Gemstone-Encrusted Google Doodle Celebrates Famed Russian Jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé's 166th Birthday
Gemstone-Encrusted Google Doodle Celebrates Famed Russian Jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé's 166th Birthday

Google observed Wednesday the 166th birth anniversary of Peter Carl Fabergé, the Russian jeweler, best known for creating the famous Fabergé eggs. Google commemorated his birthday with a gemstone-encrusted doodle.

Wednesday's Google Doodle included a set of six Fabergé Eggs or Fabergé Easter Eggs, decorated in diamonds, precious metals and gemstones, paying tribute to the famed designer.

Fabergé, also known as Karl Gustavovich Fabergé, was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia on May 30, 1846, to a Baltic German jeweler Gustav Fabergé and his Danish wife Charlotte Jungstedt.

Although there's not much information on Fabergé's educational background, some reports say that he might have undertaken a course at the Dresden Arts and Crafts School. He was even believed to have taken lessons from well-known goldsmiths of his time in France, Germany and England. Peter Carl was also guided by his father's workmaster Hiskias Pendin for many years.

In 1882, Pendin died and the entire responsibility of running the family business fell upon Peter Carl's shoulders. Because of his brilliant work, he was awarded the title Master Goldsmith that let him use his own hallmark in his work along with that of the firm.

Peter Carl quickly built a reputation as a master designer of exquisite jeweled objects, including the Easter egg designs, which made him world famous. He won a gold medal and the St. Stanisias Medal at the Pan-Russian Exhibition in Moscow in 1882.

In 1885, he was appointed as the court jeweler of the Romanov dynasty. Tsar Alexander III gave the House of Fabergé the title, Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown. The Tsar also commissioned the company to make an Easter egg as a gift for his wife.

Apart from Imperial Easter eggs, the House of Fabergé also made other objects ranging from silver tableware to fine jewelry. The company gradually became the largest business in Russia with branches in Moscow, Odessa, Kiev and London. It produced some 150,000 to 200,000 objects from 1882 until 1917.

In 1916, the House of Fabergé became a joint-stock company with a capital of 3 million rubles. But in the following year just before the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia, a Committee of the Employees of the Company K Fabergé took over the business. The House of Fabergé was nationalized by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

The next two years of Peter Carl's life were spent in exile. He died in Switzerland on Sept. 24, 1920. According to his family, he died of a broken heart.

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