Saturday, 29 January 2011

A FABERGE ice jewel

Peter Carl Faberge was born in Russia in 1846 and died in Switzerland in 1920. He studied in several european cities and worked for his father until 1870 when he took over the family business. In 1884 he started producing pieces for the Tsar and the Tsarina of Russia which made his firm one of the most sought after across Europe at the time. He got consolidated at the 1900 Paris exhibition and right after started creating objects for Edward VII and other royal families. He was more a businessman than a designer and through his firm he employed some of of the best craftsmen of his time, signing the pieces with his Faberge family brand. Faberge produced numerous objects de vertu that are considered a must in any traditional fine art collection, to the point that today he is almost the only jeweller with antique dealers specialised only in his brand. His bejewelled easter eggs, all of them one of a kind, are universally known and admired.

In 1913, Faberge created the most famous Easter egg, the Winter Egg given by Tsar Nicholas II to is mother the Dowager Tsarina Marie Feodorovna. It was made of frosted rock crystal set with diamonds in platinum. The gift became so popular that it was immediately followed by a range of jewellery designed in the similar "ice" style. This pendant was designed by Albert Holmstrom and a drawing was found in his diary dated June 27th, 1913.

The piece is owned by Faberge specialised antique dealer Wartski, in London.