Midwinter in the Southern Hemisphere so I thought I’d share photos of some of the fabulous Faberge flowers I came across in Europe in 2018 (thanks to The Antiques Roadshow I had some clue as to what I was looking at).
Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland was a storehouse of tiny Faberge treasures and had lots of these gorgeous little ‘vases of flowers’, as well as carved birds and animals, all by Faberge.
The Faberge Museum in St Petersburg is well worth a visit to see not only some of the beautiful eggs on display, but all the other exquisite pieces too. Apparently, if Carl Faberge didn’t think a piece was up to snuff, he smashed it and sent the workman back to do it again!
One of the most outstanding versions of this basket of lily of the valley is at the Metropolitan Museum in New York – the 19 individual stems are made of pearls and diamonds (the flowers are different to the basket shown above as they appear to be ‘open’). The Met’s caption says the basket is considered to be the most important Faberge piece in the US.
The Faberge company made 50 eggs for the Russian royal household but perhaps only 43 remain. Along with other treasures, the eggs were looted during the Russian revolution.
But sometimes amazing things happen and in 2012, an egg considered to be lost turned up in the home of an American man who had bought it several years earlier with the intention of selling it for scrap. Fortunately, he never got round to it and one day Googled ‘egg’ and the name engraved on its clock … and discovered the thing sitting on his bench was worth approximately $33 million! Read more here. If you’d like to read some more about Faberge and the eggs in general, please go here.