The Fabergé family can be traced back to 17th century France. Gustav Fabergé trained as a goldsmith apprenticing with the firm of Keibel, goldsmiths and jewelers to the Tsars. In 1841 he earned the title of Master Goldsmith and the next year he opened his own retail jewelry shop. In 1882, at the age of 36, Gustav’s son Carl Fabergé was also awarded the title of Master Goldsmith and took over the running of the business.
In 1885, Tsar Alexander III commissioned the House of Fabergé to make an Easter egg as a gift for his wife, the Empress Maria Fedorovna. The “First Hen Egg” or “Jeweled Hen Egg” is a Tsar Imperial Fabergé Egg, the first in a series of fifty-four jeweled eggs made under the supervision of Carl Fabergé for the Russian Imperial family.
Empress Maria was so delighted by this gift that Alexander appointed Fabergé a “goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown”. He commissioned another egg the following year. After that, Fabergé was given complete freedom for future Imperial Easter Eggs and from this date, the designs became more elaborate. Not even the Tsar knew the designs in advance. The only requirement was that each one should contain a surprise.
After losing everything when the House of Fabergé was nationalised by the Bolsheviks the family was forced to flee Russia during the Russian Revolution in 1917. For a time they even lost all rights to produce and market designs under the Fabergé name. In 2007 the company was purchased and the Fabergé brand was reunified with the the family and the brand is now forging a fresh and strong identity in tune with its original values, aesthetics and spirit. Fabergé was re-launched on September 9, 2009 with Carl Fabergé’s great-grand-daughters helping to guide the way. On July 6, 2011 the company launched two collections of egg pendants. These were the first to have been made by Fabergé since 1917.