Faberg? Pearl Egg begins the new Faberg? story
"Look at this wonderful piece, it is finished!"
Ninety-nine years have passed since the last Faberg? jewelled egg was made. It’s a blink in human history it isn't long, but for connoisseurs of such art it is an age.
Since the original Faberg? works of art, modern jewellers have attempted to fill the vacuum, own creating their works of art that involve surprising transformations and discoveries. Some have succeeded in doing so and one of my favourite jewellers, Alessio Boschi, has created such a collection – the “Surprise Me” collection.
It was 1841 when the original Faberg? jewellery firm began. Forty-four years passed before the world saw the first Faberg? Imperial egg - the Hen Egg - commissioned by Czar Alexander III, for his wife, the Tzarina Maria Fedorovna, as an Easter Egg. From 1885 – 1917, Carl Faberg? continued to make increasingly intricate and technically-superb bejeweled eggs for the Imperial Russian Family and private customers. Today the original Faberg? eggs are considered jewels themselves. And the original designs of each irreplaceable egg, continue to delight with their elements of whimsy and capacity to surprise.
Seventy-one eggs were originally created, yet now only sixty-two survive. Of the fifty-four Imperial Eggs made on commission for the Tzar, only forty-six now remain. The majority of these are now housed in State Museums of the Russian Federation. Three of them belong to Queen Elizabeth II, and eleven are from the collection of Mr. Viktor Vekselberg and now stored in Faberg? Museum in Saint-Petersburg.
Faberge Pearl Egg
The recent history of the creation of the Vekselberg collection adds yet another chapter to the history and allure of the surviving Faberg? eggs.
In 2004, Viktor Vekselberg's (a Russian businessman, the owner and president of Renova Group, a large Russian conglomerate. According to Forbes, his fortune is estimated at $13.6 billion, making him the fourth richest person in Russia, as of August 4, 2015) purchased nine of the Imperial Faberg? eggs from the collection of the Forbes family, including the magnificent Coronation Egg, 1897. It was intended that the collection would be offered as individual pieces and sold through the Sotheby’s auction house. But in an unprecedented move, Sotheby‘s removed the collection from the auction and through private sale, Vekselberg audaciously purchased the Faberge Eggs and approximately two hundred other pieces of Faberge art, including intricate tobacco boxes and magnificent brooches, for over $100M.
In doing so, Vekselberg created the largest private collection of Imperial Easter Eggs and returned the Faberg? creations to the Fatherland. Today, Vekselberg continues to purchase Faberg? jewels and has become the largest collector of Faberg? in the world.
Among disclosed amounts that have been paid for Faberg? eggs on the world market were $18.5 million for The Rothschild Egg (1902), sold at Christie's in November 2007; and $9.5 million was paid for The Winter Egg from the Imperial collection, also at Christie's.
And now to such a rich and illustrious history, the Faberg? Consortium has released a new contribution to the line of exquisite Faberg? jewels. "The Pearl Egg," continues the traditional of exquisite craftsmanship, beauty and the capacity to surprise.
The Pearl Egg is the first "new” Faberg? egg released by the Saint-Petersburg based design-house, before the upcoming centenary of the last Imperial egg delivery by Carl Faberge. Made in collaboration with Hussain Ibrahim Al-Fardan - the Qatari businessman and collector – The Pearl Egg is the first of the new Faberge Egg series currently under development and soon to be presented to the world.
Faberge Pearl Egg
Al-Fardan who hails from a line of pearl merchants and who is currently Chairman of the Alfardan Group, states "I have a passion for natural pearls and it took me many years to build my current collection, gathering some of the most extraordinary pearls in the world. Faberg? has a great history in making jewellery for royalty and a truly precious Faberg? Egg is a luxury treasure and the symbol of a long-gone era of opulence. This is why I partnered with Faberg?. I wanted to combine these two traditional treasures: the Faberg? Egg and natural Arabian Gulf pearls to create an exceptional piece". And truly, he has created an exceptional treasure.
The creation of the Faberge Pearl Egg was inspired by an oyster shell with a natural pearl that lives inside. With a base made of white and yellow gold, The Faberg? Pearl Egg is made of rock crystal, covered with mother-of-pearl. The egg itself is adorned with 139 white pearls, personally selected by Al-Fardan from his collection of pearls, and 3305 diamonds.
The egg opens like a six petal flower to reveal a unique 12.17 carat natural grey pearl, grown and harvested from the waters of the Arabian Gulf. The Faberg? Pearl Egg is offered for sale together with a white pearl and diamond necklace. Again, this necklace features a stunning pearl from the Arabian Gulf weighing 19.44 carats. At a value of approximately $2 million, it took twenty skilled craftsmen over 18 months to create this exquisite beauty. Such value is unmistakable.
Faberge Pearl Egg
So, I wonder - Can we call the Pearl Egg a true Faberg? Egg? I am not sure. Such a title has historically been granted to the unique and irreplaceable works of art, designed and created under the guidance of Carl Faberg? between 1885 and 1917.
I am sure however, that this miraculous new Pearl Egg is both a technical achievement and creates a beauty that radiates light, love and signals a wonderful optimism for the future. I have no doubt that the world will welcome the resumption of Faberge egg production and the continuation of new glories that contribute to the history and prestige of Faberge.