On This Day: Carl Fabergé Was Born, 30 May 1846

The VIDEO (in Russian) Fabergé. The Jeweller of his Imperial Majesty, chronicles the life of Peter Carl Fabergé, featuring a rich collection of historic and vintage photos of his magnificent creations. Courtesy of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg


Peter Carl Fabergé is best known for his magnificent Imperial Easter Eggs

On 30 May (O.S. 18 May) 1846, Peter Carl Fabergé was born in St. Petersburg, to the Baltic German jeweller Gustav Fabergé and his Danish wife Charlotte Jungstedt.

On 1st May 1881, the Emperor Alexander III assigned Fabergé the title Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown. It was in the same year that Fabergé moved his business to larger street-level premises at 16/18 Bolshaya Morskaya in St. Petersburg.

The name Fabergé would become the embodiment of grace, beauty and luxury. In 1916, the House of Fabergé became a joint-stock company with a capital of 3-million rubles.

Although today the House of Fabergé is famed for its Imperial Easter eggs, it made many more objects ranging from silver tableware to fine jewelry which were also of exceptional quality and beauty, and until its departure from Russia during the revolution, Fabergé’s company became the largest jewelry business in the country. In addition to its St. Petersburg headquarters, it had branches in Moscow, Odessa, Kiev, and London. It produced some 150,000 to 200,000 objects from 1882 until 1917.

In 1918 The House of Fabergé was nationalised by the Bolsheviks. In early October the stock was confiscated. The House of Fabergé was no more.

After the nationalisation of the business, Carl Fabergé left St. Petersburg on the last diplomatic train for Riga. In mid-November, the Revolution having reached Latvia, he fled to Germany and first settled in Bad Homburg and then in Wiesbaden. In June 1920, Carl, along with his eldest arrived in Switzerland where other members of the family had taken refuge at the Bellevue Hotel in Pully, near Lausanne.


Peter Carl Fabergé’s grave in the Cimetière du Grand Jas in Cannes, France

Peter Carl Fabergé never recovered from the shock of the Russian Revolution. He died in Switzerland on 24th September 1920. His family believed he died of a broken heart. His wife, Augusta, died in 1925. The two were reunited in 1929 when Eugène Fabergé took his father’s ashes from Lausanne and buried them in his mother’s grave at the Cimetière du Grand Jas in Cannes, France.


Peter Carl Fabergé (seated left) with his four sons. Artist: V.M. Brikulets, 2009

Fabergé had four sons: Eugène (1874–1960), Agathon (1876–1951), Alexander (1877–1952) and Nicholas (1884–1939). Descendants of Peter Carl Fabergé today live in mainland Europe, Scandinavia and South America.

Click HERE to review 120 articles on Fabergé, richly illustrated with photographs and videos from the old Royal Russia News blog

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 30 May 2018