History of the Collection
If you’re interested in jewelry you’ll like Faberge Museum in Saint-Petersburg.
A Fabergé egg is a jeweled egg created by the House of Fabergé, in St. Petersburg, Imperial Russia. Possibly 69 eggs were created, of which 57 survive today. All were manufactured under the supervision of Carl Fabergé between 1885 and 1917. The Russian Emperor commissioned jeweled eggs as Easter gifts for their wives and mothers. The most famous eggs are 52 “Imperial” eggs, 46 of which survived.
With our skip the line admission you’ll see nine eggs, and approximately 180 other Fabergé objects in Faberge museum in Saint-Petersburg.
After the Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks nationalized the House of Fabergé, and the Fabergé family fled to Switzerland.
Joseph Stalin had many of the eggs sold in 1927, after their value appraised. In 1930 and 1933, 14 imperial eggs left Russia. Many of the eggs were sold to Armand Hammer (president of Occidental Petroleum and a personal friend of Lenin, whose father was founder of the United States Communist Party) and to Emanuel Snowman of the London antique dealers Wartski. Ten of the imperial Easter eggs till nowadays are displayed at Moscow’s Kremlin Armory Museum.
In February 2004 at Sotheby’s auction Forbes’ heirs put up the largest gathering of Fabergé eggs, assembled by Malcolm Forbes. Collection consisted of nine eggs, and approximately 180 other Fabergé objects. Before the auction began, the whole collection was purchased to the Russian oligarch Victor Vekselberg. In a 2013 BBC Four documentary, Vekselberg revealed he had spent just over $100 million purchasing the nine Fabergé eggs. He claimed to never display them in his home, saying he bought them as they are important to Russian history and culture, and he believed them to be the best jewelry art in the world. In so doing, Mr. Vekselberg not only restored the collection’s integrity, but brought those items back to their Russian homeland to make them available for all its residents. Thus was created the first museum in the country dedicated to the great Russian jeweler Carl Fabergé.
It’s not all about eggs
During our tour you will see not only works by the House of Fabergé – the Museum also has an outstanding collection of golden gift boxes crafted by other famous artisans in the 18th and 19th centuries, decorated with miniature portraits of the Romanovs going all the way back to Peter the Great.
Still another important part of the Museum’s collection is its Russian enamel works made by the leading Russian jewelry firms of the second half of the 19th and early 20th.
The Museum would be unable to fully present Russian jewelry art from the age of Fabergé without Russian icons, as their metal covers were made by the best jewelers of the time, and the Museum has a fantastic collection of these.