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Revamping Faberge

Published time: August 19, 2011 11:40
Edited time: August 19, 2011 15:40
The Diaghilev Egg by Faberge

The Diaghilev Egg by Faberge

Faberge’s fabulous Imperial Easter Eggs are making a come-back. The legendary, lavish jewellery pieces once created for the Russian Imperial family by the world’s most famous goldsmith, Carl Faberge, have been given a new lease of life.

­Les Saisons Russes jewellery collection recently unveiled in Europe is a happy marriage of old Russian traditions and crafts with modern vibes and technologies.

The jewels, in authentic Faberge style, are said to expose an interplay of rare colored precious gems, diamonds and pearls, all hand-crafted to capture the changing light, colors and atmosphere of each season and mood.

All Faberge works, including his most celebrated masterpieces – the eggs  – are inextricably linked to the lives, loves and tragedies of the last Russian Emperor, Tsar Nicholas II, and his Empress Alexandra.

Alexander III presented an egg each year to his wife, the Empress Marie Fedorovna, and the tradition was kept by his son Nicholas II who presented an egg annually to his own wife, the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna, and to his mother, the Dowager Empress Marie Fedorovna.

Each egg, an artistic tour de force, took a year or more to make, involving a team of highly-skilled craftsmen who worked in the greatest secrecy. Faberge was given complete freedom in the design and execution, with the only prerequisite being that there had to be a surprise within each creation.

Back in 1917, however, the Russian Revolution brought a violent end to the Romanov dynasty and everything that went with it, including The House of Faberge. The Bolsheviks seized the Faberge workshops and their treasures, all production was closed down and Peter Carl Faberge and his family fled from Russia.

In a legal settlement in the 1950s, the Faberge family lost the right to produce and market designs under the Faberge name. Only in 2007 did it finally announce the reunification of the Faberge name with the Faberge family.

Faberge’s great-granddaughters Tatiana and Sarah are now free to pass the tradition down to the next generation, paying homage to the iconic designer whose timeless creations are destined to blend nostalgia and joy.