Carl Faberge's Lost Third Imperial Easter Egg Goes On Display Topic: Faberge
Faberge's Third Imperial Egg on display at Wartski in London, England. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
The Third Faberge Imperial Easter Egg is displayed at Court Jewellers Wartski on April 16, 2014 in London, England. This rare Imperial Faberge Easter Egg, made for the Russian Royal family in 1887, thought to be worth tens of millions of dollar, was seized by the Bolsheviks after the Russian revolution. It was sold at auction in New York in 1964 as a 'Gold watch in egg form case' for $2450 - its provenance then unknown. Later a buyer in the US Mid-West bought it for possible scrap metal value until he discovered it's true value.
For more information on the Third Imperial Egg, please refer to the following links:
Lost and Found Faberge Egg on Display for First Time in Over a Century Now Playing: Language: English. Duration: 1 minute, 24 seconds Topic: Faberge
The Third Imperial Easter Egg can be seen from April 14 to 17 at Wartski's showroom in London.
A Fabergé Imperial Easter Egg made for Emperor Alexander III of Russia that hasn't been seen in public for more than a century is to go on show in London after being saved from the melting pot by an American scrap dealer who only accidentally realised its value.
The Lost Third Imperial Easter Egg was made by Peter Carl Fabergé as a gift for Empress Maria Feodorovna for Easter 1887.
The 8.2 cm (3.2 inches) tall egg, made from gold and studded with diamonds and sapphires, was last displayed in St Petersburg in 1902.
It was seized by the Bolsheviks during the 1917 Russian Revolution and mysteriously made its way to the United States.
By chance, an unidentified man bought it at a market in the U.S. Midwest for $14,000, intending to sell it for scrap. Unable to find a buyer, he searched the Internet and realised that he may have found Empress Maria Feodorovna's lost Easter egg.
London antiques dealer Wartski, which specialises in the work of Fabergé, bought the egg for an unidentified private collector who has permitted it to go on show in its small showroom near London's luxury shopping strip Bond Street.
Slightly taller than a cup cake, the ridged yellow gold egg sits on its original tripod with lion paw feet. It is encircled with gold flower garlands strung from cabochon blue sapphires topped with rose diamond-set bows.
Like all Fabergé's eggs, it contains a "surprise" - a lady's watch by Vacheron Constantin with a white enamel face and diamond-set gold hands. The watch has been taken from its case and mounted in the Egg so it can be displayed upright.
The egg was made in the St Petersburg workshop of Fabergé's chief jeweller August Holmstrom between 1886 and 1887.
Only 50 of these lavish works of art were ever created, each of them aunique design and a certain mysteriousness is attached to all of them. After the revolution the Eggs were seized by the Bolsheviks. Some they kept, but most were sold to the West. Two were bought by Queen Mary and are part of the British Royal Collection. The remainder belong to museums, oligarchs, sheikhs and heiresses.
"In the hierarchy of Fabergé objects, the egg occupies the very, very highest level," said Kieran McCarthy, director of Wartski. "They each took a year to make from the original conception to the completion of it for delivery on Good Friday each Easter."
Fabergé eggs are considered masterpieces, affordable only by royalty or the very rich. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, some newly wealthy Russians have become enthusiastic collectors of Fabergé treasures.
Metals tycoon Viktor Vekselberg bought a collection of Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs for $90 million from the Forbes family in 2004. The eggs were taken back to Moscow and put on exhibition in the Kremlin.
A Russian businessman with a passion for Tsarist treasures, Alexander Ivanov said he was behind the $18.5-million purchase of a Fabergé egg in London in 2007.
The Third Imperial Easter Egg is one of 50 delivered by Fabergé to Emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II from 1885 to 1916, and until its recent discovery was one of eight lost eggs. Only two others of these lost eggs are thought to have survived the revolution.
"It just shows that you never know," said McCarthy, when asked whether hope remains that the other two will be found. "We never thought this one would turn up and literally it was on somebody who walked through the front door."
The Lost Third Imperial Easter Egg can be seen from April 14 to 17 at Wartski's showroom in London.
