Revived Faberge to create first egg since 1917 By Eric Onstad
Fri May 23, 10:08 AM ET
(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.
The original Faberge family was scattered by the Bolshevik
revolution in 1917, but Gustav's grandsons who established
a new Faberge firm in Paris discovered after World War Two
that a U.S. businessman was selling perfume under their family
They launched a lawsuit, but ran out of money and ceded rights
to their family name to a U.S. firm in 1951 for $25,000. The
Faberge brand then went through many owners before being sold
for $1.55 billion to consumer goods group Unilever in 1989.
Pallinghurst bought the rights last year from Unilever for
an undisclosed sum.
Faberge has appointed as chief executive Mark Dunhill, former
president of Alfred Dunhill, the leather and accessories brand
of Swiss luxury goods maker Richemont.
Its creative director is Katharina Flohr, former jewellery
editor of Tatler magazine, Gilbertson said.