Today on May 30, 2012 Google is celebrating the birthday of Peter Carl Fabergé (30 May 1846 – September 24, 1920). Today it would have been his 166th Birthday.
Who was Peter Carl Fabergé
If you look at the Google Doodle it is easy to guess more or less what the doodle is about. The Google display Gold, Diamonds, Precious metals and gemstones decorated eggs. These eggs are commonly referred to as “Fabergé Eggs” or “Fabergé Easter Eggs”.
“Image of the Peter Carl Fabergé’s 166th Birthday Google Doodle May 30, 2012”
Peter Carl Fabergé was born in Russia in Saint Petersburg, his father German and his mother from Danish descent. His family tree can also be traced back to France where his paternal ancestors were Huguenots, originally from La Bouteille, Picardy, who fled from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, first to Germany near Berlin, then in 1800 to the Baltic province of Livonia, then part of Russia.
It is believed that Peter Carl Fabergé studied at the Dresden Arts and Crafts School. He also studied under several goldsmiths across Europe with a particular influence from Germany, England and France. He attended the Schloss’s Commercial College in Paris, France. As part of his studies and student travels Peter Carl Fabergé visited several of Europe’s best museums, he accumulated superb knowledge of European art, jewelry and artifacts.
In 1872 at the age of 26 Peter Carl Fabergé returned to russia to St Petersburg.
Russian Tsar and Goldsmith to the Imperial Crown
One of the biggest achievements in the life of Peter Carl Fabergé was when their family business was appointed in 1885 by the Russian Tsar Alexander III as the Goldsmith to the Imperial Crown. The Tsar commissioned Peter Carl Fabergé to make an Easter egg as a gift for his wife, the Empress Maria. The Tsar was so impressed by Peter Carl Fabergé work that he started ordering an egg each year. In 1887 Peter Carl Fabergé were given artistic freedom with the only condition that each egg should contain a surprise.
This tradition were alive and well until the October Russian Revolution. Although the House of Peter Carl Fabergé is famed for its Imperial Easter eggs, it made many more objects ranging from silver tableware to fine jewelry. Peter Carl Fabergé company became the largest jewelry business in Russia. In addition to its Saint Petersburg head quarters, there were branches in Moscow, Odessa, Kiev and London. It produced some 150,000 to 200,000 objects from 1882 until 1917.
In 1900 his work represented Russia at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris. As Peter Carl Fabergé was a member of the Jury, the House of Peter Carl Fabergé therefore exhibited hors concours (without competing). Nevertheless, the House was awarded a gold medal and the city’s jewelers recognized Peter Carl Fabergé as maître. Additionally, Peter Carl Fabergé was decorated with the most prestigious of French awards – he was appointed a Knight of the Legion of Honor. Two of Peter Carl Fabergé sons and his Head Work master were also honored. Commercially, the exposition was a great success and the firm acquired a great many orders and clients.
Peter Carl Fabergé Business Lost in the October Russian Revolution
In 1916, the House of Fabergé became a joint-stock company with a capital of 3-million rubles.
The following year upon the outbreak of the October Revolution, the business was taken over by a ‘Committee of the Employees of the Company K Fabergé. In 1918 The House of Fabergé was nationalized by the Bolsheviks. In early October the stock was confiscated. The House of Fabergé was no more.
After the nationalization of the business, Carl Fabergé left St. Petersburg on the last diplomatic train for Riga. In mid-November, the Revolution having reached Latvia, he fled to Germany and first settled in Bad Homburg and then in Wiesbaden. Eugène, the Fabergé’s eldest, travelled with his mother in darkness by sleigh and on foot through snow-covered woods and reached Finland in December 1918.
During June 1920, Eugène reached Wiesbaden and accompanied his father to Switzerland where other members of the family had taken refuge at the Bellevue Hotel, in Pully near Lausanne. Peter Carl Fabergé never recovered from the shock of the Russian Revolution. In exile, the words always on his lips were, “This life is not worth living” – Peter Carl Fabergé. He died in Switzerland on September 24, 1920. His family believed he died of a broken heart. – Source
Peter Carl Fabergé in the United States of America, New York City
Earlier this month on May 23, 2012 the first Peter Carl Fabergé store opened its doors in New York, USA. The most expensive original Peter Carl Fabergé egg sold for about $14 million by Christie’s in November 2007. The fourth and newest store sells exclusive pieces, including the ZénaÏde egg locket in white gold with white diamonds and rubies
Video of Peter Carl Fabergé
Here is a short video that we have created about the Peter Carl Fabergé Google Doodle.