Master goldsmith Gustav Fabergé, a descendant of Huguenot émigrés, founded the company in St. Petersburg in 1842. The company flourished under the leadership of Gustav’s eldest son Peter Carl Fabergé, who took it over in 1872.
The House of Fabergé, well known for the elaborately designed imperial Easter eggs, was the most renowned Russian luxury goods manufacturer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The cosmopolitan and well-travelled Fabergé, who was himself a master goldsmith, was inspired to design early on. Fabergé pieces, based on historical jewelry from the Hermitage, attracted the attention of Tsar Alexander III at a Moscow exhibition in 1882. As an accredited jeweler of the Tsar’s court, the House of Fabergé became the darling of Russian aristocrats and wealthy admirers throughout Europe. With its own stores in St. Petersburg, Moscow and London, Fabergé supplied its clientele with jewelry, watches, silver and countless works of art.
After the October Revolution, the company was closed by the Soviet state in 1918. At that time, the company employed around 500 specialists and designers. After that, the name and the Fabergé brand experienced an eventful history. The family members left their homeland in 1918 and founded a new company in Paris, mainly concerned with the repair and restoration of previous pieces. The brand was subsequently sold several times and associated with numerous products, including jewelry.
For connoisseurs, genuine Fabergé jewelry from the short, golden decades of the company from 1885 to 1917 is a household name. Fabergé masterpieces can be admired in museums such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and Royal Collection in London.