The world of
Peter Carl Fabergé changed on the day that he was contacted
by Alexander III, the Emperor of Russia, to create an Easter
gift for his wife, Empress Maria Feodorovna in 1855. The House
of Fabergé was already well known in Russia as a high-end
jewelry house, renown for their perfection, but this commission
was truly an important one. The first egg, the Hen Egg, delighted
the Empress so much that a standing yearly order was placed.
The tradition continued from 1885 through 1917 for a total of
50 Imperial Eggs created by the House of Fabergé for Emperor
Alexander III and Nicholas II, his son.
of the eggs had end caps of portrait diamonds (a highly faceted
flat-backed diamond) that protected a miniature painting or enamel.
The Coronation Egg (c. 1897) has the portrait diamond covering
a jeweled monogram of Empress Alexandra (Nicolas II's wife) and
the date. Celebrating her coronation, this egg opens to reveal
a perfect miniature carriage! Along with portrait diamond end
caps many of the eggs had pop up components, like miniature lockets.
Along with Easter
Eggs, there were other commissions to include a clock and 19
fabulous snuffboxes. One of the snuffboxes has a locket on the
lid that opens to show a portrait of Emperor Nicholas II. These
works of art are a testament to the glory and tragic fate of
the last ruling Romanov family. Thankfully, many of these pieces
still exist for the world to enjoy and to reflect on the lives
of a royal family.
The Secret Lies
Within is a locket that opens to reveal images of your dear ones.
A personal piece, the locket can be presented on a cuff bracelet
(in this case) or on a necklace. Photographs are protected with
a laminating film then supported and bezeled in peyote stitch.
The two halves are connected, embellished beautifully, and in
this case attached to a beaded cuff.
This design is
all about the locket as it can be used in quite a few ways. Whether
you place it on a cuff bracelet, a long chain or a close fitting
necklace, the design is truly timeless!
Workshop length: This is a 1-day workshop.
Skill level: Advanced