Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
A Fabergé egg is any one of the thousands of jeweled eggs made by the House of Faberge from 1885 through 1917. The majority of these were miniature ones that were popular gifts at Eastertide. They would be worn on a neck chain either singly or in groups.
The eggs are made of precious metals or hard stones decorated with combinations of enamel and gem stones. The term "Fabergé egg" has become a synonym of luxury and the eggs are regarded as masterpieces of the jeweler's art. The Faberge Imperial Easter Eggs are regarded as the last great series of commissions for objects de'art.
My Faberge egg, seen above, is a tribute, smaller and simpler, however I plan to add to the egg collection each Easter, so there will be many Easter egg charms to collect and choose from. This one features filigree spirals and a lavender stone on top. Solid sterling, of course, with internal threading. The charm bead is among my larger pieces. More about the history of Faberge at the bottom of this post. I loved learning more about them!
Mr Easter Bunny. He's a classic sort of Easter bunny, dressed up for the occasion, with a basket full of eggs at the ready.
Original history of Faberge eggs.
The story began when Czar Alexander III decided to give his wife the Empress Maria Fedorovna the an Easter Egg in 1885, possibly to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their betrothal. It is believed that the Czar’s inspiration for the piece was an egg owned by the Empress’s aunt, Princess Wilhelmine Marie of Denmark, which had captivated Maria’s imagination in her childhood. Known as the Hen Egg, it is crafted from gold. Its opaque white enamelled ‘shell’ opens to reveal its first surprise, a matte yellow gold yolk. This in turn opens to reveal a multi-colored gold hen, that also opens. It contains a minute diamond replica of the Imperial Crown from which a small ruby pendant was suspended. Unfortunately, these last two surprises have been lost.
Empress Maria was so delighted by this gift that Alexander appointed Fabergé a ‘goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown’. He commissioned another egg the following year. However, after that, Peter Carl Fabergé, who headed the House, was apparently given complete freedom for future Imperial Easter Eggs, as from this date their designs become more elaborate. According to the Fabergé family tradition, not even the Czar knew what form they would take: the only stipulation was that each one should contain a surprise. Following the death of Alexander III on November 1st 1894, his son presented a Fabergé egg to both his wife, the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna, and to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna.
No eggs were made for 1904 and 1905 because of theRussian/Japanese war. Once an initial design had been approved by Peter Carl Fabergé, the work was carried out by an entire team of craftsmen.
The Imperial eggs enjoyed great fame, and Fabergé made some other large eggs for just a few select private clients, such as the Duchess of Marlborough, the Nobels, the Rothschilds and Yusupovs.
See all the fun things one learns? Actually my design work requires quite a bit of research. I love it!