Russian culture is brimming with elegance in every aspect, especially in fashion, art, interiors, and dance. This has been instilled into the country’s antiquities brought along through time and present in modern living.
Fabergé is part of what made the country’s history rich in luxury. The Russian jewelry brand is known best for providing the Imperial family from olden times with gifts given to each other, especially between Emperors and Empresses, particularly the Imperial Eggs, also known today as Fabergé eggs. Today, the brand preserves the heritage in extravagant pieces that can be gifted between men and women of good taste.
The original Fabergé heritage
Fabergé wasn’t always rooted in Russia. It can be traced back to France where the family’s ancestors originated and the family name Favri was still in use. Russia is only where Gustav Faberge opened his small jewelry shop housed in a basement on one of the country’s busy fashion streets. It eventually became the official home base of the brand after Peter Carl Fabergé, who added the accent to the last name, took over the business and made it bigger.
His own collective experience from studying in Dresden Arts and Crafts School and Schloss’s Commercial College in Paris and his acquired knowledge and inspiration from several museums around Europe informed the brand’s ideas in repairing and restoring old pieces and making them new again based on what the current market is attracted to.
Peter Carl’s pioneering vision of studying old techniques, repurposing antiques, and shifting focus from diamonds to colorful stones and the practice of enameling got him and the brand recognitions: Appraiser of the Imperial Cabinet and Knight of the Legion of Honor among the two most important ones. Aside from that, Peter Carl’s true pioneering made the House of Fabergé worthy of reviving. A series of seemingly unfortunate legal conflicts cost the family to lose hold of the business. In 2007, legal rights were returned back to the rightful members of the family and a relaunch collection in 2009 put the brand back on track.
From the brand’s current reputation, people aren’t made aware of the extent of the brand’s ability to bring everything back to life. When Fabergé restored old pieces, it didn’t only mean old jewelry from ancient times, they transformed the most mundane objects like cigarette cases and mantel clocks into magnificent artworks. For this, they employed age-old techniques and modern aesthetics.
During the war period of the early 20th century, the brand made plates, mugs, cruets, and snuffboxes, usually set with an image of the Emperor, a surprise inside, and made to be a valuable gift. Other than these, the brand also supplied the military with syringes, equipment and even grenades.
The Imperial Eggs
Through the end of the 1800’s to the beginning of the 1900’s, Fabergé created 50 eggs for the Russian Imperial Family. It’s the most important commission for the brand, an ultimate achievement, and is the work that immortalized their name in prominence.
The first egg was ordered by Emperor Alexander III for his Empress. The eggs contained a surprise object inside and is given as gifts for spouses and mothers, as Nicholas II did for his. Some of the original eggs are lost now, but the brand offers modern versions in the Pearl Egg and Four Seasons collection.
The former is a collaboration with the Al-Fardans, a family of well-known pearl collectors. The pearls used in the eggs are selected by and come from Hussain Ibrahim Al-Fardan’s personal collection. The Four Seasons, however, is a series of four eggs inspired by the original Imperial pieces that also represent the different seasonal weathers. Gemstones in different colors are used to reflect the respective feel and theme of the seasons.
These offerings are made for Fabergé’s elite customers who are dedicated to giving their loved ones an Imperial treatment and give a gift that is directly linked to the Imperial family. Also, they preserve the family’s heritage, which after all, gave rise to the Fabergé name.
High jewelry and timepieces
The Imperial Eggs are either the ones that lead people to discover Fabergé or are the first ones to appear when people search for the brand, but for the modern men and women nowadays, the eggs are the gateway towards the brand’s more wearable High Jewelry and timepieces. Their collections are composed of egg pendants and other nature-inspired charms on necklaces, cufflinks, bracelets, and rings. Several of their ladies’ watches are decorated by a fascinating peacock design on the dial enabled by an advanced movement, while men’s watches keep a variety of features integrated into the design.
A theme of revival surrounds the history and general concept of Fabergé. It’s the initial practice that refined the brand’s abilities to create and recreate beautiful pieces back to their original grace. Even for its own heritage, the brand rebirthed itself to continue the family legacy and deliver high-end jewelry and timepieces. To any customer of Fabergé, the brand offers a promise of turning anything into something.