:42 am

1898 - Lilies-of-the-Valley Egg

Gold egg enamelled translucent rose on a guilloche field and supported on four dull green gold cabriolet legs composed of overlapping leaves veined with rose diamonds. The egg is surmounted by a rose diamond and cabochon ruby Imperial Crown set with two bows and quartered by four lines of rose diamonds and decorated with lilies-of-the-valley in pearls and rose diamonds.

The surprise consists of three oval miniatures of Nicholas II in military uniform, and the Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana, his first two children, within rose diamond borders which rise out of the top of the egg.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S' ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 09:10:54 am

1891 - Azova Egg

This egg is carved from a solid piece of heliotrope jasper, and is decorated in the Louis XV style with yellow gold scrolls set with brilliant diamonds and chased gold glowers; the broad fluted gold bezel is set with a drop ruby clasp.

A tiny replica in gold of the Pamiat Azova set on a piece of aquamarine is contained inside the egg.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 09:14:37 am

1899 - Madonna Lily Egg

This egg takes the form of a clock with a revolving dial. The four- coloured gold egg is enamelled translucent daffodil-yellow, and is richly set with diamonds.

It stands on an onyx platform decorated with coloured gold scroll mounts, rosettes and the year in diamonds, and is designed as a vase with red gold scrolls serving as extra supports at either side.

The belt of the dial which divides the egg is enamelled opaque white with diamond set numerals and the hours are pointed by the head of an arrow in a drawn bow.

The gold rim of the vase is chased as a cluster of roses; a bunch of Madonna lilies carved from quartzite and each set with rose diamonds emerges from the vase.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 09:16:55 am

1901 - Trans-Siberian Railway Egg

A map of the route of the Trans-Siberian railway as it was in 1900, from St. Petersburg to Vladivostock, engraved on silver, each station marked by a precious stone, forms a broad belt
around this translucent green enamelled gold egg decorated with blue and orange enamel mounts.

The egg is surmounted by a three-headed Eagle in gold bearing the Imperial Crown and is supported by three Romanov Griffins each brandishing sword and shield, and mounted on a white onyx base.

Within is concealed, in three sections, a miniature replica of the Trans- Siberian Express, the engine and tender in platinum and gold, and five coaches in gold; the three parts may be connected to form a train which runs along when the clockwork locomotive is wound up above the driving wheels.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 09:19:37 am

1900 - Cukoo Egg

Clock in dull yellow, green and red golds, enamelled opalescent white and translucent violet on a zig-zag guilloche field, set with pearls and rose diamonds. The dial, which is encircled by pearls set in red polished gold, is enamelled with translucent emerald green trefoils, and the rose diamond numerals are set on pale greenish white opalescent enamel within opaque white enamel rings. A yellow gold leaf pattern surrounds the central pivot on which the red gold hands revolve.

The egg is supported on an elaborate base set with three large rose diamonds by a central shaft and three struts enamelled opalescent white. When a button at the back of the clock is pressed, the circular pierced gold grille which surmounts it opens, and a cukoo, plumed with natural feathers, set with cabochon ruby eyes, and standing on gold legs, rises crowning on a gold platform, the beak and wings moving authentically, until the crowing finished, it descends once again into the egg.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 09:28:22 am


by H.C. Bainbridge


H.C. Bainbridge was for thirty years the close friend, associate and "ambassador" in Europe of Carl Faberge, the most famous court jeweler in history, often referred to as the "Cellini of the North". Mr. Bainbridge had the unique experience of meeting and knowing, as he charmingly phrases it: "...all the kings and all the queens, all the multi-millionaires, all the mandarins and all the maharajahs, all the dukes and all the marquises, all the earls, viscounts, barons and baronets."

How many royal "appointments" Faberge had, I never inquired. Doubtless all of them. Primarily, of course, he was Court Jeweler to the Tsars Aleksandr III and Nikolai II.

He was a genius on the rampage, always in search of something on which to vent his creative skill, and on this quest his clients helped him. Now you cannot give a pearl necklace to a Queen, or a diamond to a Rothschild, or a ruby to a Greville; they have them all. This was what set Faberge on his quest and it was just this which made him supreme. It was all those beautiful articles of fantasie, those bibelots for the table, which made his fame the world over. He became the first in Russia to make objects of elegance, taste and feeling; his work the wide world over became known as a style of its own, "Faberge".

But not only as a master of style does he deserve a niche in the pillar of fame; he gave to two new arts, enameling on gold and silver, and stone- cutting, and he brought them both to the pitch of excellence. The renaissance of both in the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries was very largely due to him. His cigarette-cases, enameled on gold and silver, are incomparable. His flowers, cut in precious and semi-precious stones, almost transcend nature in their delicate tracery and beauty of form; and his animals catch every trick and turn and are cut with a boldness and a verve which make them almost live.

