Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Tea over Faberge Jewels
I am quite sure most people have heard of Fabergé and its fabled jeweled eggs, but few in Singapore or Asia have seen one in person. Keeping its collection exclusive, Faberge has currently only set up shop in London and New York, where most of its customers drop in via appointments.
I was privileged enough to be invited to Faberge's in London to learn more about its excellent craftmanship and iconic jeweled eggs. Faberge was established in the 1830s by Gustav Faberge, who trained in Saint Petersburg, Russia, as a goldsmith. The Tzar Alexander III was very impressed by his work and commissioned the company to make an Easter egg for his empress, and thus the House of Faberge became known for its petite but precious Easter eggs.
Faberge's key characteristics included a distinctive sense of proportion, signature colors in rich shades, and utilizing each gemstone carefully and also the amazing techniques of enamelling its jeweled egg pendants. For the small pendants that you see above in rich mauve and red tones, as well as pale pink and mint, they had to be coated in enamel and then handpainted with the criss-cross web pattern and recoated several times to ensure that the colors remain longlasting and that the enamel does not crack. The dazzling gemstone bracelet above was made with more than 2,000 gemstones, each cut precisely to enhance its artistic color nuances and then set in to form the flower motif.
I honestly couldn't help but marvel when I look at each piece of jewelry, each one the result of hours of craftmanship and pieced together with techniques that stood the test of time. In fact, the youngest member in Faberge's Paris studio is over 60 years old!
Here's a video from Faberge explaining its craftmanship and heritage. I hope this quick insight into Faberge leaves you more intrigued about these old maisons that still remains astute to getting things handmade in today's age of technology.