in Art and Life on July 8, 2015
If you get a chance….this film is being shown in select cities throughout 2015. I am sure it will become available through some sort of on demand channel at some point.
This documentary tells the fascinating story behind the most prestigious name in luxury, the House of Fabergé. The filmmakers enjoyed unprecedented access to the most esteemed private collections, insights from world experts and interviews with the descendants of the Fabergé family.
The Caucasus Egg, Fabergé, 1893. Presented by Tsar Alexander III to his wife, Tsarina Maria Feodorovna, Easter 1893. Photo courtesy Patrick Mark/Arts Alliance.
The Pearl Egg, Fabergé, 2015. Photo courtesy Patrick Mark/Arts Alliance.
The epic story starts in Imperial Russia and ends in present-day, spanning one hundred and fifty years of turbulent history, romance, royalty, politics, tragedy and commercial exploitation. The fortunes of Fabergé have been a rollercoaster, from the pre-1917 bejeweled Easter eggs of the Romanov Tsarinas to the 1970s allure of ‘Brut by Fabergé aftershave. Throw in a Russian revolution to today’s high-fashion glitz in New York and London and you have quite a story. The film explores this multi-faceted world by beginning with the man that started it all, the prodigiously talented German jeweler, Peter Carl Fabergé, Court Jeweler of St Petersburg. The film was shot at locations across Russia, Europe (including the collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) and the USA. A side note, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts holds five Imperial Easter Eggs bequeathed by Lillian Thomas Pratt in 1947.
Detail of Imperial presentation box, Fabergé, late 1880s. Incorporates miniature portrait of Tsar Nicholas II set with large diamonds and green enamel surround. Photo courtesy Patrick Mark/Arts Alliance.
A close-up of the Catherine the Great Egg, Fabergé, 1914. The ornately detailed egg was presented by Tsar Nicholas II to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, Easter 1914. Photo courtesy Patrick Mark/Arts Alliance.
The film was produced by British filmmaker Patrick Mark in association with Arts Alliance and has already won many awards like Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking at Newport Beach Film Festival, Best Documentary at Palm Beach International Film Festival and the Jury Award: Documentary at the Beverly Hills Film Festival.
For more information, here is a Q&A session with Patrick Mark, the film’s director on BlouinArtinfo.
The Bismarck Box, Fabergé, 1884. Incorporates a miniature portrait of Tsar Alexander III and red sunburst enamel. Presented by the Tsar to Prince von Bismarck, 1884. Photo courtesy Patrick Mark/Arts Alliance.
The Love Trophy, or Cradle of Garlands, Egg, Fabergé, 1907. Presented by Tsar Nicholas II to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, Easter 1907. Photo courtesy Patrick Mark/Arts Alliance.
The Twelve Monogram Egg (also known as the Alexander III Portraits Egg), Fabergé, 1896. Photo courtesy Patrick Mark/Arts Alliance.
This special cinematic release also features exclusive access to two historic new pieces – the first new creation in almost 100 years and a recently re-discovered lost treasure – and presents them to an international audience for the first time before they return to the secrecy of their very private collections.
Portrait miniatures of Tsar Nicholas II & Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna in diamond-set double frame by Fabergé, c. 1880s. Photo courtesy Patrick Mark/Arts Alliance.
The recently re-discovered Third Imperial Egg by Fabergé as seen in a screenshot from the film. Photo courtesy Patrick Mark/Arts Alliance.
In 2013, a scrap metal dealer from the American Midwest bought a gold egg for $14,000, with the intention of having it melted down and sold for a few hundred dollars’ profit. But no one would take him up on his offer. It was thought he’d paid too much for the egg and the ladies’ watch and jewels inside it.
So he turned to the internet, and soon realized that he had stumbled upon the Third Imperial Egg by Fabergé, a gift from Tsar Alexander III to his wife Maria at Easter 1887. Thanks to an anonymous collector, the scrap dealer’s few hundred dollars of profit turned into a share of a reported $33,000,000.
You have to love that story.