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Thursday, 21 June 2012
Faberge Box Fetches Almost $90k
Topic: Faberge


A jewellery box found by an Auckland man in his mother's estate sold for almost $90,000 to a London buyer at auction yesterday - more than $70,000 higher than the reserve.
The Faberge box was originally purchased by a Bohemian prince for £35 in London in 1910.

The piece was discovered by Webb's Auction House amongst items from the woman's estate, many of which had little or no value.

The upper estimate of $20,000 was quickly forgotten as bidding went up in $2,000 lots.

The item attracted interest from "spirited and determined" bidders, a spokesman from Webb's said.

A London bidder eventually won the auction with a bid of $87, 750, after competing in the end with a New York buyer.

Peter Carl Faberge was the foremost jeweller of the Russian empire, and is most famous for his jewelled eggs.

His items are often sought after because of the craftsmanship and history attached to them.

*Note: prices quoted in this article are in New Zealand dollars.

© Auckland Now. 21 June, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:24 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2012 6:29 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Faberge Box to be Auctioned in New Zealand
Topic: Faberge


A highlight of Webb's 20 June Fine Jewellery sale will be the exquisite Imperial Period Faberge box which was brought into Webb's last month by a Vendor who was unaware of the item's significance. The item, among others, was consigned to Webb's weekly affordable sale - where low value collectible items are sold at little or no reserve.

The discovery, by Webb's Head of Antiques, James Hogan and Jewellery specialist Chris Devereux caused much excitement, not least for the Vendor!

As Chris Devereaux states; "such pieces appear in the market only very rarely, and are highly sought after, it is anticipated to gain the interest of collectors and connoisseurs both nationally and internationally and I estimate it will sell for between $10,000 - $20,000, if not more"

The exquisite late Imperial Faberge Box is made from panels of lapis lazuli framed in yellow gold, the lid is engraved crystal bordered by seed pearls and the thumb-piece set with diamonds. In Cyrillic script, an alphabetic writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD, it bears the marks for Faberge, the mark for workmaster Henrik Wigstrom, and a mark for St. Petersburg 1908-1917, 56 zolotniks (14ct) together with a further scratched inventory number 20203.

The fabulous jewels and objects of virtue created by the workshops of Peter Carl Faberge are some of the most desired and collectable items in the world. The reason is two-fold: firstly they demonstrate a level of craftsmanship that is unrivalled, and secondly the history of Faberge is intimately and forever linked with the romance surrounding the splendour of the Russian Imperial court.

© 13 June, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EDT
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Monday, 9 April 2012
Faberge Eggs Synonymous With Excess, Perfectionism
Topic: Faberge

The Lilies of the Valley egg (1898)

Like modern Canadians, Russian royalty in the 19th century loved Easter eggs. Unlike us, they didn’t settle for dollar-store chocolate. They celebrated the holiday with eggs made of pure gold and platinum and set with precious jewels.

Synonymous with the excess and perfectionism of a bygone era, the House of Fabergé’s egg creations are rightly famous — and about as blinged-out as Easter has ever been.

Fabergé eggs weren’t edible, but that was their only drawback.

Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé created the first Imperial egg in 1885, which Czar Alexander III commissioned as a gift for his wife: a white enamelled egg with a yellow gold “yolk” inside. The yolk itself hinged open and contained a multicoloured hen, also made of gold — which could, of course, also be opened, revealing a near-microscopic diamond crown. Needless to say, it was a hit, spawning decades of Imperial eggs painstakingly crafted by the country’s finest jewellers.

“Each egg was more impressive than the last,” says Corey Keeble, a curator at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Among the most sumptuous Fabergé work was the Moscow Kremlin egg of 1906, with its stunningly detailed miniature of the palace, he says. Another opened to reveal a tiny replica of the royal coach, with wheels that turned, doors that opened and windows made of crystal.

Besides the Imperial eggs made for the Czar, Fabergé also made eggs for wealthy nonroyal clients. And when World War I broke out, Fabergé updated his designs to match the times, crafting a military-themed egg for the Czar. But 1917 would be the end of the line, thanks to the Russian Revolution, when the eggs’ Czarist patrons swiftly lost the throne and, eventually, their lives at the hands of the Bolsheviks.