With a catalogue of successes behind him, it was at the "Exposition Internationale Universelle" in Paris in 1900, that he was acclaimed Master by the Goldsmiths of France in the capital of the country from which, 215 years before, his persecuted ancestors had fled.

Here the Empresses Aleksandra Feodorovna and Marie Feodorovna lent for exhibition all their wonderful collection of Easter Eggs, given to them by the Emperors Aleksandr III and Nikolai II. These are perhaps the finest pieces which Faberge ever made; upon them he lavished every artifice of design, workmanship and mechanism. I say mechanism, because inside some of them were mechanical devices which would puzzle the skill of a most expert watchmaker to contrive. Faberge made forty-nine of them in all.

Easter was, as you know, a great time in Russia in Tsarist days. Everybody kissed everybody else, and said: "Christ is risen"; receiving in reply the words: "Verily He is risen"; and everybody gave everybody else a present. Easter Eggs took first place as the age-old symbol of "Resurrection", "New Life" and "hopefulness". Everything was adapted to the shape of them. How the first Imperial Easter Egg came to be is a romance in itself.

Faberge was an artist in more ways than one, and his unique gift was a subtle genius for creating just the right situation which evoked in his patrons the desire to possess something which, for the moment, had only taken shape in his mind. When he proposed to the Emperor Aleksandr III (the year 1885 is the nearest I can come to a date) that for the next Easter gift for the Empress he should make an egg with some surprise inside it, the Tsar was all agog to know what it was to be. To keep an Emperor on tenterhooks may quite easily prove a dangerous proceeding, but Faberge kept his secret; and, loving a joke, he produced what was, to all appearance, an ordinary hen's egg, containing a series of "surprises" wrought in gold and platinum, precious gems and enamel. The Tsar was so pleased that he gave Faberge a standing order for an egg every Easter-tide, and a bargain was struck between Emperor and Craftsman. The latter was given carte blanche to make whatever took his fancy, and the former asked no questions; the kernel of the agreement being that each egg must have some surprise inside. During the lifetime of Aleksandr III only one egg was made each year, and this the Tsar gave to the Tsarina Marie Feodorovna. But from the time of the accession of Nikolai II, two were made each year; one to be given to the Tsarina Aleksandra Feodorovna and the other to his mother, the Dowager Empress. The yearly Easter Egg became the great surprise for the Imperial Family. Today, as the outcome of the original joke, there are in existence forty-nine Imperial eggs which for ingenuity, craftsmanship and beauty of design, it is no exaggeration to say, surpass anything of a like nature which has yet come from a goldsmith's workshop.

It never entered my head that any of these treasures would ever leave the confines of the Russian Empire where they were carefully guarded together with the rest of the Romanov Crown Jewels. However, Fate decreed otherwise. The revolution which shook Russia has brought about many strange occurrences. During the famine of 1921, a wealthy young American physician, Armand Hammer, went to Russia as a volunteer relief worker, and brought out of that country the greatest private collection of Faberge pieces in existence today. A connoisseur of art, Dr. Hammer soon saw that some of the superb treasures of a great dynasty were being swept into oblivion. Along with paintings by great masters, he collected several hundred pieces of Faberge's finest creations, such as jeweled flowers, animals fashioned of semi-precious stones, ikons, enamels and a great variety of bibelots. Through direct negotiations with the government, Dr. Hammer was also able to purchase eleven of Faberge's priceless Imperial Easter Eggs which were found, together with the other Crown Jewels, when the Imperial Palaces fell into the hands of the present government. Some of these along with others of the Imperial Eggs loaned by H.M. the Dowager Queen Mary and H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Xenia were featured in the Imperial Russian Exhibition held in Belgrave Square, London, in 1935.

Of all the works of Faberge, the Imperial Easter Eggs are creating the greatest interest today. For all time they are a monument to his master mind and skill.

H.C. Bainbridge

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 09:32:19 am


Gustav Fabergé founded the jewellery firm of Fabergé, in 1842 in the old capital of St Petersburg. After the closure of the business in 1917 Carl Fabergé went overseas and his grandson Theo Fabergé was born in London in 1922.


The Fabergé family is French by origin. Their home had been the village of La Bouteille in the Picardy region of North Eastern France. They were Huguenots in a predominantly Roman Catholic country. In 1685 King Louis XIV of France revoked the Edict of Nantes and they lost religious freedom and civil liberty.


In the years subsequent to 1685, a quarter of a million French Huguenots fled their country to settle in England, the Netherlands, the fledgling United States and Russia.

