The Spring Egg is the first of the new Imperial-class Eggs to be displayed in North America
Boston’s Dorfman Jewelers has quite the visitor this weekend: a Fabergé Imperial-class Egg valued at $740,000.
The Spring Egg features 138.36 cts. emeralds, 36 princess-cut Paraiba tourmalines, and 5,638 round white diamonds, all set in 18k rose and white gold. It is part of a set called the Four Seasons, the first set created since Fabergé reintroduced the Imperial-class Eggs earlier this year.
“Part of the mission of the company is to create Fabergé again as it was in the early 1900s, having that level of prestige,” Jon Omer, U.S. vice president in charge of wholesale for Fabergé tells JCK. “When Gemfields bought the brand, we say our project was to rescue it from a black hole, to re-create everything: image, design, marketing. And one of the last parts has been to begin creating the Imperial-class Eggs again.”
Peter Carl Fabergé made 50 Imperial Eggs for the Russian Imperial family between 1885 and 1916. The first egg was a commission from Russian Czar Alexander III as an Easter gift to his wife. It was so well-received that Fabergé created 50 more unique eggs over the next 32 years. The Russian Revolution marked the end of the Romanov Dynasty and the Fabergé brand. The company was nationalized, and the family fled Russia in 1917.
The brand name changed hands several times but was purchased by the investment firm (and Gemfields stakeholder) Pallinghurst Resources in 2007. Fabergé was reintroduced as a prestige luxury brand, and the brand was realigned with the Fabergé family. Pallinghurst sold the majority of its stake to Gemfields in 2012.
It is a point of particular pride that members of the Fabergé family have endorsed the effort.
“Tatiana Fabergé and Sarah Fabergé, great granddaughters of Peter Carl Fabergé, are part of our board, they look at everything we are making and put their blessing on it, and when you purchase a piece from Fabergé, you receive a certificate of authenticity from the two sisters,” says Omer.
The first Imperial-class Egg under the new Fabergé regime was created in collaboration with, and purchased by, the pearl collector Hussain Al-Fardan and presented at Baselworld in February 2015. The Fabergé Pearl Egg featured 139 white pearls, 3,305 diamonds, carved rock crystal, and mother-of-pearl set on white and yellow gold. The “surprise” inside the egg, a hallmark of the original Fabergé Imperial Eggs, was a 12.17 ct. gray pearl. (For the Four Seasons collections, the buyers are invited to choose the surprise they want inside each egg, Omer says.)
“Once these eggs are sold, we will start on a new egg,” he says. “We will do what Carl did and produce a new egg each year.”
Each egg takes 25 artisans approximately one year to produce.
The eggs in the Four Seasons set will be taken on a worldwide tour in 2016. Specifics have not been announced, but Fabergé retailers are likely to play host. “I would imagine if the eggs are in a city were we do have a retailer, they will be shown at some point in that retailer,” says Omer.
“Dorfman was a natural choice to showcase the egg,” says Omer. “I’ve known the family for quite a long time and consider them to be close friends.”
Dorfman is one of just three independent retailers in the U.S. to carry the brand. The other two are Westime in West Hollywood, Calif., and Amir H. Mozaffarian Fine Jewelry in San Francisco.
All eggs in the Four Seasons collection are for sale and until now have been shown only by private appointment. The excitement at the egg being on display at Dorfman is palpable.
“Ever since we opened this morning there have been people coming in the door,” he says. “I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It created quite a stir yesterday. We had two film crews and a radio interviewer when we brought the egg into the store.”
The egg will be on display at Dorfman through the weekend.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Oct. 20 to clarify that the Spring Egg is an “Imperial-class Egg,” not an “Imperial Egg.” The original eggs made for the Russian Imperial family are called “Imperial Eggs,” and as these new eggs display a similar level of craftsmanship, the Fabergé company has chosen to designate them as “Imperial-class Eggs.”
(Photo courtesy Fabergé)