Comrade Vladimir Lenin admittedly had other things on his mind than commissioning an official egg to commemorate the Red Army’s takeover. Too bad. Imagine it: a simple, blood-red number, set with a gold-leaf hammer and sickle, which opened to reveal a miniature bust of Karl Marx. Now that would surely have been Fabergé’s crowning achievement.

One of the largest collections of Fabergé eggs used to belong to the late U.S. magazine publisher Malcolm Forbes. After his death, however, it was snapped up by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg and repatriated back to Russia in 2004 — a feat for which Vekselberg reportedly received then-President Vladimir Putin’s personal gratitude.

“The history of the eggs has come full circle,” says Keeble.

© Toronto Star. 09 April, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:54 AM EDT
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Friday, 30 March 2012
Rare Faberge Cigarette Case Expected to Sell for 15,000 GBP at Auction
Topic: Faberge


A RARE Faberge cigarette case is expected to fetch more than £15,000 at a Coventry auction next week. The 18-carat gold case was made by the world famous Russian jewellery firm some time between 1880 and 1917.


It comes in an original cedarwood box and is being sold by Warwick Auctions, in Queen Victoria Road, on Wednesday. Auctioneer Chris Burns, who has been in the trade for 30 years, said: “It’s very, very, rare.


“These come up for auction only at Sotheby’s and Christie’s in London – no Faberge has gone through here since the 1940s.


“The estimate is £10,000 to £15,000, but it could fetch a lot more. I’ve never seen one like it.”


The case is part of a large collection of Russian gold and silver being sold by a mystery seller from Coventry and Warwickshire.


© Coventry Telegraph. 30 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:57 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 30 March 2012 1:59 PM EDT
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Sunday, 18 March 2012
Faberge Egg Shines at Queen's Jubilee Exhibition
Topic: Faberge


This is one of the series of fifty Imperial Easter Eggs made by Fabergé for the Russian imperial family between 1885 and 1917.  It demonstrates the extraordinary craftsmanship of Fabergé’s team of designers, jewellers, goldsmiths and enamellers.  The design of the flower motif is inspired by petit-point embroidery, while each of the tiny precious stones is precisely cut and calibrated to fit the platinum mesh of which the egg is constructed. The medallion on a jewelled stand (the ‘surprise’) painted with the portraits of the five children of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra fits inside the egg and was revealed when the egg was opened on Easter day.

Technically one of the most sophisticated and extraordinary of Fabergé’s Imperial Easter Eggs, the Mosaic Egg retains its ‘surprise’. It takes the form of a medallion painted on ivory with the portraits of the five children of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra on one side and a basket of flowers and their names on the other, on a stand surmounted by the Russian imperial crown, held within the egg by gold clips.

The egg was theTsar’s Easter gift to his wife in 1914, but the original invoice was destroyed and the cost is therefore unknown. The Tsarina’s monogram and the date 1914 are set beneath a moonstone at the apex of the egg. It comprises a platinum mesh into which tiny diamonds, rubies, topaz, sapphires, demantoid garnets, pearls and emeralds are fitted – perfectly cut, polished and calibrated to fill the spaces.This extraordinary technical feat is all the more impressive because the platinum is not welded but cut.The five oval panels around the centre of the egg feature a stylised floral motif, replicating the technique of petit-point.

In the list of confiscated treasures transferred from the Anichkov Palace to the Sovnarkom in 1922, the egg is described thus: ‘1 gold egg as though embroidered on canvas’. The designer, AlmaTheresia Pihl, was inspired to produce the needlework motif when watching her mother-in-law working at her embroidery by the fire. Alma Pihl came from a distinguished family of Finnish jewellers employed by Fabergé. Her uncle, Albert Holmström, took over his father August’s workshop and was the workmaster responsible for the production of this bejewelled egg. The egg was confiscated in 1917 and sold by the Antikvariat in 1933 for 5,000 roubles. It was purchased by King George V from Cameo Corner, London, on 22 May 1933for £250 ‘half-cost’, probably for Queen Mary’s birthday on 26 May.

The Mosaic Egg is one of numerous Faberge treasures currently on display at the Treasures from the Queen's Palaces exhibit in the Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland. The exhibition runs until 4th November, 2012.

