Russian Culture Faberge Eggs
What will we learn? • How do treasured items reflect personal values as well as values of a specific time and culture. (Social Studies Standard 4) • How to create an object that communicates the personal and cultural significance of their family's treasured items. (Visual Arts Standard 1) • How have people combined written accounts of personal histories with interpretations of treasured items as they relate to cultural values. (Language Arts Standard 2)
The History of the House of Fabergé • The House of Faberge traces its family roots from northern France (the Favris) • By the early 1800s the (now) Fabergé's were located in Estonia • In 1842, Gustav Fabergé opened his jewelry shop in a basement shop in St. Petersburg, Russia • Sons Carl and Agathon eventually take over the business
The Symbol of the Egg • The egg is seen by followers of Christianity as a symbol of resurrection • Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, Easter eggs are dyed red to represent blood • Hard shell of the egg symbolized the sealed tomb of Christ • Eggs are blessed and given out by preists on Holy Saturday • Thus: the tradition of giving egg shaped jewelry!
The History of the House of Fabergé • French was the language of the Russian Court and the urban nobility • All things “French” were associated with luxury items and wealth • Faberge was French!
The Rise of Fabergé • The small business began repairing pieces for the Hermitage Museum • Tsar Alexander III declared the House of Faberge "Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown", beginning an association with the Russian tsars.
The History of the Fabergé Egg • Between 1885 and 1917, the Fabergé were most famously made for the Romanov tsars (Alexander III and Nicholas II) • The Imperial Fabergé Eggs • 50 were made and 42 survived • 2 more were made, but were not given to the tsar before his assassination
The History of the Fabergé Egg • Made of precious metals or hard stones • Decorated with combinations of enamel and gem stones. • Fabergé eggs have become a symbol of luxury, • Regarded as masterpieces of the jeweler's art • Tsars’ only requirement: each must contain a surprise
Significance • What did the Fabergé Eggs Mean to the Romanovs? • Tradition, beauty, wealth, privilege, importance of family memories) • What did the eggs come to later symbolize for the Soviets? • Indulgences of the Russian Czar, contrast to the plight of the Russian people, source of income by selling them