Uova Fabergé - Viaggio in Germania

Fabergé eggs – Travel Germany


The rare eggs made from precious materials by Carl Peter Fabergé have become icons of his work around the world. In cinema, they appear as objects of desire, as in “007 Against Octopussy” and “Ocean’s Eleven”. However, in real life, the story of Fabergé and his family would also make a film, with links to Germany.

At the end of the 19th century, economic growth boosted the jewelry industry in several countries, especially in Russia, being known as “the golden age” of this art. A great symbol of this period was Carl Peter Fabergé, who with his talent became a supplier to the court of the Russian tsar and an appraiser of imperial treasures, as well as a supplier to the court of the kings of Scandinavia, England, Greece, Bulgaria and Siam (present-day Thailand).

Carl Fabergé, around 1920. Source: Wikipedia. Author: Jack1956

The Fabergé family has been in the jewelry business since Peter Fabergé (Carl's grandfather), followed by his son Gustav who opened his first jewelry store, House of Fabergé, in the year 1842, in Saint Petersburg. Born in Russia, son of a German father and a Danish mother, Carl attended the German school in St. several jewelers, to delve deeper into the art developed by the family. His second son, Agathon, was also born in Dresden in 1862.

In 1882, Carl took over the family business and was joined by his brother Agathon Fabergé. However, Carl's notoriety was due to his famous Fabergé eggs, representing Easter eggs, but using precious metals and stones.

These pieces were appreciated by the Russian imperial family, where the Russian Tsar Alexander III, who annually presented his wife with these peculiar jewels, always with some surprise inside. His son, Nicholas II, followed this tradition, but ordered two eggs annually, one for his mother and one for his wife. Fabergé even received the decoration of “special goldsmith of the Imperial Crown” in 1885.

Despite the eggs' notoriety, the House of Fabergé also produced other objects, such as fine cutlery and jewelry. Between 1882 and 1917, it is estimated that production reached 200,000 objects. However, in 1917, with the Russian Revolution and a wave of confiscations and nationalization of companies, Fabergé's enterprise was not safe. The fifty eggs made for the Russian imperial family were stolen by revolutionaries during, when they occupied the palace and then executed all members of the imperial family, what became known as the tragic end of the Romanov dynasty.

The end of the House of Fabergé – revolt and sadness

In the year following the Russian Revolution, the company was taken over by the workers' committee, being nationalized and having its stock confiscated, marking the end of the Faberge House. Carl Fabergé left Saint Petersburg with one of his children on a diplomatic train, meeting his wife and other children in Switzerland in 1920. Carl never recovered from the trauma caused by the Russian Revolution and died in the same year, at the age of 74. . Such was his passion for the craft, that his own family said that Fabergé died of sadness and heartbreak.

Fabergé eggs have become extremely valuable and sought after pieces, becoming collectors' items. Of the imperial family's 50 eggs, 8 are missing and the other 42 are scattered around the world, 10 of them in the Kremlin's Aresenal Palace.

In Saint Petersburg, there is the magnificent Fabergé Museum, in the Shuvalov Palace. This private museum was founded by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, who collected the entire world's largest collection of Carl Fabergé masterpieces from Malcolm Forbes, including 9 of the 40 imperial eggs.

The imperial egg “coronation egg”, present in the Fabergé Museum, in Saint Petersburg. Source: Wikipedia. Author: Miguel Hermoso Cuesta

For those who are in Germany and want to see the fabulous art of Carl Fabergé up close, in Baden-Baden there is another Faberge Museum, where you can find a collection that contains more than 1,500 private collection items produced by Fabergé. Items in the collection include a rare silver bottle in the shape of a rabbit and the penultimate imperial Easter egg, the “birch egg”.

The penultimate imperial egg, the “birch egg”, in the Fabergé Museum in Baden-Baden.

The Fabergé Museum in Baden-Baden has jewelry and items produced for everyday life, such as cigarette cases, and objects created during the First World War, in addition to its magnificent jewelry.

In addition to being able to admire all these pieces, there are exclusive photographic materials and original personal documents that tell more about Fabergé and his master jewelers.