My French Life: Happy Birthday Fabergé

Written by on May 31, 2012 in French Icons

Petar Milošević (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (

You might think that being a Russian, Faberge shouldn’t feature in my French blog life – but as I absolutely love his art I am working the links between the man born Peter Carl Fabergé (see French name!) and my adopted country France for all I am worth!

Peter Carl Fabergé was born May 30 1846 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. His father was Gustav Fabergé, himself a jeweller and his Danish mother was Charlotte Jungstedt. Gustav Fabergé’s paternal ancestors were from La Bouteille, Picardy (French connection No. 1) and being Huguenots they fled persecution in France ending up in Russia.

Fabergé learned the trade from his father and at just 16 years old was deemed competent to take over running his father’s business. At 18 years old he toured Europe and decided to enhance his skills attending schools and visiting galleries and museums in Germany, France and the UK. He returned to Russia, settled down, got married, worked at the jewellery business and built up a good reputation.

Azov Egg Attribution Stan Shebs via Wikimedia Commons

Fabergé teamed up with his brother Agathon Fabergé and together they started to create wonderful pieces – from cigarette boxes to bell pushes –  catching the eye of the Tsar who showered them with praise and commissioned a jewelled egg for his wife. The resulting jewel encrusted exquisite piece of artwork known as the Hen Egg so impressed the Tsar it became a tradition for Fabergé to be commissioned to make eggs every Easter for the Russian royal family – he made 50 in total of which 42 remain known.

In 1900, Carl Fabergé represented Russia at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris (French connection No. 2) and he was awarded the title Knight of the Legion D’honneur in recognition of his fabulous work (Connection No. 3).

Rose Trellis Egg Walters Art Museum [Public domain, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

Sadly for Fabergé – his successful and prosperous business was nationalised by the Bolsheviks in the Russian Revolution and he was forced with his family to flee Russia.  He died in 1920 in Germany – his family claimed of a broken heart.

His legacy remains through his most famous contribution – the glorious Fabergé eggs are today worth fortunes and his admirers are legion, including Google who on the anniversary of his birthday May 30 2012 honoured him with screen doodles of eggs.

A bientôt



Related Articles

Guide to the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur Paris

You might think, when you visit Montmartre and gaze at the beautiful church of Sacré-Coeur, perched on a hill in the highest part of Paris, that is has been there for centuries. There is something timeless about the iconic luminous domes, pure white walls and elegant lines. But this is a relatively modern church. The […]

Continue Reading

History of the French Flag

History of the French Flag

Written by on July 19, 2019 in French Icons

The French call their flag Le drapeau tricolore. English speakers know it as the French Tricolore. It’s one of the most iconic flags in European history. But how did it come to be? The evolution of the French Flag The flag of France before the French Revolution featured the fleur-de-lis on a blue background. The […]

Continue Reading

The Pyramid at the Louvre

The Pyramid at the Louvre

Written by on March 28, 2019 in French Icons, Paris

When it comes to innovation in architecture, Paris has long been a leader and in the last 150 years, dozens of architectural gems have made it famous for originality and boldness. Just a few include the Eiffel Tower, Pompidou centre, the Louis Vuitton Foundation and La Grande Arche in the Défense business district. These new […]

Continue Reading

Who was Jean Jaurès | History of France

Wherever you go in France you’re sure to come across a Place Jean Jaurès, a rue Jean Jaurès, Avenue Jean Jaurès, schools and even metro stations of that name in Paris and Lyon. Every French school child will learn about Jean Jaurès. He is one of the most well-known figures of French history, though he […]

Continue Reading

A Soap story from Marseille | Savon de Marseille

Genuine Marseille soap is made by artisans with the provenance, passion and long-standing tradition in their blood to lay claim to makers of genuine Marseilles soap. A bar that contains 72% olive oil – and once tried, you will always be loyal to its soapy concoction. History of Marseille Soap In 1688 Louis IV passed […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.