Russian jeweler Carl Faberge is primarily known for Easter eggs, which are appreciated by collectors around the world.
This is not the most obvious form for jewelry.
Giving eggs for Easter is an ancient Orthodox tradition that is especially loved in Russia. According to legend, one of the myrrh-bearing wives, Mary Magdalene, after the ascension of Christ went to Rome with a sermon about the Savior. There she congratulated Emperor Tiberius with the words "Christ is Risen!", giving him a chicken egg. The emperor did not believe the woman's words and replied that the dead could not come to life, just as this white egg could not turn red. Suddenly, the donated egg turned red, and Tiberius was convinced of the truth of Maria's words.
It all started in 1885, when Emperor Alexander III ordered the first egg for his wife Maria Feodorovna from the St. Petersburg jeweler Carl Gustavovich Faberge as a gift for Easter. The Emperor met Karl Faberge at an exhibition in Moscow, where he highly appreciated the work of his workshop.
The first jewelry egg, which was made by Faberge, is a "Chicken". It got its name because of the surprise that was inside - a small figure of a chicken made of colored gold. Maria Feodorovna liked the gift so much that the emperor began ordering eggs for every Easter, and Carl Faberge received the position of court jeweler. There was only one requirement for the products: there had to be a surprise inside the egg. The next emperor, Nicholas II, preserved this tradition and ordered two eggs from a jeweler at once: for the widowed mother Maria Feodorovna and his wife, Alexandra Feodorovna.
Faberge eggs are known all over the world.
These works by the famous Russian master Carl Faberge are the dream of every collector. Faberge's firm became famous in 1885, when Emperor Alexander III bought a gift from him for his wife.
It was an enameled white egg, measuring 6.5×3.5 cm. There was a golden stripe in the middle of it. At this level, the egg opened. Inside there was a yolk made of gold, in which there was the same golden chicken, and in it — a crown of ruby with a ruby pendant. The egg used the matryoshka principle. After this gift, Faberge became famous. Every year at Easter, the emperor's family ordered an egg from him, he became a jeweler at court. Faberge had to keep the design of the future product secret and make it unique every time. Soon all the tsar's entourage wanted to have such eggs at home, and Faberge's fame reached foreign countries.
Karl did not mass-produce his souvenirs. Today, 71 eggs made by the master are known, 54 of them were made for the emperor's family. These products differ in design and internal filling. To date, 62 eggs have been preserved, of which 46 are imperial.
Inside each egg was a souvenir. In the first Faberge product there was a watch from "Vacheron Constantin". In the egg "Memory of Azov", made of green heliotrope, decorated with gold and diamonds, there was a small golden frigate. In the souvenir of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna made of transparent rock crystal, 12 small miniatures with landscapes rotated around the axis.
The most famous egg in the world is the "Coronation".
It is made in the form of an imperial carriage. Empress Alexandra liked the pink egg "Lilies of the Valley" more. Portraits of Nicholas II and his daughters were hidden in it. The largest product is made like a music box, and is called the Kremlin. Faberge eggs are unique, their price is growing every year and exceeds their real value several times. Even despite the fact that they are made of precious stones and metals.
Faberge was not the author of all eggs produced under this brand. Such jewelers as Mikhail Perkhin, Eric Colin, August and Albert Holstrom and Alma Peel collaborated with him. They worked not only with the imperial family. For example, jewelers made seven eggs for the Kelkhs, as well as ten items for other noble families. These souvenirs are also unique, but they are inferior in originality. Many secrets and elements were repeated and resembled eggs made for the emperor. There were watches, miniatures, and a chicken with a pendant. The most famous is the "Rothschild Egg". It is made in the form of a clock, inside there is a mechanical cock encrusted with precious stones. Every hour the bird sings and flaps its wings. This egg has been in the Rothschild family all this time, they only found out about it in 2007.
Faberge's works in Russia can be seen at the Armory and at exhibitions of the "Connection of Times" Foundation. For the foundation, the eggs were bought from the collector Forbes by the Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Several of Faberge's works are in private hands and in some museums around the world.
Did you know that jewelers honed their skills not only in the classical direction, but decided on bold experiments?
Take a look at the unique still life of 1905 — "Proletarian breakfast". An egg with an amber yolk is broken on a jasper brick covered with a fragment of the newspaper "Vedomosti of the St. Petersburg City Administration" dated October 18, 1905 with the text of the Supreme Manifesto "On the improvement of state Order" signed by Nicholas II (prototype of the Constitution of the Russian Federation).
A glass of vodka is made of crystal, a brick is made of jasper, a yolk is made of amber (sometimes Karl had to beat eggs), the fish is silver, the butt is made of silver and quartz.
The egg white is covered with enamel.
A fly and a piece of newspaper are made of silver.
This is the "Vedomosti of the St. Petersburg City Administration" of October 18 1905 with the text of the manifesto "On the improvement of the state order", signed by Emperor Nicholas II.
Estimated value - $1,100,000
This splendor called "Faberge's Proletarian Breakfast" has acquired Faberge Museum in Baden-Baden, Germany. So this work Faberge has become perhaps the most expensive inedible breakfast in the world.