The Fabergés went first to Schwedt-an-der-Oder in Eastern Germany. Then, in 1800, to Pernau in the Russian Baltic province of Livonia – today part of Estonia.

During the previous 100 years, the influence of Czar Peter the Great and his cosmopolitan experience had made Russia an attractive country for craftsmen. Catherine the Great’s creation of her Winter Palace in St Petersburg, on the banks of the Neva, absorbed artistic creations from the entire civilised world; and Catherine’s reign had also seen religious tolerance enshrined in Russian law. The language of the Imperial court was French. This fortunate conjuncture results in the arrival of Gustav Fabry, born in 1814, in the Russian capital city of St Petersburg.


Gustav’s father Peter had been a goldsmith practising his craft in Wurtemburg, under the patronage of Catherine the Great.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 09:39:58 am

                                                      Faberge Eggs To Return To Russia

5 February, 2004,
20:47 GMT 



Eight of the 50 eggs made for the tsars have never been found

A Russian millionaire has bought the world's second-largest collection of Faberge eggs which was scheduled to
be auctioned by Sotheby's in April.

Oil and gas industrialist Victor Vekselberg bought the entire Forbes collection of nine eggs and other items,
valued at about $90m.

He hopes to take the tsarist treasures to post-Communist Russia by Easter.

Only the Kremlin has more eggs - 10 - out of the 50 created by jeweller Carl Faberge for Russia's imperial

Confirming that Sotheby's had negotiated the sale for an undisclosed sum, a spokeswoman for the auction
house in New York said it had "happened very quickly" but had been "a very serious offer that the Forbes family accepted".

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 09:45:26 am

Sellers 'delighted'

The intricately designed eggs, about 13cm (5in) tall and made of precious metals and gems, include the Coronation Egg, which features the coach that Empress Alexandra rode into Moscow in 1897.

 The religious, spiritual and emotional content captured by these Faberge eggs touches upon the soul of the Russian people


Victor Vekselberg 

The Forbes publishing family said it was "delighted that the advent of a new era in Russia [had] made possible the return of these extraordinary objects".

Mr Vekselberg said the Forbes collection represented "perhaps the most significant example of our cultural heritage outside Russia".

He told the BBC that the eggs would be brought back from the US by April.

He described them as priceless and said he was overjoyed to be returning such a significant collection to Russia.

"The religious, spiritual and emotional content captured by these Faberge eggs touches upon the soul of the Russian people," he said.

It was not immediately clear what the industrialist, who is chairman of the board of directors of investment and business development company Renova, planned to do with the collection.

However, Russia's most powerful museums have begun staking their claims to them.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 09:48:29 am

Abramovich contrast

The BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Moscow says politicians and public have praised Mr Vekselberg for his patriotism.

While denying he was deliberately trying to curry favour, he said nonetheless that he hoped the "right people" would approve.

His purchase is in marked contrast to Roman Abramovich's buy-up of English football club Chelsea, which dismayed many Russians keen to revive the cash-strapped domestic game.

The eggs, created for the last two Russian emperors, Alexander III and Nicholas II, were dispersed around the world after the 1917 Revolution, many of them sold off by the Bolsheviks.

The Forbes eggs and the best of the other 180 Faberge pieces in the collection are due to be exhibited at Sotheby's in New York before they are taken to Russia.


Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 09:51:02 am


                   Viktor Vekselberg born 46 years ago in a tiny Soviet town on the Ukrainian-Polish border 

    By Linda Hales,
Washington Post Staff Writer
The Washington Post,
Washington, D.C.
Saturday, March 13, 2004;

NEW YORK -- In the august salons of Sotheby's on Thursday, industrialist Viktor Vekselberg presided over a private party that he could not have imagined during his youth in a country that no longer exists. The billionaire oil and gas baron from Moscow, born 46 years ago in a tiny Soviet town on the Ukrainian-Polish border, made headlines last month by purchasing $100 million worth of Faberge decorative arts. The highlight was nine Easter eggs made for the last czars. With 300 of his new best friends present, including Russian Federation officialdom, he used the caviar-and-champagne setting to introduce a new concept for Russians: philanthropy. The centerpiece is the nonprofit Vekselberg Foundation for Art and Culture that he'd set up to repatriate the historic treasures. And he served notice to his fellow tycoons that it's time for them to give back, too.


Viktor and Marina Vekselberg, and their children, Irina and Sasha, at a
reception at Sotheby's celebrating their acquisition of the Forbes Faberge
egg collection. Vekselberg plans to display the eggs at the Kremlin.
The eggs' exquisite detail can be seen in the Lillies of the Valley Egg

Photo by Helayne Seidman for The Washington Post


"Today, I am expected to be the symbol of Russia," Vekselberg said through an interpreter.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 10:19:50 am

"Today, I am expected to be the symbol of Russia," Vekselberg said through an interpreter.