It is interesting to note that this particular egg was featured in the article, Empress Marie Feodorovna's Missing Faberge Easter Eggs, co-written by Annemiek Wintraecken and Christel Ludewig McCanless. The article was published in the Royal Russia Annual No. 3 in 2013 and consists of 8 pages and 10 black and white photographs.
Faberge's Kelch Apple Blossom Egg on Display in London Topic: Faberge
The Kelch Apple Blossom Egg (also known as the Jade Chest Egg), 1901. Sadly, the surprise inside is now lost
Copyright Notice: The following was condensed from an article originally published in the April 4th, 2014 edition of The Telegraph. The author Maria Doulton, owns the copyright of the article presented below.
Going to Harrods at 7:30 am for the launch of its month long Fabergé Easter at Harrods felt like being allowed into a museum before the doors open to the public. Walking down aisles of empty counters a pack of a dozen journalists, bloggers and photographers headed for the highlight: the 1901 Fabergé Apple Blossom Easter egg rumoured to be worth £30 million. Strategically positioned security staff marked the path through the labyrinth of display counters. And there it was: the moss green nephrite egg over which Peter Carl Fabergé had set delicate golden branches with white enamel blooms each with a diamond at its centre. Moss grows up the bottom of the realistic branches of the apple tree that cradles the egg. It drew the same response Peter Carl Fabergé would have hoped for: delight, surprise, awe and a coo or two.
Looking suitably like a mad professor with long white wispy hair and a strong accent, Dr. Prof. Rainer Vollkommer, Director of the Liechtenstein National Museum that has lent the egg to Fabergé, speculates what may have been inside the egg: “It would probably have been a jewel, like a necklace or a ring,” he says. “But we just don’t know for sure.”
The security guards looked nervous as photographers got too close to the glass display cabinet and set off the alarms several times. Miroslova Duma, Russian fashion editor, founder of website Buro24/7 and stylish representative of the new wave of Russian wealth peered at the egg and remarked that it was the first time that she had seen it. She contributed the “Fabergé Cinescope” to the event that allows you to sit in front of a digital mirror and virtually try on a Fabergé jewel and share the result your friends, something that will appeal to modern tsarinas.
The Apple Blossom Egg was originally a gift from Alexander Kelch to his wife Barbara Kelch-Bazanova in 1901. In 1920, it was one of the six Kelch Eggs sold by Morgan to A La Vielle Russe, Paris. In 1928, it was sold to an unknown buyer in the United States. It remained in a private collection until 1994, when it was sold by Christie’s, Geneva to an anonymous Russian buyer. In November 1996, it was sold by Sotheby’s, Geneva to Adulf Peter Goop, Vaduz, Liechtenstein. In 2012, Goop donated the egg to the people of Liechtenstein. Source: Mieks Faberge Eggs
FOUND! A Lost Imperial Easter Egg by Faberge Topic: Faberge
Copyright Notice: The following article was originally published in the March 18th, 2014 edition of Antique Trades Gazette. The author Roland Arkell owns the copyright of the article presented below.
After a multi-million pound sale earlier this year, the buyer has agreed the Third Imperial Fabergé Easter Egg, its whereabouts unknown for more than a century, will go on public display in London for four days in the run up to Easter.
Until the rediscovery in near miraculous circumstances, eight of the 50 eggs made to unique designs by Carl Fabergé for the doomed Russian Royal family, were deemed missing with only three of those believed to have survived the Revolution.
This Fabergé egg, a diminutive 3.25in (8.2cm) high and made in yellow gold set with cabochon sapphires and rose diamonds, opens via a brilliant-cut diamond pushpiece to reveal a watch with diamond-set hands by the Swiss maker Vacheron Constantin. Made in the workshop of Fabergé's chief-jeweller August Holmström in St Petersburg, 1886-1887, it was given by Alexander III to the Empress Maria Feodorovna in 1887, making this the third of the Imperial eggs.
