Peter Carl Fabergé who is also known by the name ‘Karl Gustavovich Fabergé’ was a Russian jeweler who is most famed for the eggs he used to make with gemstones and precious metals. His work was loved by the Russians and Europeans but his company suffered extensive loss after the revolution of 1917 to the point that it was completely eliminated.
Peter Carl was born on 30th May 1846 in St. Petersburg, Russia. After moving to Dresdan in 1860, Peter Carl who was a teenager at the time learnt the art of jewelry making from the House of Friedman based in Frankfurt am Main. Upon his return to St. Petersburg he decided to help out his father in the business. Hiskias Pendin, who was his father’s trusted worker mentored and tutored Peter Carl for almost 10 years. He took over the complete management the ‘House of Fabergé’ in 1872. In 1882, he participated in the Pan-Russian Exhibition that was held in Moscow and got a rave response. Two years later he was appointed as a Court Supplier by Tsar Alexander III after he saw the splendid Easter egg that he had made. After being rewarded in such a way, Peter Carl Fabergé made an egg every year for the Tsar. Tsar Nicholas II continued to have two eggs made by Peter Carl from 1895 to 1916.
Peter Carl did not just made amazing eggs. Fabergé’s company provided all the gifts for the coronation services of Nicholas II. He was selected by the Swedish court in 1897 as the Court Goldsmith which was a big opportunity for him. He represented Russia at the World’s Fair held in Paris in 1900. He was made the Goldsmith of the Tsar’s Court in 1910. The company which he had taken complete responsibility of after the death of Hiskias Pendin was flourishing in fact it was the largest company in Russia employing more than 500 employees and had outlets in several cities such as Odessa, Kiev, Moscow and London. Under his management the company went from making 18th century fashion jewelry to artistic jewelry. They started making ‘objects deluxe’ which included gold adorned objects that were embellished with enamel. These items ranged from cigarette cases to electric bell pushes. The company made over 150, 000 items from 1882 to 1917. In 1885, he was titled the ‘Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown’ by Tsar Alexander III.
The House of Fabergé was turned into a joint stock firm using a capital of 3 million rubles. The next year due to the occurrence of the October Revolution the business was acquired by a Committee of the Employees of the Company K Fabergé. In 1918 the company became state-owned and all its stock was confiscated by October. Thus the House of Fabergé came to its downfall. Peter Carl Fabergé was in anguish due to these losses and he never really recovered from the shock of his breakdown. According to his family he died because of this heartache. He died on 24th September 1920 in Switzerland.