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Peter Carl Faberge ( 1846 - 1920 )  Category ( Artisans ) [suggest a correction]
 

Faberge EggThe very name of Faberge conjures images of delicate decoration, of sparkling jewels on enamel, and intricate priceless Easter eggs. Peter Carl Faberge was indeed a jeweler, but his designs were more closely related to works of art. Born in Saint Petersburg in 1846 as Carl Gustavovich Faberge to a family of Huguenot jewelers who emigrated to Russia in 1800, young Faberge was educated in St. Petersburg and then was sent to Frankfurt, Germany to learn the jeweler's craft. In 1864 he returned to St. Petersburg and joined his father's business, taking over its management in 1872.

Along with his brother, Agaton, Faberge's artistic skills with jewelry were an immediate sensation in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In 1885, Tsar Alexander III appointed him an official Court Supplier, as a reward for making him a splendid Easter egg to give to his wife. Thereafter, Faberge made an egg each year to give to the Tsaritsa Maria. The next tsar, Nicholas II, ordered two eggs each year, one for his mother and one for his own wife, Alexandra. This tradition continued from 1885 to 1917. He became the Tsar's Court Goldsmith in 1885.

Modern readers could bear in mind that the Imperial Easter eggs were only a sideline of the Faberge workshop, the company made many more and diverse objects, ranging from silver tableware to fine jewelry. Faberge became the largest company in Russia, with 500 employees and branches around Russia, Ukraine, and London. It produced more than 150,000 objects between 1882 and 1917. He was appointed Court Goldsmith to the court of Sweden in 1897.

Upon the arrival of the October Revolution, Faberge sold his shares in the company to his employees and fled Russia. After several stops around Europe, he and his wife settled in Lausanne, Switzerland and is buried in Cannes, France. Faberge had four sons who also fled Russia during the revolutionary period. His sons Eugene and Alexander Faberge founded the successor of Faberge Company, but as of 1989 the license was given to jeweler Victor Mayer. Sarah and Tatiana Faberge are the last surviving descendants of Peter Carl. In 2007, Faberge was acquired from Unilever by the Russian diamond mining company Pallinghurst Resources LLP, which has established itself as a luxury brand featuring fine jewelry and precious stones.


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