It was last seen in public 112 years ago when it was photographed in the Von Dervis Mansion exhibition of the Imperial family's Fabergé collection in St Petersburg in March 1902. It was later confiscated by the Bolsheviks and recorded in a Moscow inventory in 1922 at the time when many Imperial treasures were sold to the West.
Scholars feared it had been melted for its considerable gold content but in 2011 the discovery of a grainy black and white photograph of the egg in a 1964 Parke-Bernet auction catalogue offered the possibility at least that it was still awaiting rediscovery - and a spectacular reattribution.
At the time it was described simply as a 'gold watch in egg form case' and had sold for $2450 (£875 in 1964). In an article written for The Telegraph in August 2011, Kieran McCarthy, Fabergé expert at Wartski, had speculated it could today be worth around £20m.
Flea Market Discovery
Meanwhile it seems a part-time dealer in the Midwest of America had bought the egg at a bric-a-brac market paying $14,000 for what he predicted was $14,500 worth of bullion. As it happened he had overestimated its scrap value (the egg has several scratches where its gold content has been sampled) and it was with a sense of despair earlier this year that he keyed the words 'egg' and 'Vacheron Constantin' into Google. It was then that The Telegraph article caught his eye prompting a succession of sleepless nights and a flight to London to visit Wartski who have handled 12 Imperial eggs in their long history.
Shown a series of images of the egg, Mr McCarthy was almost certain a lost Imperial treasure had been found, but to confirm its authenticity he travelled to a small town in the Mid-West where he was shown into the kitchen of the owner's home. The Third Imperial Fabergé Easter Egg was slightly smaller than a large cupcake positioned next to it.
Wartski have acquired the egg for a private collector, making the finder an art-historical lottery winner (although the price has not been revealed). The buyer has allowed the egg to go on public display for four days (April 14-17 from 9.30am to 5pm) in a specially designed exhibition at Wartski (14 Grafton Street, London W1S 4DE). Entrance will be free, but queues are expected.
Two other of the original eight missing Imperial eggs are known to have survived the Russian Revolution. They are the 1889 Necessaire Egg (heavily chased gold, set with pearls and gemstones, without a stand, containing 13 miniature toilet articles) and last recorded at Wartski in June 1952. The 1888 Cherub Egg with Chariot (a gold egg resting in a chariot drawn by a cherub) was last recorded with Armand Hammer in New York in 1934.
Third International Faberge Symposium, St. Petersburg - October 2-5, 2014 Topic: Faberge
The Third International Fabergé Symposium will be held in St. Petersburg in 2014. Join other Fabergé enthusiasts October 2-5, 2014 at the new Fabergé Museum housed in the restored Shuvalov Palace, located on the Fontanka River Embankment.
The symposium includes two days of lectures by leading Fabergé specialists culminating in a tour of "The Link of Times" Collection in the new St. Petersburg Fabergé Museum, tours of the Hermitage Museum, Peterhof (both with Fabergé collections), Pavlovsk Palace, Tsarskoye Selo’s Catherine Palace including the Amber Room, and sight-seeing in St. Petersburg with in-depth tours of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Yusupov Palace, and Vladimirs’ Palace.
For information on the symposium, including program with optional tours, symposium speakers, tour and food price list, travel details, map, hotel reservation form, please refer to the following link:
This summer the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will host the first major exhibition of Fabergé objects ever staged in Canada, said Nathalie Bondil, the museum's director and chief curator.
Fabergé, Jeweller to the Tsars will comprise some 240 artifacts — including four of the famous Easter eggs commissioned by the Romanovs, Russia's imperial family — from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
The Richmond, Va., museum has what is considered the finest Fabergé collection outside of Russia.
Bondil said the show's layout will be structured around the four eggs and link the story of the decorative arts with the history of imperial Russia. Russian goldsmith Carl Fabergé lived from 1846 to 1920.
The story of "fauxbergé objects" — Fabergé look-alikes that have inundated western art markets since the 1930s — will also be examined, said Sylvain Cordier, curator of early decorative arts at the Montreal museum.