Behind him, a magnified image of a pink enameled egg created a surreal perspective. Lily of the valley blossoms made from pearls suddenly looked as big as pumpkins. And Vekselberg looked a bit like the tiny surprise inside one of his eggs.



Gold, ormolu (gilded bronze),
vermeil (gilded silver), enamel,
diamonds, rubies, pearls,
rock crystal

"I looked into my heart and I understood that we, the businessmen of Russia, are not the same as we were five years ago," Vekselberg said. "We have changed together with our country."

His offering consists of more than 100 pieces of Faberge collected over decades by Malcolm S. Forbes and consigned to auction by the Forbes sons. The late 19th- and early 20th-century works were the glittering output of the imperial jeweler Carl Faberge, who rose to prominence under the last two czars. Faberge has become synonymous with luxury, fine craftsmanship and precious materials no longer affordable. Having the collection, and especially the eggs, back in Russia presumably will contribute to an understanding of the last gasp of the Romanovs' rule. A promise to make the collection public -- the eggs are scheduled to go on display at the Kremlin in mid-May -- has made Vekselberg a hero back home.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 10:26:59 am

"It's scary," he confided in English. "I was just a businessman, but now. . . . " With paparazzi hovering, he admitted that he and his family are feeling a kinship with rock stars. His son, Sasha, 15, daughter, Irina, 25, an MBA candidate at Yale, and his wife, Marina, were with him. "We're private people. We're not prepared for this," he said.

He has yet to reduce his philanthropy to a sound bite. He mentioned the undeniable beauty of gold, enamel and glittering stones. There is the artistry of each creation, including a tiny gold coronation carriage, which is such an exact miniature that museum curators consulted the Faberge drawings to restore the real carriage. There is the religious significance of Easter eggs. And the historical significance of gifts that commemorate Alexander III and Nicholas II and their wives and children. One egg from 1916 is notably lacking in gold and jewels. It was made during wartime, and marks the beginning of the end as poignantly as decorative arts can do.

Vladimir Voronchenko, who will head the foundation, tried to express the elation that he and Vekselberg are feeling. "It's more important than business, more important than money," he said. "We had really to do something for our country. And it's a really big country. And we're only two small people."


Varicolored gold, platinum,
enamel, diamonds, rubies,
rock crystal, velvet lining

 He did not mention, but others did, that the annals of Russian businessmen include tycoons, tough guys, oligarchs and expats who would rather buy property in France or soccer teams in Britain than give back to the Motherland.

"It's important to show to Russia the new face of Russian business," Voronchenko insisted. "We have started to feel social responsibility. It's the right time."

Plans are still vague, but Vekselberg assured that the eggs are only a "first step" in a larger plan to repatriate Russian art. When asked whether he would be spending more money anytime soon, Vekselberg laughed and said, "I don't have so much money."

Actually, with a net worth of $3.3 billion, he ranks No. 143 on Forbes magazine's latest list of the world's richest people.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 10:30:31 am

                                             T H E   N I N E   ' F O R B E S '   E G G S :










A few weeks ago, 10,000 New Yorkers queued for three hours in the cold to get a last look at the eggs, eliciting a comparison with scenes created by estate sales of Andy Warhol and Jackie Kennedy, and the Duchess of Windsor's jewels.

When the eggs were unveiled on Thursday, Andrea Fallek made her way quickly to the gold-enameled Coronation Egg. A New Yorker originally from Vienna, she recalled a friend in Florida, who had owned an imperial egg, but kept it locked away in the bank. Fallek suggested she might as well sell it to Malcolm Forbes, which the friend did. Sadly, Fallek had no idea which of the eggs it was. "I never saw it," she said.

Robert M. Lee, the founder of Hunting World, had flown in from Geneva. He is the current owner of a Faberge imperial egg known as the Love Trophy. He purchased it at auction a decade ago and keeps it locked in a bank in Reno. He found himself fending off dealers at the event. "It's not for sale," he said, "It's my only egg. I'm not selling it."

If Americans were on hand to say goodbye to the Forbes extravagance, many Russians were there to say hello. Faberge was spirited out of their country and sold off in the tumultuous years after the revolution. Now that one of their own had swooped in like Superman to keep the world's greatest private collection together and make it public, they could only marvel at such an unheard of "gesture."

"People have to spend money not just to help themselves, but to help their country." said Consul General Viacheslav Pavlovskiy, who clearly approved. No timetable was revealed for the departure of the eggs, which will require special crating. In any case, the party was not the last gasp of Faberge in America.



