Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fabergé

Today's Google doodle commemorating Peter Carl Fabergé's 166th birthday
IF he were still alive...

I don't know how much patience I'll have with this post but Fabergé is a noted craftsman and has contributed a great amount of work to the world of art and it bears mentioning. It's not my taste. It's ornate and, dare I say, decadent. Admire it, sure. Actually use money to acquire it? There a million other ways I'd rather put my money to use. I'll try to save the editorializing for comments.



Peter Carl Fabergé was a Russian jeweller, best known for the famous Fabergé eggs, made in the style of genuine Easter eggs, but using precious metals and gemstones rather than more mundane materials. Like wood and pebbles, for example.

The Fabergé egg has become a symbol of luxury, and the eggs are regarded as masterpieces of the jeweler's art. 

'Fabergé egg' typically refers to products made by the company before the 1917 Revolution. The trademark is currently owned by Fabergé Limited (visit if you must), which also makes egg-themed jewellery.


Bouquet of Lilies
1899

It's a clock. Made with enamel, diamonds, onyx and gold. The surprise from this egg is currently missing, but from contemporary photographs it is known to have been a ruby pendant with rose-cut diamonds.

The cool thing about these ornate eggs is that each one came with a surprise, just like a Kinder Surprise Egg, but at least you can eat the chocolate with a Kinder Surprise. Which makes it way more valuable to a child.


Kinder Surprise Egg costs about a dollar

I love these eggs, often you had to put together the prize inside and they were kind of ingenious. Too bad they're not allowed in the USA. Anyhoo, I have a tin box full of these little toys. They're awesome.


Imperial Czarevist Easter Egg

Lapis lazuli and gold


Chimpanzee.

Date circa 1900, banded agate, diamonds, 6.4 cm (2.5 in)  A waste of agate and diamond if you ask me.

Nephrite Bat Letter Opener

"The blade carved from a single piece of Siberian Jade, the handle in the form of intertwining bat wings.  The three terminals on the handle are set with cabochon moonstones, whilst the centre is set with two cabochon rubies on both sides."

(whilst? Are you kidding me?) 

I LOVE this. First, it's a bat - win! Second, you can actually USE if for something. Sure, it's a crazy expensive and ornate letter opener but at least it doesn't just sit around and collect dust.


 Alexander III Equestrian from 1910 at Moscow Kremlin Armoury

Egg with a horse in it. Probably platinum and lapus.

The Colonnade, British Royal Collection

Fabergé created more than just eggs and ornate pieces of sculpture. I know this because I have a book full of various works by the house of Fabergé. But can you find this stuff in a google image search? Not hardly. Nevertheless, here are some examples:

he was into jeweled bugs and stuff.

enameled picture frame

enameled picture frame detail

picture frame made with gold nugget

enamel


OK. I've had enough of Fabergé for a while.

The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union.

I can't look at these creations without thinking about the disparity between the wealthy and the poor. Yes, the craftmanship is outstanding and the pieces are beautiful, in an ornate, conspicuous kind of way. I don't understand how one class of people could enjoy such wealth and not feel weighted down by the fact that others cannot find enough to eat.

In 1918 The House of Fabergé was nationalised by the Bolsheviks. In early October the stock was confiscated. The wiki article goes on to say that the House of Faberge was no more but it is still around and there's a link to the their website at the top of the post.

1 comment:

Tonya said...

I agree with your last paragraph. I really cannot understand consumption on such a conspicuous level. I don't know. I've never been rich, so I can't say what I would or would not do... I can only say that I'm glad that sort of thing isn't part of my life.