Revived Faberge to create first egg since 1917

Fri May 23, 2008 9:52am EDT
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By Eric Onstad

LONDON (Reuters) - A revived Faberge luxury goods group plans to resurrect its founder's work next year with the launch of the first jewel-encrusted egg since 1917, when the Faberge family was scattered by the Russian revolution.

A group of investors bought rights to Faberge last year -- which had been used to market cosmetics like Brut men's fragrance -- and have been working to restore the firm to its origins with the support of the Russian founder's relatives.

"Faberge will announce their first new collection, the first authentic, family-blessed collection since 1917, in the course of next year," Sean Gilbertson, a partner in the Pallinghurst fund that owns Faberge, told Reuters.

The original Faberge company was founded in 1842 by Russian jeweler Gustav Faberge, who gained fame for designing elaborate jewel-encrusted eggs for Russian Tsars.

The last Faberge egg completed before the Russian revolution was military egg made of steel since gems and precious metals were not available, Gilbertson said.

Tatiana and Sarah Faberge, among the descendants of Gustav Faberge, agreed to sit on a council to restore the exclusive nature of the company.

The new Faberge will at least initially stick to the founders' products -- objects of art, fine jewellery and items such as ashtrays and pillboxes.

"It's very much sticking to what Faberge was originally all about. For the foreseeable future there's no clothing or anything along those lines," Gilbertson said.   Continued...

<p>The Renaissance Faberge egg is displayed during the exhibition "Treasures of Imperial Russia" in Croatia's Adriatic town of Dubrovnik on November 3, 2007. REUTERS/Nikola Solic</p>