Gold, enamel, diamonds, rock crystal

 There is plenty to buy at the Fifth Avenue antique jeweler and Russian specialist A La Vieille Russie. Owner Peter Schaffer was at the party. Earlier in the day, he showed a visitor dozens of Faberge clocks, urns, tiny carved animals, peasant figures, picture frames, sprigs of flowers and fruit. Two pieces were part of 100 items acquired from the Forbes collection: a dazzlingly detailed miniature sedan chair in pink enamel and a miniature dressing table with perfectly rendered ormolu decoration and a top that lifted to display a mirror. Another 200 pieces were on display at the firm's booth at this week's European Art Fair in Maastricht, Netherlands.

Most Faberge collectors, including Forbes, Hillwood's Marjorie Merriweather Post, and even Imelda Marcos, shopped with Schaffer's father who pretty much created the market for Faberge. As Peter Schaffer explained, in the 1920s, Kremlin curators dismissed most of the baubles as too new and too common to save as cultural heritage. Carved Faberge animals were offered to foreign buyers at less than $2 each, Schaffer said. Today, they would cost $10,000 to $150,000.

Schaffer compliments Vekselberg for taking advantage of "an easily assembled political gesture." But he says it's nothing that American capitalists didn't do in their day. He included National Gallery of Art founder Andrew Mellon and Andrew Carnegie in the group of savvy people who bought, and, significantly, gave back in the form of museums and libraries.

"It's exactly the same thing," he said.


The Washington Post, Saturday, March 13, 2004

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 10:47:30 am

Orange Tree Egg (Bay Tree Egg) 

Gold, enamel, nephrite, diamonds, citrines, amethysts, rubies, pearls, agate, feathers;
original silver gilt key

11 3/4 inches; 29.8 cm open

Fabergé, dated 1911

Fitted red morocco; exterior stamped with the gold initials A.G.H.

Presented by Tsar Nicholas II to the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna on Easter 1911, a silver gilt key allowed the Dowager Empress to discover the surprise hidden within the egg-shaped topiary tree.

Tucked within the finely engraved nephrite leaves, enameled flowers and jeweled "fruit" is a gold winding mechanism.

When triggered, a portion of the foliage at the top of the tree rises.

Suddenly, music fills the air as a feathered nightingale emerges to chirp its tune while moving its beak and flapping its wings. When the melody ends, the bird descends automatically into its verdant nest until beckoned once more to sing.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 10:51:19 am

Order Of St. George Egg

Silver, gold, enamel, rock crystal

3 5/16 inches; 8.4 cm without stand

Fabergé, dated 1916

Original fitted velvet-covered egg-shaped; lid lining stamped in gold: Eagle/K. Fabergé /Petrograd/Moscow/Odessa/London

Presented by Tsar Nicholas II to the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna on Easter 1916, the egg commemorates the 1915 presentation of the Order of St. George. The Order was created by Catherine the Great to be bestowed by members of the army for military bravery. Nicholas II was presented with the highest class of the Order for his leadership during the First World War. His 12-year-old son, Alexis, who had joined him at army headquarters, received a lower grade of the decoration. A ribbon in the Order's colors of black and orange encircle representations of the medals presented to the Tsar and Tsarevich.

When a button is pressed, painted miniatures of the honored recipients are revealed under their respective awards.

Soon after receiving the egg, Maria Feodorovna was forced into exile.

The Order of St. George Egg was hidden in a jewel box she carried while fleeing the country.

It was the only Imperial egg to leave Russia in the possession of its original recipient.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 24, 2008, 10:56:03 am

Rosebud Egg 

Varicolored gold, enamel, diamonds, velvet lining

Height: 2 5/8 inches; 6.7 cm

Length: 1 3/16 inches; 3 cm

Fabergé, initials of work master Michael Perchin, assay-mark of St. Petersburg, 56 (zolotnik), dated 1895

Continuing the tradition established by his father, the Rosebud Egg was the first Fabergé egg presented by Tsar Nicholas II to his bride Alexandra.

Unlike previous Easter gifts, which on average took a year to complete, the House of Fabergé had only a few short months to create this present for the newly crowned Tsarina.

Carefully designed to please its recipient, the translucent red-enameled exterior is decorated with Cupid's arrows and contains a miniature portrait of Tsar Nicholas II viewed through a table-cut diamond.

Once opened, the egg reveals a yellow enameled rosebud, which blooms to disclose a ruby and diamond-set Imperial crown. The whereabouts of this final surprise is unknown today.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 25, 2008, 09:59:24 am


Hen Egg (First Imperial Egg) 

Varicolored gold, enamel, rubies

Length: 2 1/2 inches; 6.4 cm

Diameter: 1 9/16 inches; 4 cm

Length: 1 3/8 inches; 3.5 cm

Although unmarked, the egg is attributed to work master Erik Kollin.

