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Works of art by Fabergé date back to the nineteenth century, when the firm founded by Gustav Fabergé in Saint Petersburg in 1842 became one of the jewels of the Russian Empire known and sought for around the world. In 1882 control of the company was taken over by Gustav’s son, Carl, who was appointed master goldsmith. In 1885 Carl Fabergé was commissioned by Tsar Alexander III to make an Easter egg as a gift for his wife, the Empress Maria Feodorovna. It was to be the first of over 50 jewelled eggs created by the House of Fabergé. Between 1907 and 1917, over 10,000 objects by Fabergé were sold in London alone. Fabergé became a fast favourite of the stylish elite around the world, including Alexandra of Denmark, Queen Consort of England. The house style of Fabergé was based on an assimilation of earlier styles, including Louis XVI, Empire, Gothic, Renaissance, Persian, Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese. These influences were imbued with a specific Russian feeling, adding lightness and elegance to the styles of previous centuries. Throughout his time leading the Fabergé firm, Carl Fabergé insisted that any piece that did not meet his rigorous standard of perfection would be destroyed.
Producing a full range of jewellery and other objets d’art, quality of which was approved by Carl Fabergé personally, the company won international awards and became Russia’s largest jewellery firm with 500 craftsmen and designers. At its peak, craftsmen worked in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Odessa, and Kiev.
Exhibited at Bentley & Skinner are fine jewellery and objets d’art made between circa 1895 and 1917 by Fabergé workmasters Michael Perchin, Henrik Wigström, Feodor Afanassiev, August Frederik Hollming, Johan Viktor Aarne, Erik August Kollin, Edward Schramm, August Wilhelm Holmström, and Albert Woldemar Holmström. Among the Bentley & Skinner collection are museum quality frames, cigarette cases, brooches, and more.