From an Apprentice to the Emperor’s Jeweller
Almost every successful jewellery-making story begins with an apprentice. In the Faberge family, this role fell on Gustav Faberge, who arrived in Saint Petersburg from present-day Estonia around 1830. He soon advanced from apprenticeship at a local jewellery maker to the Keibel company, the goldsmith and jeweller to the Russian tsars, and later to the independent goldsmithing workshop on the fashionable street of Bolshaya Morskaya.
To make it more prestigious he changed his surname to Fabergé. A few decades later, his son Peter Carl placed the Fabergé name alongside the greatest jewellers in the world.
German Goldsmithing School
When the father retired in 1860, the family moved to Dresden, where Peter Carl started attending the academy for arts and crafts. His studies soon took him to the best goldsmithing masters around Europe: from Germany to France and England, and finally back to Paris.
In addition to absorbing the rich tradition of the ancient goldsmithing craft everywhere he travelled, he got to know art masterpieces in the most important museums and galleries. When after several years of travelling he returned to his native Saint Petersburg, one of his father’s goldsmiths became his mentor. Thus, Peter Carl Fabergé assumed the responsibility for repairs of various masterpieces in the famous Hermitage Museum, for example the renowned French snuffboxes made of gold and enamel. He learned the ancient goldsmithing skills that would serve him well in the future chapters of his story.
Goldsmith by Special Appointment
to the Imperial Crown
After his mentor died, Peter Carl took over the running of the family company. At the time, the value of the crafting skills of the Fabergé family was recognised also by Tsar Alexander III who ordered a special collection of their works to be exhibited in the Hermitage Museum as an example of exceptional contemporary goldsmithing mastery in Russia.
It is no surprise that the name Fabergé was the first tsar thought of when a few years later he was pondering a gift for his tsarina. The same happened a year after. A year after that, a decision was made that the company would be completely free in designing Easter eggs for the years to come. The only stipulation of this annual project was that every egg should include a surprise. As becomes the royal jeweller, Fabergé opened a new store in Moscow, while Fabergé eggs have remained their hallmark until this day.
Workshops with Hundreds of Jewellers
In 1900, the company became widely known at the World Expo in Paris. As the biggest jeweller in Russia the Fabergé family, employing more than 500 goldsmiths and designers, was ready to meet the increasing demand from the home and foreign elites. New stores opened in London and Kiev.
When the First World War broke out, the company was forced to close the one in London, which was followed by the company being rearranged into the joint stock company that was nationalised only two years later, while their stock was seized in 1918. Since 2009, after decades of struggling over different obstacles, the Fabergé family has returned to the top of the jewellery-making world.
Fabergé Jewellery in Draguljarna Malalan
With the Heritage Collection Fabergé explores the heritage of their typical motif and, above all, exhibits more than a century’s experience with the enamelling technique. Some of their pieces are completely true to the family tradition: they can be opened with a delicate mechanism with a surprise waiting inside.
The Treillage Collection by Fabergé explores the familiar motif of fabric used in the famous Trellis egg. The typical softness of forms that is supplemented by various colourful precious stones is the endless source of inspiration for their designers.
We are very proud to announce that Draguljarna Malalan in Ljubljana has recently become part of the exclusive network of jewellers who sell the iconic Fabergé jewellery.