Presented by Tsar Alexander III to Tsarina Maria Feodorovna on Easter 1885, this is the first Easter egg crafted by the House of Fabergé. Once the white matte enamel shell is cracked open, a removable gold yolk is disclosed, which in turn separates in half to reveal a varicolored gold hen with ruby eyes. A gentle push under the bird's beak revealed the final surprise inside, a miniature ruby egg-shaped pendant suspended within a diamond-set replica of the Imperial crown. The current whereabouts of this treasure is unknown. 

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 25, 2008, 10:00:51 am

Renaissance Egg

Gold, white agate, enamel, diamonds, rubies

5 1/4 inches; 13.3 cm

Fabergé, initials of work master Michael Perchin, assay-mark of St. Petersburg before 1896, 56 (zolotnik), dated 1894

The translucent milky white egg was the last Easter present Tsarina Maria Feodorovna would receive from her beloved husband, who died eight months later. The agate stone creates a breathtaking shell against which a jeweled and enameled trellis of decorative motifs shimmers. Chased gold lions on either end guard the precious treasure, but what the Tsarina would find inside is a mystery since the whereabouts and nature of the egg's surprise are unknown.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge' Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 25, 2008, 10:11:03 am



                              Rothschild Faberge Egg Retails For $18mn, Auctioned At Chistie’s

A new discovery, a Faberge egg, which was made for a top-banking dynasty was made lately.

The scheduled auction at Chistie’s International’s Russian winter auction in London next month, is expected to fetch up to $18mn(13 million euros) Peter Carl Faberge presented the egg in 1902 to Baron Edouard de Rothschild as an engagement gift. The unique Cockerel on top of the egg decked up with diamonds pops out and flaps its wings after every one hour. It then shakes it’s head during the aperture and the closure of it’s beak. The exceptional masterpiece festooned in Pink and Gold features a mechanical figure and clock. The Russian jeweler, Faberge produced only 50 eggs for the Royal family and besides this he is said to have created another 12 of similar standards for his private clients.

The Rothschild egg is aiming at the affluent Russian business people having their base in London during the auction on 28th November at Christie’s. The egg break will break the previous record set by Faberge Imperial Winter Egg in 2002, if the sale of the egg manages to fetch $18mn.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge' Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 25, 2008, 10:29:19 am

                                          Rare Faberge' Egg Fetches Record Price


Sold for a record price ...
a guard watches over the
rare Faberge' Egg.

Photo: AFP

November 29, 2007 -

A recently-discovered rare Faberge egg was sold for a record of nearly £9 million ($21.3 million) on Wednesday, auction house Christie's in London said.

The intricate treasure was made in 1902 by Peter Carl Faberge for the Rothschild banking family and contains a diamond-encrusted cockerel which pops out every hour to flap its wings and nod its head while crowing.

The prized object was snapped up by Russian collector Alexander Ivanov, head of the Russian National Museum, which is currently under construction and will be the country's biggest private museum.

He pledged to take the egg home.

"It will be brought back to Russia. Russia will be its permanent home. With this acquisition we are saying 'Russia is going forwards'," he told reporters.

He paid £8,980,500.

"The egg didn't reach as high as it could go. It was a little below the average price, I am very happy," he said.

Anthony Philips, Russian art specialist at Christie's, said: "It's fantastic. It has broken the previous record by some two million pounds.

"It has an amazing fascination for about everybody. It's just a magic name, a romantic association," he added, saying the Rothschild egg "is a stunning work."

The previous record for a Russian object was established when the Faberge Winter Egg sold at Christie's in New York in April 2002 for $US9.58 million.

One of only three known examples featuring a clock and a mechanical figure, the Rothschild egg is unusually large and is enamelled in pink with gold detailing.

Faberge, a Russian jeweller whose name is synonymous with extravagant craftsmanship, made 50 eggs for the Russian royal family but is only known to have created 12 eggs to similar standards for private clients.

The Rothschild egg was auctioned as part of a week of Russian art sales at Christie's which have attracted a wave of big bucks bids from wealthy Russian business people in London.

Alexis de Tiesenhausen, the head of Russian pictures and works of art at Christie's, said the fact that the egg went to a Russian buyer illustrated a recent trend.

"For a very long time the buyers were in Europe and in the United States. The Russian collectors entered the arena of the auction some five years ago, so it's a very realistic, normal price," he said.

Chris Martin-Zakheim, owner of a Russian antique and arts gallery in London, said wealthy Russians who did well in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union were keen to give something back.

"To buy their redemption in Russia, they are buying art and are giving the art back to Russia," he said.

"Paying lots of money here, for lots of art, giving it to the Russian museum, or opening their own museum, and they get their redemption, it's a fantastic system."


Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge' Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 25, 2008, 10:41:45 am

                                         List Of Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs

1885 Hen

1886 Hen with Sapphire Pendant†

1887 Blue Serpent Clock

1888 Cherub with Chariot†

1889 Necessaire†

1890 Danish Palaces

1891 Memory of Azov

1892 Diamond Trellis

1893 Caucasus

1894 Renaissance

1895 Rosebud

1895 Twelve Monograms

1896 Revolving Miniatures

1896 Alexander III Portraits†

1897 Coronation

1897 Dowager (or Pelican)

1898 Lilies of the Valley

1898 Mauve†

1899 Bouquet of Lilies Clock

1899 Pansy

1900 Trans-Siberian Railway

1900 Cockerel

1901 Basket of Wild Flowers

1901 Gatchina Palace

1902 Clover Leaf

1902 Empire Nephrite†
1903 Peter the Great

1903 Royal Danish†

1904 No eggs known

1905 No eggs known

1906 Moscow Kremlin

1906 Swan

1907 Rose Trellis

1907 Cradle with Garlands

1908 Alexander Palace

1908 Peacock

1909 Standart Yacht

1909 Alexander III Commemorative†

1910 Colonnade

1910 Alexander III Equestrian
1911 Fifteenth Anniversary

1911 Bay Tree

1912 Czarevich

1912 Napoleonic

1913 Romanov Tercentenary

1913 Winter

1914 Mosaic

1914 Grisaille

1915 Red Cross with Triptych

1915 Red Cross with Imperial Portraits

1916 Steel Military

1916 Order of St. George

1917 Karelian Birch

1917 Constellation

† Indicates missing egg

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge' Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 25, 2008, 11:02:31 am


Nashville, TN – Cheekwood Museum of Art has been selected to house the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation Collection, among the world’s most significant compilation of Fabergé pieces.  The exhibition will open in February 2007.  Harold H. “Spook” Stream, a long-time Nashvillian, has arranged for the Collection to be on loan to Cheekwood.  Mr. Stream is the great-nephew of the late Matilda Geddings Gray, who began collecting works by Fabergé in the early 1930s and who established the foundation to provide for their enjoyment by a broad segment of the public.

“The Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation is delighted to loan this remarkable exhibit to Cheekwood in hopes that many individuals from this region will have the opportunity to cherish these truly exquisite works of art,” said Harold Stream.  “With its careful harmony of botanical gardens and decorative arts, Cheekwood is an ideal home for these fabulous pieces, many of which depict stunning floral arrangements.  We are pleased to announce this new partnership”.

Pieces from the Collection have been exhibited worldwide.  The Collection includes 57 rare pieces highlighted by three Russian Imperial Easter eggs, and a number of important functional items, fantasy items and floral works.  Cheekwood will dedicate a gallery in the Museum of Art to the Collection beginning February 2007. 

Notable works include:

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge' Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 25, 2008, 11:05:52 am

 Imperial Caucasus Egg – (St. Petersburg, 1893); A brilliant egg presented by Alexander III to his wife Maria Feodorovna on Easter Sunday 1893;

· Imperial Danish Palaces Egg (St. Petersburg, 1895); A pink enamel egg modeled in the historic French style;

· Imperial Napoleonic Egg (St. Petersburg, 1912); A six-paneled green and gold egg crafted in the neoclassical style as a gift for Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna.

· Imperial Lilies-of-the-Valley Basket – (St. Petersburg, 1896); Fabergé’s floral masterpiece and a favorite possession of the Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna.

· Imperial Cornflowers, thought to have been in the personal collection of Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna (r. 1894 – 1917).

“Cheekwood is deeply grateful to house the magnificent Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation Collection and looks forward to sharing its wonders with the public throughout the region,” said Jack Becker, Ph.D., president of Cheekwood.  “We also foresee providing myriad educational opportunities about the House of Fabergé and its global impact on the decorative arts. We appreciate the opportunity provided by Spook Stream, whose generosity will enlighten this entire region.”

Peter Carl Fabergé (1846 – 1920) was the “artist-jeweler” celebrated for opulent Easter Eggs and exquisitely crafted objects of fantasy produced in an astonishingly creative array.  Matilda Geddings Gray was fond of travel and first encountered the works of Fabergé at Armand and Victor Hammer’s display of Russian art at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933.  The pieces made such an impact on her that Miss Gray determined to assemble a collection of Fabergé objects.  Her quest led Miss Gray to all the leading dealers in Fabergé objects, a time long before they received the international attention they now command. After Miss Gray’s death in 1971, her collection passed to the foundation bearing her name with the intention that the objects be placed on permanent display.  Following an extensive tour of American museums, the Collection was placed on loan to the New Orleans Museum of Art in 1988.

