Unique Faberge

Unique Faberge And His Talented Masters.

Before a new masterpiece begins to be created, the main master and an
artist gather in the office of Faberge at the round table to work out design and discuss the stages of creation of all items. After such meetings, created a detailed drawing and then after final approval, this figure was transferred to the workshops. Tasks to enamelling, ornament stones, the use of metals were solved directly by specialists. The most significant work, for example, are the Easter Eggs for the Emperor, which were created by masters who were specially prepared for this responsible work. The work of these artists controlled the main master, with all the stages of production, up to the smallest detail. Everything was under personal control of Faberge.

Faberge was going well, and in 1900 he bought for the firm's new building in St. Petersburg at number 24 on Bolshaya Morskaya street. It was decided to be a place on the first floor exhibition halls, the cabinet and the office of Faberge, and on the second floor there workshops were in order to work with precious metals, and living rooms for the family of the master. On the third floor settled senior masters, and the fourth floor welcomed the jewelers who worked with precious stones.

Many workers of Faberge were his relatives. Often the sons came to replace their fathers, such as August and Albert Holstrom, and Alfred Charles Tillman, Oscar Drank and many others. Four sons of Faberge, just like him, worked in his father's firm. Of course, Faberge managed the affairs of the company, but we don't know is evidence that with his hands he created things. Masters were independent of each other, worked under contract and had the right to choose independently the people to his aides, however, they could not worry about the marketing of products. AOI didn't pay for the rent workshops, materials, but got a good percentage from the sale of products.
Hierarchy of the company were as follows: first Faberge, then senior foreman, then the chiefs of shops and workshops (ordinary masters, journeymen and apprentices). In the heyday of the company worked up to 500 people, with 20 of them were occupied exclusively by creating boxes for packing, which were stored products.

Each master had its registered mark by which to establish the authenticity of the product and the date of
production. Personal Faberge brand on products from Petersburg differed from Moscow. In St. Petersburg works was Faberge brand written in cyrillic without initials that existed only in miniature products. In Moscow department for products put the mark in the form of Peter Carl Faberge, which was written in cyrillic, and nearby was a double-headed eagle. As the Imperial eagle is depicted in the works of silver, which made or sold in the St. Petersburg branch of the masters Andres Nevalainen, Julius Rappoport, Stefan Macavoy or first silver artel. The same products that have been manufactured to supply Europe had a stamp with the name of Faberge, written in Latin letters and contained his initials. In addition, most of them had inventory number engraved on the metal.

As you may have noticed between masters from Moscow and St. Petersburg there were several distinctive features. One of these distinguishing features was that masters from Moscow never put a personal stamp on its products, the masters from St. Petersburg put his personal stamp even if lacked personal brand Faberge. In some cases, the mark is not set due to technological need, for example, on the stone figures of animals that would not damage the material. As mark did not put in the case. If the product was characterized by fragile and delicate work, as the example of flowers. In this case the mark was simply
nowhere to put. In such cases, when assessing product experts draw on their own knowledge about the peculiarities and differences of Faberge works and style in his works.

The first master, who led a workshop called Eric August Colleen (1836-1901). He was by nationality Finn and has held his post for 16 years from 1870 to 1886. He was a very talented and experienced jeweler and acquired its fame, working on ancient, antique styles.
For example, copying Scythian jewelry from the Crimean mounds Dating from the V-IV centuries BC. All its products have been awarded a label of X.E. But perhaps the most famous in the history of Faberge was Mikhail Evlampievich Perkhin (1860-1903). He began to work at the company with 26 years and have worked on it until his death.

He was a native of the Russian peasantry, was self-taught and all his works were carried out with great care and high quality. Perkhin was a great master, working in the technique guilloche and contrast of gold. Historical style, which he preferred was the Baroque style.

The work on the most outstanding and famous works of jewelry art of the Imperial Easter eggs has been entrusted to the wizard. The mark owned by Perkhin looked like a tamp.

After the death of the great masters of his receiver was his chief assistant Henrik Emmanuel Wigstrom (1862-1923). Wigstrom he held this post until the closure of the company in 1917. During his leadership the firm Faberge reached in the years of the peak of his fame and popularity. In his work the master chose to use the elements of the style of Louis XVI and Empire style. The most extensively play a ornaments of Lavra. The most part of products of solid stones (various figures of people, animals, flowers) were made under his personal supervision. The mark Vigstrema, was described as, "X.V.".

One of the leaders of the workshop precious stones on the fourth floor of the St. Petersburg branch of the company was August Wilhelm Holmstrem (1829-1903). He started back in those years, when the company was managed by Gustav Faberge. For a long time Holmstrem was responsible for the production of works decorated with gemstones, including Easter eggs. He took a very active part in the production of Easter eggs "Twelve monograms", famous for the fact that Alexander III gave it to his wife to the silver wedding anniversary in 1892. Holmstrem was a skilled artisan in the processing of precious metals. One of them is the Imperial Easter egg made in 1891, containing a surprise-a miniature gold model of the cruiser Memory of Azov. On change of the father, in 1903, was
succeeded by his son Albert, not less talented than his father. Father and son had his " mark "A.H.".

In 1876 on the work of the company was adopted August Friedrich Holming (1854-1913 as apprentices, and in 1880 he became a master. He specialized in the products covered with gold and enamel, but it could work with gemstones. Greater glory received his cigarette cases covered with enamel. His mark "A*N".

Glory to Faberge created not only masters, but also artists, whom Faberge ran himself personally. Periodically, the firm was invited to cooperate with famous artists. One of such famous artists Alexander Benois, a famous artist-miniature painters Vasily Zuev and Johann Zingraf. But at the same time the company worked its artists. The staff has long worked famous Swedish painter Francois Birbaum. As the company worked many fashion designers, whose duties included the creation of wax models for future works.

Faberge was a talented manager. He paid his workers well. Business days in those days were very long from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Overtime always found
support and well remunerated. Clients and patrons of the house of Faberge exerted constant pressure, constantly demanding new works, therefore, the company always had ready products for sale. According to rough estimates, the number of products released by the house of Faberge was 120 000. Such a huge number of characteristic mass production, but every item has become a unique, priceless work of art