If you’ve seen the Anna Karenina movie recently, which is the latest adaptation of Tolstoy’s novel, you can easily imagine the era when the Fabergé brand came to life. The story of Anna, the aristocrat planning to give up her unhappy marriage travelling from St. Petersburg to Moscow takes part at the time when Peter Carl Fabergé was participating in the restoration of Russian masterpieces at the Hermitage in St Petersburg.
In 1882 Fabergé introduced his pieces of outstanding beauty and workmanship, upon Tsar Alexander III’s request at an exhibition in Moscow. The first Fabergé egg was created and the maison was awarded the honourable “goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown” title, as recognition of their work. The brand soon became popular across the world among the art-aficionado aristocracy, magnates and intelligentsia.
Fabergé’s story is closely intertwined with the life and tragedy of the last Romanov tsar, Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra. Approximately 50 Imperial Eggs were commissioned by the Romanov family, including the “Hen Egg”, the “Blue Serpent Clock”, the “Lilies of the Valley” and the “Danish Palaces”.
The year 1917 meant not only the end of the Romanov dynasty but also of the Fabergé maison; the Russian revolution and the Bolshevik ascension to power erased both. Another memorable cinematic adaptation, Doctor Zhivago provides a graphic portrayal of all the trials that this era meant for Russia through the captivating story of a doctor and his love.
The brand was acquired by new owners in 2007, who officially opened a new chapter in the Fabergé maison’s story in 2009. The revival of a brand with such long history and such a romantic story naturally evokes mixed reactions. However if we leaf through the brochure outlining the brand’s history, the exclusive booklets showcasing the jewellery and watch collections and we view the pieces exhibited at the Fabergé stall in the Al Fardan booth we feel that the new management is heading on the right track. Under the leadership of Creative and Managing Director Katharina Flohr, they have created current jewellery pieces which are wearable to various occasions whilst staying true to the brand’s original philosophy, charisma and aesthetic requirements.
The miniature egg pendants of the Les Favorites de Fabergé can be worn every day and are available in the most diverse colour palette, patterns and techniques; such as the “Oeuf Cadeau”, the “Stoneflower Eggs”, the “Oeuf Rococo”, and the “Oeuf Impératrice”. Several truly unique pieces were also created with the egg motif, the “L’Oeuf le Teain des Fleurs” for example.
The high jewellery collection also includes the Les Saisons Russes series which contains extraordinary sets inspired by the four seasons. These include the all white “Zhivago” collection with white gold and diamonds, snowflakes, and Russian onion dome motifs and the breathtaking colour story of the “Délices d’Été” which evokes the ambiance of Russian summers.
The “Les Fabuleuses de Fabergé” collection represents contemporary jewellery, and includes several flower-inspired rings, bracelets inspired by Russian avant-garde art and pieces which embrace the motifs of Russian tales and folklore fused in modern design.
Peter Carl Fabergé was famous for his jewel watches and decorative desk clocks too. The Fabergé Horlogerie collection revives this tradition; and includes pieces such as the Anastasia watch adorned with diamonds on a satin ribbon, the Agathon – inspired by the original Fabergé desk watch or the modern and refined Alexei.
Thank you to the charming Lamia, manager of the Geneva boutique for the exciting “guided tour”!
The articles of the series:
Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition, Part 1
DJWE, Part 2 – Diamonds & Pearls
DJWE, Part 3 – Romantic comeback
DJWE, Part 4 – Beyond the auction room
Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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