BLVDS LV 47 "Giving" Nov/Dec 2014

Page 36

ARTS

1885 EGGSTRAORDINARY Faberge begain

Written by Hektor D. Esparza

t was always more about the craftsmanship and history than the karat count. Though the association with wealth and sophistication is not ill placed, for collectors and appreciators of Faberge, the fascination is just as much about Russian history. Indeed, the last Czars of Russia had noble tastes and spared no expense celebrating their legacy. It just so happened they began commissioning the storied, opulent Faberge pieces near the ignominious end of their own reign.

O I

The Faberge tradition began in 1885 with Czar Alexander III who commissioned Peter Carl Faberge to create a unique Easter egg for his wife, Czarina Maria Fedorovna. From then and throughout the early 1900s, the House of Faberge created over 150,000 pieces including objets d’art, jewelry and silver articles. “Fabergé Revealed” will offer docent tours of Fabergé’s original collection, including the Imperial Pelican Easter Egg commissioned in 1897 for the Dowager Empress of Russia.

Imperial Peter the Great Easter Egg, 1903. Workmaster Mikhail Perkhin. Egg: Gold, platinum, silver gilt, diamonds, rubies, enamel, watercolor, ivory, rock crystal, 4 3/4” H x 3 1/8” dia. Statue: gilt bronze, sapphire, 1 7/8” H x 2 3/4” W. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt. Photo: Katherine Wetzel © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

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