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Peter Carl Fabergé biography: an iconic jeweler

Peter Carl Fabergé was the son of the founder of the House of Fabergé. He was one of the greatest goldsmiths and jewelers in Western decorative arts. Fabergé’s emblematic creations, including the famous Imperial Egg continue to enchant future generations to this day.

Peter Carl Fabergé: Biography of an extraordinary jeweler

The greatest jewelry designer of 19th century Russia

Peter Carl Fabergé was born in 1846 in St. Petersburg, Russia. He quickly discovered his potential as a jewelry designer while working at his father Gustav Fabergé’s jewelry company, which was founded in 1842. Carl took over the family business in 1872.
He was awarded the title of master goldsmith and was allowed to use his own hallmark alongside the company’s official stamp. Fabergé’s reputation grew and the company became the Russian Imperial Court’s main supplier.

A family affair

Peter Carl Fabergé invented the famous Imperial Egg with the help of his brother Agathon, who was also a master jewelry designer. This precious object was made with rare gemstones and metals. At that time, less expensive eggs were crafted for the general public. Today the brand creates equally sumptuous miniature replicas that are featured in several of their jewelry collections.

Peter Carl Fabergé: designing jewelry for the Tsars of Russia

In 1883, Russian Emperor Alexander III ordered cicada-shaped cufflinks from Carl – a young jeweler who had caught his eye at the Russian Industrial Exposition. This began the story between this great jewelry firm and Imperial Russia. Over the years Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II ordered more than fifty Imperial Eggs. Each one took a year to create and their designs were increasingly luxurious.
In 1884, the House of Fabergé was selected instead of the jewelry designer Bolin to be the official supplier of the Imperial Court of Russia. Fabergé’s products were highly valued not just inside the empire, but also abroad in the Courts of the United Kingdom, Thailand, Sweden and Norway.

An ingenious designer

Later, Peter Carl Fabergé diversified the production of the House of Fabergé, transforming everything from cigarette cases to mantel clocks into imaginative works of art.
The abdication of Tsar Nicholas II marked the beginning of the end of Peter Carl Fabergé’s golden era. The Fabergé cooperative’s employee committee took over the company after the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Peter Carl Fabergé left the country a year later. He died in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1920, leaving behind a legacy of success and prestige.

Countless successful creations

Peter Carl Fabergé is equally famous for creating fine decorative objects: flowers, jewelry, figurines, frames, clocks, boxes, etc. Unlike other jewelers of his time, Peter Carl Fabergé did not always use pure gold or gemstones. He often employed other alloys such as white gold and semi-precious stones, valuing them for their aesthetic qualities over their actual price. His enamelling techniques made his items look unique and helped him establish the brand’s lasting signature look.
Today, Fabergé jewelry continues to be synonymous with luxury and refinement.

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