Fabergé is one of the most revered names in history, synonymous with consummate design and craftsmanship.
Gustav Fabergé founded Fabergé in Russia’s St Petersburg in 1842. He was of French descent and had moved to Russia in the 1830’s to train as a goldsmith. It was Gustav’s son, Peter Carl Fabergé (born in 1846) who led the firm to worldwide renown, winning the favour of the Imperial Romanov family in the 1880’s and the adulation of the world with the award of the Grand Prix at the 1900 World Fair in Paris.
In 1917, the Russian Revolution brought an abrupt end to the Romanov dynasty, and to the House of Fabergé. The company was nationalised, all production closed down and Peter Carl Fabergé and his family fled Russia. Peter Carl Fabergé never recovered from the tragedy that had befallen his beloved country and died in Lausanne, Switzerland on 24 September 1920.
By the time of the Bolshevik Revolution, Fabergé had produced over 200,000 items spanning jewelery, objects, tableware and accessories ranging from cigarette cases to crochet hooks. The first of the 50 legendary and world famous Imperial Fabergé Eggs was the “Hen Egg” of 1885, with the “Steel Military Egg” of 1916 being the last completed. Two eggs were in preparation in 1917 but were not finished. A handful of egg objects were made as private commissions, including the Rothschild egg, which was in 2007 at auction by Christies for US$ 19.5 million.
In a second blow, the Fabergé family in 1951 lost the rights to use their family name in selling Fabergé-labelled designs when protracted and expensive litigation forced on them a settlement that resulted in the rights becoming owned by an American corporation.
History came full circle in January 2007 when the Fabergé name was reunited with the Fabergé family. Tatiana and Sarah Fabergé, great granddaughters of Peter Carl Fabergé, together with Mr John Andrew, make up the Fabergé Heritage Council, which guides the unified Fabergé in its pursuit of Faberge’s original values, philosophy and spirit. Dr Géza von Habsburg, one of the world’s leading Fabergé experts and authors, serves as Faberge’s Curatorial Director.
The reunited Fabergé unveiled its inaugural and highly acclaimed “Les Fabuleuses” high jewelery collection on 9 September 2009 at Goodwood House in England. On 9 December 2009, Fabergé opened the first Fabergé boutique since 1917 in Geneva, Switzerland. In November 2011, after a 96-year hiatus, Fabergé returned to London, opening a boutique in Mayfair’s Grafton Street.
Today, under the artistic direction of Katharina Flohr, Fabergé traces the legacy of excellence in creativity, design and craftsmanship to bring about a new era of enchanting and enduring personal possessions and gifts for discerning clients.