The name Fabergé is synonymous with refined craftsmanship, jeweled luxury, and the last days of the doomed Russian imperial family. The array of enameled picture frames and clocks, gold cigarette cases and cane tops, hardstone animals and flowers in rock crystal vases, and ruby encrusted brooches and boxes continue to fascinate viewers as they did when first displayed in the windows of Fabergé’s stores in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and London.
Thanks to the generosity of Lillian Thomas Pratt and other donors, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts owns one of the finest Fabergé collections in existence. The Russian jeweler Karl Fabergé crafted objects for the Russian imperial family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including specially commissioned Easter eggs. VMFA’s collection, the largest public collection of Fabergé outside of Russia, includes five of the thirteen Russian imperial Easter eggs that are in the United States.
The Fabergé, Jeweller to the Tsars exhibition is set to run at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (June 14 – Oct 5, 2014).
The following article was originally published in the March 7th, 2014 edition of The Financial Times. The author Gareth Harris owns the copyright presented below.
Last November, during Russia Art Week in London, an imposing van with blacked-out windows was parked in close proximity to the capital’s bustling auction houses. The vehicle, emblazoned with the word “Fabergé”, belongs to Russian collector Alexander Ivanov, who was busy buying up items made by Peter Carl Fabergé (1846-1920), a name synonymous with opulence, wealth and healthy art market returns.
Fabergé’s workshops in Moscow and St Petersburg, which employed more than 500 craftsmen at the end of the 19th century, are known for their fantastic Easter eggs made for the Russian Imperial court: Fabergé was appointed Imperial goldsmith in 1885.
Royal patronage was key to the brand’s success; the London branch sold more than 10,000 objects between 1903 and 1915, with King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra among its clients. “Fabergé’s flair for combining exquisite design and technical skill meant that the firm soon became the most popular supplier of gifts for the wealthy elite,” says the UK’s Royal Collection Trust.
Today, a new wealthy elite is hunting down Fabergé objects. Ivanov is a man on a mission: in 2009, he opened a gallery, the Fabergé Museum in the German spa town of Baden-Baden, and he has to fill it. “There are around 2,000 items in his Fabergé and ancient gold jewellery collection,” said his spokesman, who added that in early 2013, Ivanov’s collection was divided with his ex-wife. Last month the museum unveiled an intriguing acquisition: the 1,400-piece banquet service of the Maharaja of Patiala, which was first used at a state dinner in 1922.
Ivanov made his fortune by importing computers into Russia as a student. He sold the hardware to Soviet industries in the early 1990s, generating huge profits. He candidly admits that he now acts as a quasi-dealer to eastern European oligarchs, using the proceeds to fund his acquisitions.
Faberge and Oligarch in Trademark Dispute Topic: Faberge
Alexander Ivanov, owner and director of the Faberge Museum at Baden-Baden, Germany
The following article was originally published in the February 26th, 2014 edition of The Art Newspaper. The author Gareth Harris owns the copyright presented below.
A legal battle has reignited between the Russian oligarch Alexander Ivanov and the Fabergé Ltd company over the trademark rights to the Fabergé name. Ivanov opened his Fabergé museum in 2009 in Baden-Baden, a spa town in southwestern Germany. The museum houses hundreds of Fabergé items including a 1902 Fabergé egg made as an engagement gift for Baron Édouard de Rothschild, a member of the French banking dynasty.
The Fabergé company, meanwhile, is now based in London and is owned by the gemstone miner Gemfields. The rights to the Fabergé name changed hands several times after 1917 following the Russian Revolution; Unilever acquired them with the acquisition of Fabergé Inc in 1989 for $1.6bn.
In 2010, a German appeals court ruled in favour of Ivanov in a legal dispute with Fabergé Ltd over trademark rights, which aimed to block the use of the Fabergé trademark by the museum. However, “Fabergé is looking at other options to prevent the use of the Fabergé trademark by the museum,” says a Fabergé Ltd spokesman.
