The name Faberge is synonymous with exquisite quality, value, even perfection. The world famous Faberge eggs are incredibly valuable and far beyond the means of even high end collectors. However, the fact that we could never actually own one doesn’t make the history any less fascinating.
The Faberge company began way back in 1842 by a jeweler named Gustav Faberge. The business wasn’t particularly well-known until Gustav’s son Peter Carl joined the fold. In 1869, Peter Carl sold his first pieces to the St. Petersburg Hermitage.
The perception of Faberge changed forever when Peter Carl became the goldsmith and jeweler to the Russian Imperial Court. It was during this time that he created his legendary Imperial Easter eggs.
The very first Faberge egg was produced in 1885. As the story goes, the outer shell of the egg was relatively simple but when you opened it up there was a yolk that had a golden hen inside it. Inside the hen was a miniature crown made of diamonds and a miniature ruby egg. This first egg was presented as a gift to the Czarina Maria, and every year after a new egg was made by Faberge for the Czarina.
As the years went by, the eggs became more and more exquisite, with breathtaking jewels and a hidden surprise. The Czar gave his wife an egg each year during the Russian Orthodox Easter festival. From 1895 until 1916, the Czar’s successor commissioned two eggs per year so he could give one to his mother and one to his wife. Over the years, 50 Imperial eggs were made for Russian Czars, although many have been lost through time.
When the Russian Revolution began in 1917, the Faberge workshops were taken by the Bolsheviks and production of the magnificent eggs stopped abruptly. All of the jewels, treasures and works in progress were seized and Peter Carl and his family left Russia.
The Faberge family lost the right to use their own name when marketing and producing designs after a legal battle in 1951. Luckily, the mystery surrounding the name has continued, and with the whereabouts of many Faberge masterpieces still unknown, it never faded completely from the public consciousness.
In October of 2007, the new ownership of the brand announced that they were reconnecting the iconic name with the Faberge family. There was also a new company direction that hoped to recapture the values and philosophy of the original founders.