A Celebration of Jewelry and the Business Behind the Beauty
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Fabergé Opens Boutique in London
The Fabergé brand continues its return to the world of luxury jewelry under its new owners by opening a store in London. In addition, the company said its watches and jewelry are now available in London’s Harrod’s and it will soon open a store in New York.
It is the first time in a nearly a century that Fabergé, known for its iconic bejeweled eggs, has had a store in London. The boutique is located at 14A Grafton Street in Mayfair.
Due to the repatriation of Russian resources at the beginning of the First World War, the last Fabergé store in London closed in 1915. The store at 173 Bond Street, was visited by royalty, nobility, potentates, tycoons, socialites and connoisseurs from around the world. Fabergé first opened in London in 1906 at 48 Dover Street, moving to Bond Street in 1910.
The new store features a lilac façade that evokes the guilloche and enamel techniques for which Fabergé was renowned, the company said. The interior is a fusion of old and new.
In New York, Fabergé has secured 694 Madison Ave., which will open in spring 2012. In the meantime, Fabergé is hosting special seasonal “by appointment” previews at the Plaza Hotel, Fifth Avenue at Central Park South until December 30.
The new locations carry selections from the key Fabergé collections that include:
* The jewelry collections Les Fabuleuses de Fabergé, Saisons Russes, Le Carnet Bal and the Solyanka Treasures;
* Les Favorites de Fabrge, a collection of fine jewelry egg pendants with about 60 designs, rekindling the tradition of Fabergé as gifts for special occasions; and
* Fabergé Horlogerie, a collection of handmade men’s and women’s watches featuring the brand’s guilloche and enamel techniques.
These are the latest of several moves that the brand has made since it was purchased in 2007 by Pallinghurst Resources, a London-based private equity company, from Unilever, a consumers products company.
Pallinghurst reunited the Fabergé brand with the Fabergé family. Tatiana and Sarah Fabergé, great granddaughters of Peter Carl Fabergé, together with John Andrew, make up the Fabergé Heritage Council. which guides the unified Fabergé in its pursuit of Fabergé’s original values, philosophy and spirit. Géza von Habsburg, a leading Fabergé expert and author, serves as Fabergé’s curatorial director.
In 2009, the company launched new jewelry collections, a website and its first boutique in Geneva.
More recently, in July, the company launched the Les Fameux de Fabergé one-of-a-kind high jewelry egg pendants and the Les Favorites de Fabrge fine jewelry egg pendants.
Fabergé was founded in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1842 by Gustav Fabergé, whoc moved from France to Russia in the 1830s to train as a goldsmith. Gustav’s son, Peter Carl Fabergé (born in 1846) led the firm to worldwide renown, winning the favor of the Imperial Romanov family in the 1880s and the award of the Grand Prix at the 1900 World Fair in Paris.
In 1917, the Russian Revolution brought an abrupt end to the Romanov dynasty, and to the House of Fabergé. The company was nationalized, all production closed down and Peter Carl Fabergé and his family fled Russia. He died in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1920.
By the time of the Bolshevik Revolution, Fabergé had produced more than 155,000 items spanning jewelry, objects, tableware and accessories ranging from cigarette cases to crochet hooks. The first of the 50 legendary and world famous Imperial Fabergé Eggs was the “Hen Egg” of 1885, with the “Steel Military Egg” of 1916 being the last completed. Two eggs were in preparation in 1917 but were not finished. A handful of egg objects were made as private commissions, including the Rothschild egg, which was sold recently at auction by Christies for $19.5 million.
In a second blow, the Fabergé family in 1951 lost the rights to use their family name in selling Fabergé-labeled designs when protracted and expensive litigation forced them to cede these rights to an American corporation for $25,000.
More recently, Unilevel had the rights to the company before selling it to Pallinghurst Resources.
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I am a freelance writer and editor who has spent the past 10 years
traveling the world covering luxury jewelry, watches and luxury
lifestyles. I also write about food and travel. I work as a
correspondent for Forbes.com and JewelleryNetAsia. In addition, I have
my own blog covering the jewelry and watch industry, Jewelry News Network.