© The Royal Collection. 18 March, 2012 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:10 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2012 6:20 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 14 February 2012
New Coin Celebrates Faberge Artistry of Henrik Wigstrom
Topic: Faberge

The Mint of Finland has unveiled their latest collector coin which features the artistry of Henrik Wigström (1862 – 1923) who went on to become one of the most noted craftsman in the Fabergé jewelry company in St. Petersburg.

Wigström, who was primarily known for his “Egg” creations, these unique bejeweled items became a firm favorite of the Russian Imperial family. They were exchanged by senior members of the court of St. Petersburg as gifts for special occasions and  many of these exquisite golden and intricately enameled eggs are signed on the inside shell by Wigström himself. He went on to become the Head Goldsmith of Fabergé and held that position for 15 years until the Russian Revolution forced the closure of this famous workshop.

The obverse side of the coin bears an image of one of the most famous creations of Wigström, that of the Coronation Easter Egg, still unfinished, which was eventually given to the Czarina Alexandra by Nicholas II in 1897. The reverse side depicts a swan, in homage to another example of Wigström's exquisite workmanship, the "Swan" Easter egg. The surprise within the egg is a swan made of platinum, gold and precious stones, swimming on a lake of aquamarine. The denomination and year of issue "2012" is  also included on the reverse.

Designed by sculptor Pertti Mäkinen, the coin has a denomination of 10 €URO and is struck in proof quality in sterling silver with a weight of 17 grams and a diameter of 33 mm.

© Mint of Finland. 14 February, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:12 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 14 February 2012 7:20 AM EST
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Wednesday, 7 December 2011
Memorial Plaque to Carl Faberge Unveiled in Kiev
Topic: Faberge

A memorial plaque in honour of  Carl Faberge was unveiled yesterday in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.

The plaque was unveiled at 15 Khreschatyk Street, the former location of the Faberge shop, by Russia's Ambassador to the Ukraine, Mikhail Zurabov.

The Kiev branch of the House of Faberge was opened in 1905 and closed in 1910 believing the branch superfluous in light of the already well established and older Odessa branch.

There are plans to erect similar plaques in other Russian cities connected with Faberge leading up to the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty in 2013.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 7 December, 2011


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EST
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Thursday, 17 November 2011
Tsarist Treasures Go On Display
Topic: Faberge

 “The Sandoz Collection”, an exhibition of the extraordinary holdings of the Swiss family that founded the chemical company of that name at A La Vieille Russie on Fifth Avenue, presents 60 objets d’art.

Dating from 1798 to 1908, the exhibits, which include watches, figures, boxes, peacocks, a bird cage, a pistol shooting perfume and a mirror in four colours of gold, are adorned with rubies, diamonds and emeralds.

Some of the objects are mechanical and musical. Included are Imperial swan and peacock eggs by Peter Carl Fabergé owned by Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and her mother-in-law, Maria, which have never before been seen in public.

© A La Vielle Russie. 17 November, 2011

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 2 March 2013 12:41 PM EST
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Thursday, 10 November 2011
Faberge Museum to Open in St. Petersburg
Topic: Faberge

Peter Carl Faberge 

A museum dedicated to the creator of the famous Faberge eggs will open in St. Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum as part of the festivities marking the 250th anniversary of the Hermitage in 2014, museum director Mikhail Piotrovsky said.

The Museum of Peter Carl Faberge, to be housed in a refurbished exhibition hall of the western wing of the General Staff Building, will include works by Faberge and jewelry items from the Hermitage collection. From time to time private collections will also be displayed.

"It will an exhibition of the legendary Russian jeweler and his contemporaries. We will also present contemporary jewelry and workds from precious and semi-precious stones," Piotrovsky said.

JTI Company, a Hermitage sponsor, will provide financial support for the Faberge museum and will also provide assistance in training museum employees.

The General Staff Building is situated directly across from the Hermitage on historic Palace Square, was designed by Carlo Rossi and built between 1819-1829.

© RIA Novosti. 10 November, 2011



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 12 November 2011 10:29 AM EST
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Monday, 25 July 2011
British Royals Visit Faberge Exhibition
Topic: Faberge

Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by the Duchess of Cambridge recently toured the rooms at Buckingham Palace to view an exhibit which includes the Royal Faberge collection. The exhibit is part of the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace Tour, which runs 23 July to 3 October. 

© Royal Russia. 24 July, 2011

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:28 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 25 July 2011 11:29 AM EDT
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