Cheekwood Museum of Art inspires and educates by making art, horticulture and nature accessible
to a diverse community.

Cheekwood is located at 1200 Forrest Park Drive in Nashville. 

Visit :

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge' Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 25, 2008, 11:11:06 am

The 300th anniversary of the Romanov House

kept in Moscow in the
Treasury Chamber in
the Kremlin.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge' Eggs
Post by: Bianca on May 25, 2008, 11:16:49 am


Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge' Eggs
Post by: Bianca on April 23, 2009, 06:01:00 pm


The Standart Yacht Egg, 1909

Made in St. Petersburg.

Workmaster: Henrik Wigstrom.

Marks: Faberge, H.W., 72 kokoshnik.

Materials: Gold, diamonds, pearls, lapis lazuli, crystal.

Dimensions: Height 6" (15.3 cm).

Techniques: Carving, enamel.

Kept in the State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin,


The crystal egg is horizontally mounted in gold and bears the inscription "Standart 1909" on the edge of the mount. A gold band, with inlaid leaves of green enamel and small diamonds, lines the perimeter of the egg. The bottom half of the egg is decorated with a vertical gold band with inlaid designs. A crowned eagle of lapis lazuli is perched on either side of the egg; a pear-shaped pearl hangs from each of them. The shaft consists of two lapis lazuli dolphins with intertwined tails. The oval base is of quartz crystal with a wide base of white enamel inlaid with laurel garlands and bands of small diamonds with laurel branches in green enamel. An exact replica in gold of the yacht Standart rests inside the egg on an oval base of rock crystal representing the sea.

Provenance: Presented by emperor Nicholas II to his wife, empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Easter 1909.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge' Eggs
Post by: Bianca on April 23, 2009, 06:04:20 pm


The Romanov Tercentenary Egg, 1913

Made in St. Petersburg

Workmaster: Henrik Wigstrom.

Marks: Faberge, H.W., 1913, 72, kokoshnik.

Materials: Gold, silver, steel, diamonds, turquoise, rock crystal, purpurine, ivory.

Dimensions: Height 71/2" (19 cm).

Techniques: Casting, engraving, painting, gold-plating, enamel, transparent enamel on a guilloche ground

Kept in the State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin,

Description: The egg, with eighteen miniature portraits of the Romanov czars and emperors, is supported by a shaft in the shape of a three-sided heraldic eagle. The golden egg is covered with white transparent enamel on a guilloche ground. The miniature portraits by Vassily Zuiev, in eighteen round diamond frames, depict members of the Romanov dynasty, from Michael Feodorovich to Nicholas II. The spaces between the portraits contain inlaid patterns of heraldic eagles, crowns, and czar's wreaths. A large diamond bearing the dates "1613" and "1913" is secured at the top of the egg, while a large triangular diamond fixed to the bottom end covers the monogram "A.F." The inside of the egg is lined with opalescent enamel on a guilloche ground. A rotating steel globe of dark blue enamel is secured inside the egg; it shows the territories of Russia in 1613 and 1913, represented in gold. The base is constructed of purpurine, decorated with small enamel patterns, and secured on three supports cast in the shape of flattened pellets.

Provenance: Presented by emperor Nicholas II to his wife, empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Easter 1913.

Title: Re: GOLDSMITH'S ART - Faberge' Eggs
Post by: Bianca on April 23, 2009, 06:08:05 pm


The Steel Military Egg, 1916

Made in St. Petersburg

Workmaster: Henrik Wigstrom.

Marks: Faberge, H.W., 72, kokoshnik.

Materials: Gold, steel, nephrite.

Dimensions: Height 61/2" (16.7 cm).

Techniques: Casting, painting.

Kept in the State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin,

Description: The steel egg, with gold patterns surmounted by a gold crown, rests on four artillery shells. It is divided into three sections by two smooth horizontal lines. In the middle section, in invalid gold, is an image of George the Conqueror in a diamond-shaped frame outlined in laurel leaves; the date "1916" encircled by a laurel wreath; the Russian emblem, consisting of a double-headed eagle beneath three crowns; and the monogram of empress Alexandra Feodorovna, also encircled by a laurel wreath. The egg is surmounted by a golden crown surrounded by a gold wreath. The four steel artillery shells supporting the egg are set on a dual-level square nephrite base. A steel easel bearing the monogram of empress Alexandra Feodorovna is inserted into the egg. On the easel there is a gold and white enamel frame displaying the emblem Order of St.George surmounted by a golden crown. The frame encloses a miniature paining on ivory by Vassily Zuiev depicting emperor Nicholas II and his son at the Front.

Provenance: Presented by emperor Nicholas II to his wife, empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Easter 1916.