A Journey Through Time With the House of Fabergé

Fabergé

A Journey Through Time With the House of Fabergé

I recently had the chance to visit the incredible Fabergé Museum in central St. Petersburg, just a few minutes away from Liden & Denz in the city center. The Fabergé Museum’s impressive collection gives the visitor a unique glimpse into the history of imperial Russia, particularly the personal lives of the last two Romanov Tsars during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Here are a few interesting facts about the Museum and the House of Fabergé.

  • The founder of the House of Fabergé, Peter Carl Fabergé, was a brilliant jeweler and goldsmith to the Russian Imperial Court. He was educated in St. Petersburg and Dresden and traveled extensively throughout Europe. The House continues making jewelery to this day.
  • The Fabergé Museum is relatively new — it was created in 2013 by the Links of Time Foundation. The Foundation was established by Russian entrepreneur Viktor Vekselberg in order to repatriate culturally significant items to Russia which were previously taken out of the country.
  • One of the rooms in the Museum which most captivates visitors contains nine Imperial Eggs — unique Easter gifts from Tsar Alexander III and his son, Tsar Nicholas II, to their respective wives, Maria Fedorovna and Alexandra Fedorovna. The Tsars commissioned Fabergé to create a new egg each year. This Museum houses the original “Hen” egg, which started the tradition in 1885.
  • The Links of Time Foundation has the second largest collection of Imperial Eggs in the world. The largest collection of 10 eggs is housed in the Moscow Kremlin Armory.
  • Each one of the Imperial Eggs took a team of craftsmen more than one year to create! Fifty eggs were created in total, of which 42 have survived.
  • Naturally, the story of the House of Fabergé is intertwined with that of Imperial Russia and the Romanovs. In 1917, the Bolsheviks seized the workshops and all of the treasures, and the Fabergé family fled from Russia. To this day, the whereabouts of many of the works of art created before the revolution, including several Imperial Eggs, are unknown.
  • The Fabergé name may also be familiar to you from the news — last year, the Telegraph reported that a scrap metal dealer in the Midwestern U.S. bought an ornament at a bric-a-brac market which he planned to have melted down for gold, only to find out years later that it was a Fabergé egg worth £20 million!

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I would highly recommend a visit to the Fabergé museum to see these treasures in person! No photo can prepare you to see the brilliant gems, vibrant colors and detailed perfection of the items in the museum. It’s a good idea to book a tour slot on the museum’s website or in person before your visit, as they are offered at particular times throughout the day and can fill up quickly. Tours last one hour and are offered in Russian, English, French and German. The museum is located in the remarkable Shuvalov Palace on the Fontanka River (21 Наб. Реки Фонтанки/nab. Reki Fontanki 21).

Images: author’s own and Creative Commons under license CC BY-SA 4.0

This post was brought to you by Amy, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz

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