“In 2010, we conclusively won the legal dispute with Fabergé Ltd when a European court ruled that ‘Fabergé Museum’ is in the public domain free for everyone to use. Fabergé Ltd has no chance whatsoever to appeal this decision,” Ivanov says. Meanwhile, Ivanov says that his lawyers continue to work on “depriving” Fabergé Ltd of the rights to the Fabergé trademark. “We want to place it in the public domain so that everyone anywhere can use it freely.”
A Fabergé Ltd spokesman says: “In 2012, the appeal process held that the mere registration of a company name does not create a right (unless, in some cases, prior use of the trademark can be shown).” The museum could not show such use and hence lost the appeal, the spokesman says. “[We] believe Ivanov’s avenues on this front to be exhausted and consequently Fabergé has defeated the attack by the museum against our Fabergé trademark registrations.”
The Russian mining magnate Viktor Vekselberg, who bought Malcolm Forbes’ Fabergé egg collection in 2004 for a sum estimated to be up to $120m, put 4,000 items drawn from his fine and decorative art collection on show in St Petersburg’s Shuvalov Palace, which is due to fully open to the public this month. His institution is also named the Fabergé Museum.
“We have numerous trademark registrations in Russia, but we don’t have the ‘Fabergé Museum’ trademark in the class of trademarks applicable to museums in Russia. That trademark is indeed held by Mr Vekselberg’s museum and therefore they have the right to use it,” says the Fabergé Ltd spokesman.
The investment company Pallinghurst, founded by Brian Gilbertson, is a controlling investor in Gemfields. In 2012, Vekselberg won a legal battle with Gilbertson when a court in the Cayman Islands ruled that Gilbertson had breached his fiduciary duties (the legal responsibilities of directors) by cutting Vekselberg out of a deal to buy the Fabergé Ltd company. However, the judge refused to award Vekselberg compensation.
Fabergé’s workshops in Moscow and St Petersburg, which employed more than 500 craftsmen at the end of the 19th century, are known for their elaborate decorative Easter eggs made for the Russian Imperial court. Fabergé was appointed as Imperial goldsmith in 1885, earning him the sobriquet “jeweller to the tsars”.
The World of Faberge Comes to Vienna Topic: Faberge
Over 160 loans from the Kremlin Museums and the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow showcase Fabergé’s virtuosity
As part of the Russian-Austrian Cultural Season the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna presents the work of Carl Fabergé, probably Russia’s leading and most influential jeweller and goldsmith at the turn of the 20th century.
The name Fabergé conjures up exceptional creations, virtuoso craftsmanship that combines outstanding artistic and technical skill with the finest materials. This is particularly true of the work produced by Peter Carl Fabergé following his appointment as court jeweller to the last Russian Tsar in 1885. Under him the House of Fabergé grew into one of the largest contemporary jewellery companies, at times employing over five hundred goldsmiths, stone cutters and jewellers from different countries. The company worked for the imperial Russian court and other European dynasties, for the nobility, plutocrats and financial magnates, but they also produced less exalted work designed for the Russian bourgeoisie.
Over 160 loans from the Kremlin Museums and the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow showcase Fabergé’s virtuosity, placing him in the context of contemporary Russian goldsmith work; another focus is the role of the imperial family. Four Imperial Easter eggs form the centre of the show - precious objets d’art commissioned by the Imperial family that frequently contain a world en miniature, a microcosm.
Other artefacts that once belonged to members of the House of Romanov, treasured possessions that stayed with them until their final days, offer fascinating insights into life, both private and ceremonial, at the imperial court. We also showcase hardstone carvings by Fabergé and the imperial manufactories at Petergof and Yekaterinburg, documenting the continued popularity in late-nineteencentury Russia of an art form closely connected with Kunstkammer collections.
And, last but not least, Fabergé’s multi-facetted oeuvre is juxtaposed with the work of other Russian imperial jewellers such as Bolin, Carl Blank, Pavel Ovchinnikov or Ivan Khlebnikov, inviting visitors to enjoy and appreciate the outstanding technical and artistic virtuosity of late-nineteenth-century Russian jewellers, first celebrated in 1873 at the World Fair in Vienna.