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The history and fate of the Imperial Faberge egg collection
The history and fate of the Imperial Faberge egg collection
Anonim

Faberge eggs have always been associated with the Russian imperial family. Jewelry was made especially for the ruling monarchs and decorated with the most expensive stones. The collection miraculously survived after the October Revolution and has survived to this day with almost its full complement.

How did the history of the famous Faberge eggs begin and why are works of art shrouded in a mass of secrets?

Dynasty of Faberge masters

Unlike other jewelers, Carl Faberge boldly experimented with the Art Nouveau style

The founder of the dynasty can be considered the German Gustav Faberge. At the age of 16, he moved to Petrograd to study jewelry, and at 28 he opened his first store in the most prestigious area of ​​the city.

Two years later, the master had a son, Karl, who, several decades later, would glorify the Faberge surname all over the world. Like his father, the boy studied jewelry art with interest both in Russia and in Europe. At the age of 26, Karl returned to Petrograd and continued the family business.

In 1882, Faberge participated in the All-Russian Exhibition, and Emperor Alexander III liked his works

Unlike other jewelers, Faberge Jr. boldly experimented with the Art Nouveau style, which later became the basis of his masterpieces. In 1882, the master took part in the All-Russian Exhibition, and Emperor Alexander III liked his works.

The monarch ordered jewelry from Faberge several times. A couple of years later, Alexander III set an interesting task - he wanted to present his wife Maria Feodorovna with an unusual gift for Easter. This is how Faberge eggs appeared.

Imperial collection

The egg was covered with white enamel, and in the "yolk" was a small golden crown and a chain with a ruby ​​

The first jewelry masterpiece was created by Carl Faberge in 1885. The master was inspired by an egg made in the 18th century. A chicken was hidden inside the item, in which there was a ring. It is believed that with such a surprise the emperor wanted to remind his wife of her childhood in Denmark. The Faberge egg was covered with white enamel, imitating a shell, and in the "yolk" was hidden a small golden crown and a chain with a ruby.

Maria Feodorovna was fascinated by the gift, and Karl Faberge became the court jeweler and every year on the eve of Easter he had to create a new unique masterpiece with a surprise. Nicholas II, who became emperor after the death of Alexander III, continued to honor the tradition. Every year he gave Faberge an egg to his widowed mother Maria Feodorovna and wife Alexandra Feodorovna.

In total, Carl Faberge made 54 eggs for the imperial family, but only 48 have survived to this day

Over time, a whole team of jewelers from all over the world began to create jewelry. In total, Carl Faberge made 54 unique eggs for the imperial family, but only 48 have survived to this day.

Unfortunately, after the October Revolution, not all items were saved. In addition to the Romanovs, Faberge also produced eggs for other individuals, but it is impossible to determine the exact quantity, since not all orders were documented. At the moment, 71 eggs are known.

Other Faberge customers

In addition to the Romanovs, Faberge also made eggs for other individuals

The jeweler became famous not only in Russia, but also in Europe, and the most influential collectors wanted to get his products. Each time Faberge amazed with his masterpieces. He hid mini-versions of ships, animals, an imperial carriage, portraits in eggs, and once even made a mechanical peacock that walked and raised its tail.

The second largest collection of seven eggs belongs to the Russian gold miner Alexander Kelkh. He presented the products to his wife. Also, Faberge carried out single orders for the nephew of the famous Nobel Emmanuel, the Rothschild dynasty of bankers, Prince Felix Yusupov.

Faberge eggs today

At the moment, we know about 71 eggs, which are in museums and private collections

Carl Faberge painfully perceived the revolution and its consequences. The Soviet government nationalized all the factories and shops of the jeweler, and in Petrograd the Bolsheviks got precious stones and finished jewelry.The master secretly left Russia, lived in Lithuania, Germany, and died in Switzerland in 1920.

The collection of eggs has spread all over the world. The Bolsheviks did not attach great value to them and in the 30s sold some of the products for an extremely low price.

Feberger eggs from the Forbes collection, which were bought by Viktor Vekselberg

Today the largest collection consists of 11 items and is in the St. Petersburg Faberge Museum. Another 10 pieces are kept in the Moscow Armory and 5 items - in the American Art Museum of Richmond.

There are eggs in the collection of Elizabeth II: 3 copies of the Romanovs and 1 Kelch. Most of the masterpieces were collected by the tycoon Forbes - 15 pieces. His heirs wanted to sell the jewelry at auction, but they were bought by the Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg and founded the same Faberge Museum. According to rumors, Forbes' private collection cost about 100 million rubles.

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