By Edward Callaghan / Annie Watt
Truly one of the world’s most spectacular collections of object d’art, the Forbes collection of bejeweled masterpieces by the legendary Peter Carl Faberge, will be sold at auction by Sotheby’s in April, at the request of the Forbes family.
Some 200 items including nine Imperial eggs, three Kelch eggs and over 180 other pieces, such as jewelry, vanity table and desk accessories will be auctioned. A highlight of the auction will be the Coronation Egg commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II for his wife, Tsarina Alexandra in 1897. If it realizes its current pre- auction estimate of $18-24 million, it will be the most expensive piece of decorative art to be auctioned in history.
The late Malcolm S. Forbes began the Forbes collection of extraordinary items by Imperial court jeweler Faberge in the 1960s. A collector’s collector, Forbes amassed a group of Faberge that was the largest in private hands. Only the Armory Museum in Moscow’s Kremlin with 10 Imperial eggs exceeded Forbes’ collection. Little wonder that the decorative arts market feels the collection’s sale will generate far more than the $90,000,000 pre-sale estimate. While the majority of the world is feeling the pinch on their Euros and dollars, the truly affluent have not stopped spending. Indeed, the luxury market is booming with groups like Tiffany & Co., Coach and Louis Vuitton
posting record sales.
But if you’re not a Getty, Gates or Trump, you too can have a part of the opulent Faberge legacy. London based Theo Faberge, the only surviving grandson of the fabled jeweler continues – at age 82 – to create dazzling bejeweled object d’arts – and yes, eggs, too!
For over half a century Theo Faberge has flourished creating breathtaking masterworks and limited editions of the fabled eggs that endeared his grandfather to the Russian Imperial Court. Theo’s works are in the collection of major museums around the world.
Theo Faberge has won world- wide acclaim for his jewel- encrusted designs that often commemorate a historical moment: The White House Egg celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the home of our president. The Egg of the Covenant saluting the birth of the state of Israel – complete with a ruby studded burning bush atop the egg which opens to reveal the surprise – 18 ct gold tablets on Lapis Lazuli inscribed with the Ten Commandments in Hebrew and the Coronation Egg honoring the 50th Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II complete with an 18kt gold replica of the coronation carriage. Most recently Faberge unveiled “The Tercentenary Egg” to pay tribute to the city of St. Petersburg on its 300th Anniversary.
Following in Theo’s footsteps is daughter Sarah Faberge whose delicate creation of the Nursery Rhyme series has won favor with collectors worldwide for their charm and beauty. Despite the extraordinary craftsmanship precious metals, enamels, crystal and jewels used, the St. Petersburg Collection pieces are modestly priced – from 3 to 5 figures.
One-of-a-kind pieces and special commissions can soar much higher but the works are truly affordable for the collector and lover of fine art, treasures today that will become tomorrow’s precious heirlooms.
For more information about Theo and Sarah Faberge’s creations for The St. Petersburg Collection and to view their stunning creations go to www.fabeggs.com and be whisked back to another era.